The lecture focuses on the United States Constitution and the way it does, and does not, address the new nation’s dependence on enslaved blacks. The talk then moves forward to consider how this attempted resolution broke down on the road to the American Civil War.
Richard Brodhead served as President of Duke University from 2004 to 2017. Under his leadership, Duke established many of its best-known international programs, including the Duke Global Health Institute, DukeEngage, and Duke Kunshan University. He is currently the William Preston Few Professor of English at Duke, and Honorary Chancellor of Duke Kunshan University. Brodhead received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University, where he had a 32-year career as a faculty member before coming to Duke, including eleven years as Dean of Yale College. A scholar of American literature and culture, he has written and edited more than a dozen books, and he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. The American Academy named him Co-Chair of its Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, and he co-authored its 2013 report, “The Heart of the Matter.”