Inaugural David T. Konig Lecture: The Jefferson Image in the American Mind in the 21st Century. The changing meaning of Jefferson's legacy in Modern America.

Professor Annette Gordon-Reed, Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard University
Annette Gordon-Reed

Annette Gordon-Reed will take Thomas Jefferson as a point of departure for a thought-provoking consideration of how Americans understand their own history.  She will consider how terms like freedom and slavery—terms now inseparable from Jefferson—have shaped the ways people talk about Jefferson.  This will be a wide-ranging consideration that explores politics and race, nation and identity, memory and memorials.

Gordon-Reed is Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University, where she is on the faculty of both the Harvard Law School and the Department of History.  She is the author of numerous books in both law and history.  She has received over sixteen major book prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for The Hemingses of Monticello, a magisterial study that explores one enslaved family on Thomas Jefferson’s plantation and in the process reimagines how we understand both Jefferson’s landmark home and the experience of slavery.  Her most recent book is the New York Times best-seller On Juneteenth, which combines both American history and family history in telling the story of commemoration of emancipation.


This lecture is sponsored by the David T. Konig Lecture Series Fund, with co-sponsorships from the Department of History; the American Culture Studies Program; the Department of African and African-American Studies; the Center for the Studies of Race, Ethnicity & Equity; and the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Named in honor of Professor David T. Konig, a long-serving faculty member in the History Department and School of Law, this lecture series showcases speakers working in Professor Konig’s fields of American legal history and early American history.


Your health and safety are important to us. All campus visitors must complete WashU’s visitor screening tool ( no more than four hours before coming to campus.  Kindly be prepared to show your screening results when you arrive at the event.