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During the summer of 2020, the Omohundro Institute organized a series of online conversations with historians about issues of race, slavery, freedom and revolution — all with a focus on understanding how historians have written, are writing, and are reading and talking about these critical subjects.  

Based on readings from the OI’s recommended reading list created for the New York Times 1619 Project event “Slavery and the American Revolution: a Historical Dialogue” (March 6, 2020), the historians discussed the following four questions about what we know and how we know it. (You can access the readings for free via the link above.)

  • What was important about this book or article when it was published?
  • What sources did these scholars use to write these pieces?
  • What are some telling anecdotal moments the scholars surveyed here chose to illustrate their theses?
  • What are you (our guests) reading now on this same subject?

You can watch each session on our OI Events site in the Past Events archive.

Monday, July 13, 2020
Abolitionism with Christopher L. Brown and Paul J. Polgar

Monday, July 20, 2020
Black Radicalism with Michael McDonnell and Manisha Sinha

Monday, August 3, 2020
Freedom, Critical Caribbean Perspectives with Laurent Dubois and Natasha Lightfoot

Monday, August 10, 2020
The Patriots’ Common Cause with Annette Gordon-Reed and Robert Parkinson