OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Orville Vernon Burton

Portrait of Orville Vernon Burton

Orville Vernon Burton is the Judge Matthew J. Perry Jr. Distinguished Professor of History, Sociology and Anthropology, Pan African Studies, and Computer Science at Clemson University, and emeritus University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar, University Scholar, and professor of history, African American studies, and sociology at the University of Illinois where he is also a senior research scientist and emeritus associate director of humanities and social sciences at the National Center for Supercomputing Application. Burton has written or edited numerous books including The Age of Lincoln (2007), which won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Literary Award for nonfiction; In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina (1985); and Penn Center: A History Preserved (2014). He is also the author or director of numerous digital humanities projects. He is currently completing a book on race and the Supreme Court. Burton's research and teaching interests include the American South, especially race relations and community, and the intersection of humanities and social sciences. He has served as the president of the Southern Historical Association and of the Agricultural History Society. Recognized for his outstanding teaching, Burton has been named U.S. Research and Doctoral University Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and has also won the American Historical Association's Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Prize. In 2007 the Illinois State legislature honored him with a special resolution for his contributions as a scholar, teacher, and citizen of Illinois. He was one of ten historians selected by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies to contribute to the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Portfolio. In 2017 he received the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities from the South Carolina Humanities Council.

OAH Lectures