Elizabeth Fenn is the Walter and Lucienne Driskill Professor of Western American History at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the author of Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775–82 (2001) and, more recently, Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People (2015), which won the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, the Colorado Book Award in History, the Albert J. Beveridge Award, the Caroline Bancroft History Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize for History. Fenn is now at work on a biography of Sakagawea.
"The More I Learn, the Less I Know: Rethinking Scholarly Authority” uses personal experience to uncover some of the hidden truths of academic life. Professor Fenn makes the case for making these truths transparent and for incorporating uncertainties, insecurities, personal struggle, emotions, ambiguities, and social commitments into the scholarship we produce. This lecture is aimed at academics, especially grad students and faculty. But it is accessible across disciplines and is not an “academic” lecture in its own right.