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The David Brion Davis Lecture Series on the
History of Slavery, Race, and Their Legacies presents

William Lloyd Garrison at 200: The Meanings and Legacies of American Abolitionism

Series Schedule

December 8, 2005. 4:15 pm. Beinecke Mezzanine
Repoliticizing the Abolitionists in Our Age of Fundamentalist Politics
James Brewer Stewart, Macalester College

His lecture will reassess the political importance of religious activism and abolitionism on the breakup of political parties that led to the Civil War.  Stewart will also critically examine the claims of contemporary right-wing evangelical activists that the abolitionist movement provides them with powerful historical precedents and models.
February 13, 2006. 4:15 pm. Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Avenue.  Reception to follow.
Putting Politics Back In: Rethinking the Problem of Political Abolitionism
Bruce Laurie, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

This paper revisits the charge that political abolitionists were either too moralistic to be effective in politics or too racist to be a serious abolitionist force. It demonstrates that in Massachusetts the Liberty Party was quite sophisticated and that the Free Soilers supported a form of racial equality. It also shows that the Garrisonians underestimated political abolitionism.
March 27, 2006. 4:15 pm. Linsly-Chittenden Room 101, 63 High Street.  Reception to follow.
William Lloyd Garrison and Emancipatory Feminism in 19th-Century America
Lois Brown, Mount Holyoke College

This lecture will consider the significant events, unexpected opportunities, and moral crises that prompted William Lloyd Garrison to enter the dynamic and enterprising activist worlds of antebellum women. It will examine the evolution of his feminist ideologies, assess his investments in traditional American domesticity, and consider how his feminocentric political work shaped indelibly his abolitionist politics.
April 3, 2006. 4:15 pm. Hall of Graduate Studies, Room 211. 320 York Street.  Reception to follow.
The Global Garrison: America's Premier Radical Abolitionist and the International Response
Richard J. Blackett, Vanderbilt University

Few figures, with the possible exception of Frederick Douglass, had a greater impact on the Anglo-American abolitionist movement than did William Lloyd Garrison. The paper traces Garrison's influence on the movement in the thirty years before the Civil War, from his first visit to counter the effort to win support for colonizing African Americans in Liberia, down to his controversial decision to throw his support to the Union in 1861.


About the David Brion Davis Lecture Series on the
History of Slavery, Race, and Their Legacies

The David Brion Davis lecture series was established last year to honor Sterling Professor Emeritus of History, and the founder of the Gilder Lehrman Center, David Brion Davis, one of the world's leading scholars of slavery and abolition in an international context. The Center will combine each year to publish the several lectures in a series of books with Yale University Press. Center director, David W. Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History, will invite each year's speakers and work with the Press to usher the books into publication. The series is intended to be a major event in the intellectual life of Yale, and the books to be significant contributions to new scholarship and imagination about the problem of slavery and its legacies in the modern world.

The inaugural lecturer was distinguished historian of African slavery, Joseph Miller, the T. Cary Johnson, Jr. Professor of History at the University of Virginia. This three-part series on "The Problem of Slavery as History" was held February 7-9, 2005.

In subsequent years the Davis lecturers will include David Richardson, University of Hull, UK, one of the world's leading economic historians of the slave trade and a co-author and creator of The Transatlantic Slave Trade: A Data Base; and Caryl Phillips, the widely-acclaimed Afro-British novelist and non-fiction writer, and author among other books of Cambridge, Crossing the River, Nature of Blood, and Distant Shore.

For more information on the David Brion Davis Lecture Series or other Gilder Lehrman Center events, please call 203-432-3339 or email