Historian Wilentz to deliver three lectures during President’s Week

Roles of Jackson, Lincoln and Grant will be examined over three nights

Historian Sean Wilentz, PhD, the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University, will be on campus for three days next week delivering this year’s “President’s Week” lectures.

The first of these, “Andrew Jackson’s Proclamation on Nullification” will be presented as part of the Assembly Series.


Wilentz’s three talks will cover the most important political figures governing the three great transformations of the mid-19th century.

The lectures will provide an overview of the role three presidents — Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant — played in advancing democratic nationalism, which in turn led to the abolition of slavery.

Wilentz will kick-off the series at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge with the Jackson lecture. It will examine Jackson’s connections to democracy, nationalism and slavery, culminating in the nullification crisis of 1832-33.

The second lecture Wednesday, Feb. 23, will be on Abraham Lincoln’s role in the period, and the final talk Thursday, Feb. 24, will concentrate on Grant’s contributions.

All lectures will be held at 5 p.m. in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge. These also are the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities and the Center for the Humanities Lectures.

Wilentz’s historical scholarship concentrates on the political and social history of the United States from the American Revolution to recent times.

He is best known for his writings on music focusing on folk traditions and rock and roll, especially the work of Bob Dylan. Wilentz has written a wide array of books concentrating on the political and social history of the United States. His most recent book, Bob Dylan in America, was published in 2010.

Wilentz has taught at Princeton University since 1979.

He earned a doctorate in history from Yale University in 1980 after earning bachelor’s degrees from Columbia University in 1972 and Balliol College, Oxford University in 1974.

For more information visit assemblyseries.wustl.edu or call (314) 935-4620.