Virtual Event     

Historians and the News: Keisha N. Blain

Free and open to the public

Tuesday, September 13, 2022
5:30PM – 6:30PM

  • Free
  • RSVP Required
  • Teachers
  • Researchers

Register Here

Event Type: Virtual EventAudience(s): Teachers, Researchers

A Conversation about Black Women, Politics, Violence, and History

OHS is pleased to continue the popular “Historians and the News” series with a conversation between two nationally renowned historians that promises to offer valuable insights, informed by years of scholarly analysis of the past, into the news stories that fill our screens and newspaper pages.

Ability Accommodation Information

This event provides the following accommodations:

  • Handicap Accessible

As the 2022 midterm elections approach, public and political debates are raging over guns, white supremacist violence, the meaning of freedom, and how we understand and teach history. Citizens and politicians alike are reeling from a season of historically consequential U.S. Supreme Court decisions, handed down in the midst of a series of congressional hearings on the January 6, 2021, attempted coup on the United States. Frequent and prominent incidents of white supremacist violence have prompted increased interest in learning about the histories of racism and African American civil rights leadership, while at the same time, far-right activists and politicians have pushed to ban such history from being taught.

Professor of Africana Studies and History at Brown University Keisha N. Blain is an award-winning historian of race, gender, and politics in historical and contemporary perspectives. She will provide context for understanding the long history of Black women’s political and intellectual leadership in the United States, including lessons and insights that can be gleaned from the life and work of Fannie Lou Hamer as well as the ways incidents and structures of violence against Black people have been remembered and erased.

About Historians and the News

OHS is committed to providing broad access to historical content that expands knowledge of the past to better inform our present. Dr. Blain and Dr. Nichols will discuss the implications of Blain’s research in the context of today’s news, offering the kinds of insights that only careful scholarship can provide. We are grateful to the many individual donors that sustain our mission and allow us to offer powerful educational programs like this at no cost. On the registration page, we invite you to make a donation in support of this work, so that OHS can continue to preserve the resources that historians such as Dr. Blain and Dr. Nichols rely on for their research and scholarship.

Please note that only those who register for this program in advance will have access to the program and to the post-event recording (which will be available through a password-protected site for 30 days). Zoom links will be sent to ticketholders one week, one day, and one hour before the event.

About the Speakers

Dr. Keisha N. Blain, a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow and a class of 2022 Carnegie Fellow, is an award-winning historian and writer with broad interests in 20th century United States, African American history, the modern African Diaspora, and women’s and gender studies. She completed a PhD in history from Princeton University in 2014 and is now a full professor of Africana studies and history at Brown University. She is also a columnist for MSNBC and past president of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) from 2017 to 2021. Blain has published extensively on race, gender, and politics in both national and global perspectives. She is the author of the highly acclaimed books Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (2018) and Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America (2021). She is also the co-editor of four books: To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism (2019); New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (2018); and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence (2016). Her most recent volume is the #1 New York Times bestseller Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited with Ibram X. Kendi (Penguin Random House/One World, 2021).

Keisha Blain headshot, courtesy of Keisha Blain

Christopher McKnight Nichols is a professor of history and  Wayne Woodrow Hayes Chair in National Security Studies, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, at The Ohio State University. He was formerly a history professor and director of the Center for the Humanities at Oregon State University. Nichols specializes in the history of the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world, particularly in the areas of isolationism, internationalism, and globalization. He is a frequent commentator on the historical dimensions of contemporary U.S. politics and foreign policy, including regular appearances on NPR, C-SPAN, and in the pages of the Washington Post, where he is an editorial board member of the “Made by History” section of the Post. He is also an expert on modern U.S. intellectual, political, and cultural history, from the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (1880–1920) through the present, and on the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. An Andrew Carnegie Fellow, Nichols is the author, co-author, or editor of six books, the most well-known of which is Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age (Harvard University Press, 2011 and 2015). In August 2022, his edited volume Ideology in U.S. Foreign Relations will be published by Columbia University Press, and he recently published another edited volume entitled Rethinking American Grand Strategy with Oxford University Press in 2021. A staunch advocate for history and the humanities, Nichols proudly served on the Oregon Historical Society Board of Trustees from 2016−2022.

Christopher McKnight Nichols, photo by Mina Carson