Campus News

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author to Speak at Bowdoin

Story posted April 15, 1999

April 13, 1999, BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David Levering Lewis will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15, in Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall, at Bowdoin College. A reception in the Druckenmiller Hall Atrium will follow the lecture. Both events are free and open to the public.

Lewis's topic, "American Exceptionalism and the Discontent of W.E.B. Du Bois," is one he is well qualified to discuss. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1994 for "W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919." The biography of the African-American writer, editor and civil rights leader won several other prizes for historical writing and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Lewis's research into the life of W.E.B. Du Bois, which has taken him to three continents, will result in a second volume of the biography, due out in the fall.

Now a professor at Rutgers University, Lewis was a 1956 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Fisk University. He earned a master's degree at Columbia University and a doctorate in European history from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has earned fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, The Drug Abuse Council, the National Humanities Center and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has also written a biography of Martin Luther King Jr. and a book on the Dreyfus Affair and has written and edited books on the Harlem Renaissance.

Lewis's lecture is the annual John Brown Russwurm lecture, named for Bowdoin's first African-American graduate. Each year the lecture brings a scholar to Bowdoin to speak on a topic concerning people of color.

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