Andrew Delbanco is named this year’s 2022 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities : NPR


Andrew Delbanco, professor of American Research at Columbia College, will ship the 2022 Jefferson Lecture within the Humanities.

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Andrew Delbanco, professor of American Research at Columbia College, will ship the 2022 Jefferson Lecture within the Humanities.

Michaelangelo’s Pictures

Andrew Delbanco, writer and professor of American Studies at Columbia University, will ship this 12 months’s Jefferson Lecture within the Humanities. Established by the Nationwide Endowment for the Humanities in 1972, the Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities is taken into account the very best honor the federal authorities offers for “distinguished mental achievement within the humanities,” according to the NEH. This 12 months marks the fiftieth anniversary of the honorary lecture sequence. “Steeped within the lengthy historical past of American thought, Andrew Delbanco is among the nation’s foremost cultural critics and public intellectuals,” mentioned NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe in a information launch. A famend scholar of American literary, non secular and cultural historical past, Delbanco will ship his lecture titled, “The Query of Reparations: Our Previous, Our Current, Our Future,” this October at President Abraham Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, D.C. In his ebook, The Struggle Earlier than the Struggle: Fugitive Slaves and the Wrestle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil Struggle, Delbanco explores how the U.S. confronted slavery earlier than the Civil Struggle. Throughout a 2019 interview with Morning Edition, Delbanco defined why he favors reparations for African People in some type. ” We’re all on this society collectively. We wish to dwell in a humane society the place individuals respect each other as human beings. And in an effort to obtain that, we have to make vital additional progress on the race downside on this nation. However we wish to be in an honest society. And a part of the decency is to acknowledge our historical past and to attempt to make, in an ethical sense, reparations for it,” Delbanco instructed NPR.

Having taught at Columbia College for practically 37 years, Delbanco focuses his curriculum on the historical past of American schooling, colonial and traditional American literature in addition to the previous and current tradition in America.

His essays on matters reminiscent of American literature, modern points in increased schooling and reparations have appeared continuously in quite a few publications, together with The New York Instances and the Wall Avenue Journal. Delbanco holds an A.B., M.A. and a Ph.D. in English all from Harvard College. “I’m deeply touched by this excessive honor. [This honor] affords me a possibility to convey the humanities to bear on a fancy and demanding query that has lengthy confronted our nation,” Delbanco mentioned in a launch. “I’ve at all times believed that the examine of the previous should show its worth by serving to us mirror on the challenges of the current and the long run,” he added. The Jefferson Lecture is the Endowment’s most generally attended public occasion, in response to NEH. Previous Jefferson Lecturers embody the late writer Toni Morrison, thinker Martha Nussbaum, filmmaker and historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and actress Anna Deavere Smith.



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