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

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021
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VMI Photo by - H. Lockwood McLaughlin


OAH Distinguished Lecturers are scholars and storytellers, uniquely qualified to bring historical context to some of today's most provocative issues. They engage audiences, sharing their insights and research on the defining moments and stories of our nation's past that influence and inform our world today.

The Distinguished Lectureship Program offers Virtual OAH Lectures (custom-recorded or live with Q&A) and traditional in-person OAH Distinguished Lectures.

The lectureship program is great. We have used it several times, and always with an outstanding result.

Michael Mayer, Department of History - University of Montana

Featured Lecturer

Portrait of lecturer

James T. Kloppenberg

James T. Kloppenberg is Charles Warren Research Professor of American History at Harvard University. He has written about American politics and ideas from the seventeenth century to the present and the relation between contemporary critical theory and historical writing. His book Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition (2011) explains the reasons for Barack Obama’s commitments to democratic deliberation and conciliation by examining his intellectual formation and his understanding of American history. His most recent book is Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought (2016), a study of the cultural preconditions necessary for...
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Featured Lecture

The American Democratic Tradition

Based on his prize-winning book Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought (2016), Kloppenberg shows how democratic institutions depend on cultural predispositions that take centuries to develop, and that recent developments in Europe and the U.S. have eroded.

"Democracy rests on cultural preconditions, without with the institutions of democracy cannot function. In recent years Americans have witnessed the erosion of those hidden foundations, including respect for pluralism, deliberation, and an ethical of reciprocity. Historical analysis shows how these too little understood developments made democracy possible, and how their erosion threatens democracy today."