Calendar of Events

MIT's Craig Steven Wilder: 2015 John Brown Russwurm Lecturer

MIT's Craig Steven Wilder: 2015 John Brown Russwurm Lecturer

March 31, 2015 6:30 PM  – 8:30 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Craig Steven Wilder, Professor of History at MIT, will deliver the annual John Brown Russwurm Lecture in the Main Lounge of Moulton Union.  A reception in the Russwurm House Library at 5:00 pm will precede the lecture, and both are free and open to the public.

Professor Wilder will examine the contrasting figures of "the matriculating Indian" and "the uneducable Negro" to explore the limits on access to higher education in the second half of the 18th century. Looking closely at the experiences of two friends, the Reverend Samson Occom - a member of the Mohegan nation who became a Presbyterian minister, and poet Phillis Wheatley - the first African-American woman to be published, Professor Wilder will demonstrate how illusory were even the modest hopes of education held by Native and enslaved Americans. Though hailed by well-wishers as possessors of exceptional talents, Occum and Wheatley could find no institutional structures that would support them in intellectual, literary, or religious pursuits. This lecture stems from his important and widely reviewed new study, Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities, where he argues that many of America's revered colleges and universities were soaked in the sweat, the tears, and sometimes the blood of people of color. 

Professor Wilder is a senior fellow at the Bard Prison Initiative, where he has served as a guest lecturer, commencement speaker, academic advisor, and visiting professor. For more than a decade, this innovative program has given hundreds of men and women the opportunity to acquire a college education during their incarcerations in the New York State prison system.

He has advised and appeared in numerous historical documentaries, including the celebrated Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon film, The Central Park FiveKelly Anderson's highly praised exploration of gentrification, My Brooklyn; the History Channel's F.D.R.: A Presidency Revealed; and Ric Burn's award-winning PBS series, New York: A Documentary History.

Named after the first African-American graduate of Bowdoin College (class of 1826), the lecture series explores the "legacy and status of Black Americans".  Notable speakers include Robert Levine, Lani Guinier, Carl Stokes, Vernon Jordan, Shirley Chisholm, Bayard Rustin, Benjamin Hooks, and Julian Bond, among others.


View Details

Russian Language Table

Russian Language Table

April 16, 2015 5:30 PM  – 7:30 PM
Thorne Hall, Mitchell South

View Details