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News & Events for the Smith College Community
Events February 1, 2021

Jill Lepore Will Speak February 23

Photograph by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard University

Historian Jill Lepore—a staff writer at The New Yorker, and the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History and Affiliate Professor of Law at Harvard University—will deliver a Presidential Colloquium on “This America | That America” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23.

The virtual event, which aligns with Smith’s Year on Democracies, is open to the public at no charge, and no tickets are required. Members of the campus community are invited to participate via Zoom; members of the general public may join via a livestream on Smith’s Facebook page.

About Jill Lepore

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History and Affiliate Professor of Law at Harvard University. She is also a staff writer at The New Yorker, and host of the podcast The Last Archive.

Her many books include “These Truths: A History of the United States,” an international bestseller that was named one of Time magazine's top 10 non-fiction books of the decade. Her most recent book, “IF THEN: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future,” was longlisted for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Book Award.

Lepore joined the History Department at Harvard in 2003 and was chair of the History and Literature Program in 2005-10, 2012 and 2014. In 2012, she was named Harvard College Professor, in recognition of distinction in undergraduate teaching.

Much of Lepore's scholarship explores absences and asymmetries in the historical record, with a particular emphasis on the histories and technologies of evidence. A prize-winning professor, she teaches classes in evidence, historical methods, the humanities and American political history. In 2017, she launched the Democracy Project: Arguing with American History, a one-semester undergraduate course on the history of the United States, undertaken through weekly debates in which students use primary sources to argue over competing historical interpretations of turning points in American history. She also teaches at Harvard Law School.

Lepore has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2005, writing about American history, law, literature and politics. (A complete list of Lepore’s New Yorker essays is online. Scholarly bibliographies to her New Yorker essays can be found on Harvard’s website.)

Her essays and reviews have also appeared in the New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, the Journal of American History, Foreign Affairs, the Yale Law Journal, American Scholar and the American Quarterly. Her essays have been translated into multiple languages and have been widely anthologized, including in collections of the best legal writing and the best technology writing. Three of her books derive from her New Yorker essays: “The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death,” a finalist for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction; “The Story of America: Essays on Origins,” shortlisted for the PEN Literary Award for the Art of the Essay; and “The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle for American History,” a Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her 2019 book, “This America: The Case for the Nation,” is based on an essay written for Foreign Affairs.

About Smith’s Presidential Colloquium Series

The Presidential Colloquium regularly features influential thought leaders in a wide range of fields—from poets and writers to economists and policy experts—to share their expertise, offer insights and inspire discourse on key social, political and global topics that call for our attention. Lectures are free and open to the public.

This year’s upcoming Presidential Colloquia will feature attorney/activist Bryan Stevenson and political philosopher Michael Sandel, among others. All events are virtual in 2021 and are open to the public at no charge; details and registration information are available online.