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Feinberg Family Lecture Series

The Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series is an endowed series offered every other academic year by the Department of History at UMass Amherst. Each series focuses on a contemporary public policy or social issue in historical perspective and features a wide variety of events, from lectures and exhibitions, to performances, panel discussions and films. 

This year's series is exploring the theme: The U.S. in the Age of Mass Incarceration, taking a critical look at the ways that state violence, mass incarceration, and mass criminalization have transformed the U.S. economy, culture and society. 

The Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible thanks to the generosity of UMass history department alumnus Kenneth R. Feinberg (B. A., 1967) and associates. Kenneth R. Feinberg grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts and received his B. A. in History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1967. A renowned attorney and one of the nation’s leading experts in resolving legal disputes out of court, he served as special-settlement master in a number of major class-action suits involving victims of asbestos, Agent Orange, securities fraud, and the Dalkon shield. Most prominently, Feinberg served as director of the Congressional fund to assist the families of those killed or injured in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He oversaw the distribution of almost $7,000,000,000 and his book, What is Life Worth?: The Unprecedented Effort to Compensate the Victims of 9/11 (Perseus, 2005), grew out of that experience. Mr. Feinberg has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2002.