THOUGHT

PROVOKING

Book a Distinguished Lecturer from the Organization of American Historians for your next event.

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021
Woman speaking at podium

VMI Photo by - H. Lockwood McLaughlin

23 Historians Appointed to the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program

We are excited to announce this year's additions to the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program. 23 scholars were recently appointed by OAH President Philip J. Deloria. These accomplished historians command expertise on U. S. history topics including: slavery, women’s rights; sports and recreation; old age; gender; elections; civil rights; crime and violence; public history and memory; environmental history; LGBTQ+; legal history; intellectual history; early national history; Latino/a history; and African American history, among other U. S. history topics. 

Meet them!

OAH Distinguished Lecturers can be scheduled virtually or in-person to headline special events and to bring context to today's most pertinent and perplexing issues.

As a small church in Boca Grande, FL we could not have accomplished the zoom lecture without OAH. They made the process easy and understandable.

Roger Lewis, - St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

Featured Lecturer

Portrait of lecturer

Robert Douglas Johnston

Robert D. Johnston is professor of History and director of the Teaching of History program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His book The Radical Middle Class: Populist Democracy and the Question of Capitalism in Progressive Era Portland, Oregon received the President’s Book Award from the Social Science History Association. Currently he is working on a history of controversies over vaccination in American history from the early 18th century to the present, under contract with Oxford University Press. His numerous interventions in the politics of historiography include the essay on 1877-1917 in Eric Foner and Lisa McGirr, eds., American History Now (2011)....
Read More

Featured Lecture

Can We Create a Dialogue Between Left-Wing and Right-Wing Interpretations of American History?

The polarization of American political debate reaches far into the academy. Yet such polarization plays out among historians far differently from how it does within the broader public realm. In the civic sphere, everyone has access to a wide variety of viewpoints, even if pundits bemoan the bubbling of America within an increasingly concentrated media landscape. In contrast, a great a majority of influential history departments have a mere handful—if any—conservative voices (or voters). The result: a crucial loss of intellectual dialogue as well as a failure to model complex civil conversation within the civic sphere. So how to bring together the liberal/leftist perspectives prevalent in the academy with conservative historical viewpoints? Through an exploration of both right-wing and left-wing historiography and present-day public commentary on progressivism and the Progressive Era, I point toward a path that highlights the value of respectful, as well as critically sophisticated, reaching across even extreme ideological divides.

"So let us not be afraid to talk about history, and politics, and their deep and contentious interrelation, in a manner that crosses some of our deepest of ideological divides."