Parker History Lecture
Harvard University's Coolidge Professor of History Dr. Maya Jasanoff presented the 30th annual Davis R. Parker Memorial History Lecture: "Ancestors: Where Do We Come From and Why Do We Care?"
Maya Jasanoff’s teaching and research extend from the history of the British Empire to global history. She is the author of three prize-winning books. The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World (Penguin Press, 2017) examines the dynamics of modern globalization through the life and times of the novelist Joseph Conrad. A New York Times best book of 2017, The Dawn Watch won the Cundill Prize in History, and was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize in Biography. Her previous book, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (Knopf, 2011), presents the first global history of the loyalists who fled the United States after the American Revolution and resettled elsewhere in the British Empire. Liberty's Exiles received numerous distinctions including the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction and the George Washington Book Prize; it was also shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize. Her first book, the Duff Cooper Prize-winning Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850 (Knopf, 2005), explores British expansion in India and Egypt through the lives of art collectors, and was a book of the year selection in publications including The Economist, The Guardian, and The Sunday Times.
Jasanoff has been a Guggenheim Fellow (2013), a fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, an ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Fellow, and in 2019 held a Kluge Chair at the Library of Congress. She has participated in several BBC documentaries, and her essays and reviews regularly appear in publications including The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and The New York Times. In 2017, Jasanoff was awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize in recognition of her contributions to non-fiction literature.
After Headmaster Davis R. Parker’s death in 1989, his predecessor, Leslie R. Severinghaus, proposed the establishment of an annual lecture dedicated to Mr. Parker’s memory and recognizing his passion for American history.
The initial funding for this endowed lecture series was provided by Dr. Severinghaus and by a bequest directed from Mr. Parker’s estate established by his wife, Jane. The Parker Memorial Fund supports the lecture program and has been sustained by gifts from alumni, faculty, and friends of Mr. Parker.
Dr. Alan Brinkley
Professor of History, Columbia University
Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust
Annenberg Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, & historian
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist & foreign correspondent
Dr. Paul Kennedy
J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History, Yale University
Dr. Joanne B. Freeman
Professor of History & American Studies, Yale University
Dr. Daniel Ellsberg Political activist responsible for releasing The Pentagon Papers
Dr. Eric Foner
Dewitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University