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John Stauffer speaks at the Lannan Foundation's Literary Series live at the Lensic Theater. 2013.

John Stauffer speaks at the Lannan Foundation's Literary Series live at the Lensic Theater. 2013.


John Stauffer is a leading authority on antislavery, the Civil War era, social protest movements and photography. He received his PhD from Yale in 1999 and won the Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize for the best dissertation in American Studies. He began teaching at Harvard that year and was tenured in 2004. He teaches courses on protest literature, Emancipation, southern literature, Douglass and Lincoln, the Civil War, autobiography, the nineteenth-century novel and historical fiction. He has received two teaching awards from Harvard: the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award and the Jan Thaddeus Teaching Prize and served as Chair of American Studies at Harvard from 2006-2012. Stauffer’s 19 books include The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race; Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln; and The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On. Two of his books were national bestsellers and several have won numerous awards. He is currently working on a biography of Charles Sumner. He is the author of more than 50 academic articles and his essays have also appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and The Washington Post, among other places. He also has advised three award-winning documentaries, and has been a consultant for feature films including Django Unchained (2012) and The Free State of Jones (2016). He has held the Ruth Garvey Cochener Fink Visiting Professorship in Leadership at Washburn University, a Massachusetts Historical Society Fellowship and a Gilder Lehrman Institute Fellowship, served as a Bancroft Prize Juror, and received Purdue University's Distinguished Alumni Award. He has appeared on national radio and television and has lectured widely throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, including for the State Department's International Information Program.

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