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Pulitzer Prize Winner Annette Gordon-Reed to Deliver 18th Governor’s Lecture In The Humanities

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annette Gordon-Reed will deliver the 18th annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Presented by Humanities Nebraska (formerly known as the Nebraska Humanities Council), the lecture, co-sponsored by Creighton University and the University of Nebraska, will explore Gordon-Reed’s forthcoming book, The Most Blessed of Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of Imagination, co-written with Peter S. Onuf.

Immediately following her lecture, Onuf will join Gordon-Reed on stage for further conversation about Jefferson’s intellectual development.

Gordon-Reed is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School, the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study, and a professor of history at Harvard University. For her epic work, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, Gordon-Reed won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in History and the 2008 National Book Award for Non-Fiction, along with 12 other awards. She was the first black person to win the Pulitzer Prize in History and the first black female to win the National Book Award in the Non-Fiction category. Gordon-Reed was awarded a 2009 National Humanities Medal and was named a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow in 2010.

In addition to The Hemingses of Monticello, Gordon-Reed’s published works include the groundbreaking Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (1997) and Vernon Can Read: A Memoir, which she co-wrote with the famed civil rights leader, lawyer, and presidential advisor, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.

She is also the editor of “Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History,” a collection of scholarly essays examining the role and impact of race in significant American legal cases over the last 200 years, and the author of 2011’s Andrew Johnson, a short biography of America’s 17th president.

Gordon-Reed is a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School where she was a member of the Harvard Law Review. She holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College, where she now serves as a member of the board of trustees.

Onuf is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History (Emeritus) at the University of Virginia and the author/editor of 11 books, including most recently, The Mind of Thomas Jefferson (2007) and Nations, Markets, and War: Modern History and the American Civil War (2006).

Onuf holds a Ph.D. and a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. He is known for his role as the “18th Century Guy” for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities award-winning public radio program and podcast, “BackStory…with the American History Guys,” which is syndicated on various public radio affiliates and available for online listening at

The annual Sower Award in the Humanities will also be presented prior to the lecture to Jane Renner Hood, who is retiring as the executive director of the Nebraska Humanities Council. She worked for the council for 23 years.

For more information, contact Humanities Nebraska at 402-474-2131 or

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