The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Distinguished Annual Lecture

The Department of History’s Distinguished Annual Lecture celebrates the 1996 establishment of the UMass/Five College Graduate Program in History. Combining the faculty and resources of the University of Massachusetts Amherst with those of four of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges -- Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges -- this collaboration provides graduate students with an extraordinary depth of intellectual resources. Offered every academic year for more than 20 years, the program’s signature annual lecture has been delivered by some of the nation’s foremost historians.

2020-2021 Distinguished Annual Lecturer: Mike Davis

California Burning: The Apocalyptic Trinity of Climate Change, Alien Plant Invasion and Exurbanization

An activist and writer, Mike Davis is the author of 20 books, including City of Quartz, Ecology of Fear, Planet of Slums, The Monster at Our Door, Magical Urbanism, Late-Victorian Holocausts, and most recently (with Jon Wiener) Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties.

This event is offered in partnership with the 2020-2021 UMass Amherst History Department Feinberg Series, Planet on a Precipice: Histories and Futures of the Environmental Emergency. It will take place on Zoom, Facebook and YouTube. Spanish interpretation and closed captioning will be available. Free and open to all. Wednesday, October 7, 6pm.


Recent Distinguished Annual Lectures

2019-2020 | Erika Lee, Xenophobia in America: How We Got Here and What's At Stake

2018-2019 | Martha Newman, Assigned Female at Death: Joseph of Schönau's Disruption of Medieval Gender Binaries

2017-2018 | Scott Bruce, The Dark Age of Herodotus: Shards of a Fugitive History in Medieval Europe

2016-2017 | Talitha LeFlouria, Chained in Silence: A History of Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South

2015-2016 | Antoinette Burton, The Trouble with Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism 

2014-2015 | Tom Foster, Sex and the Founding Fathers: The American Quest for a Relatable Past

2013 | Ned Blackhawk, Indigenous Reckonings: American Indians and the Remaking of U.S. History

2012 | Thavolia Glymph, “Slavery is Not Dead: Black Women and Children on the Civil War’s Battlefield”


Book signing with Talitha LeFlouria following her 2016 lecture