LAWRENCE – The significance of race, civil rights, urban history and politics in the career of President Barack Obama will be discussed by a leading author and scholar of such topics in a lecture at the University of Kansas.
“The Education of Barack Obama: Race and Politics in the Age of Fracture” will be delivered by Thomas J. Sugrue, a race and civil rights historian and distinguished professor of history and sociology at University of Pennsylvania. The public is invited to attend the lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. The event is free.
Sugrue’s talk is presented as the sixth-annual Bill Tuttle Distinguished Lecture. For the past five years, KU’s Department of American Studies has honored professor emeritus Bill Tuttle and his dedication to social change, community and cultural discourse through this lecture series. This year’s lecture is presented by the Department of American Studies with additional support from the Department of History, the Hall Center for the Humanities, the School of Public Affairs and Administration, and the Department of Political Science.
“The Tuttle Lecture provides an open forum for distinguished lecturers to talk frankly about American culture and society, speaking truth to power. In light of current events in Washington, this kind of scholarly engagement is especially critical,” said Henry Bial, chair of the Department of American Studies.
Sugrue is the David Boies Professor of History and Sociology, and director of the Penn Social Science and Policy Forum at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and president of the Urban History Association. He is author of titles including “Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race” (Princeton University Press, 2010), “Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North” (Random House, 2008) and “The Origins of the Urban Crisis” (Princeton University Press, 1996), selected by the Princeton University Press as one of its 100 most influential books of the past 100 years.
The Department of American Studies is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.