David W. Blight

Five Things I've Learned About

The Challenges and Triumphs of Writing Biography

in conversation with Nicholas Buccola

Presented in partnership with Project Word

LIVE: Wednesday, May 255:00pm pacific / 8:00pm eastern

Join acclaimed teacher, scholar and public historian David W. Blight in this 90-minute class and discover the Five Things He’s Learned about the ways that biography can help us better learn about thinking, writing, and living well.

Online Event Details

  • 90 minutes

Price

  • Single Ticket Price - $40.00
Add to Calendar 05/25/2022 05:00 PM 05/25/2022 06:00 PM America/Los_Angeles David W. Blight | The Challenges and Triumphs of Writing Biography

Join acclaimed teacher, scholar and public historian David W. Blight in this 90-minute class and discover the Five Things He’s Learned about the ways that biography can help us better learn about thinking, writing, and living well.

https://myfivethings.com/class/david-w-blight-the-challenges-and-triumphs-of-writing-biography/
Don’t get that ticket just yet!

This is just one of four Five Things I’ve Learned sessions devoted to The Power of the Written Word.

Join Roosevelt Montás, Myisha Cherry, David W. Blight, and Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. – and get special Series Ticket pricing.

Learn More

Join us in this 90-minute class and discover the Five Things We’ve Learned about the ways that t biography can help us better learn about thinking, writing, and living well.

Hi, I’m Nick Buccola, the author of The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America. I am thrilled to be hosting a series of four personal conversations with leading writers about their experience of the power of the written word.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author David W. Blight will join me for this second session in this series, Five Things I’ve Learned About the Challenges and Triumphs of Writing Biography. David and I met through the study of Frederick Douglass. We share a fascination with life and legacy of Douglass and a belief that the study of such historical figures is vital to the health of our political culture. But how do we undertake such work? How do we reconstruct and tell the story of a human life? Few scholars have devoted more thought to these questions than David and in this class, we will explore his journey as a biographer in order to learn things about thinking, writing, and living well.

David is a perfect fit for this series because he has devoted his life to studying individuals who have used the written word as their primary tool to bring about social change. Douglass often described words as his “weapon” in his lifelong battle to convince Americans to live up to their ideals. In his work on the power of historical memory, David has examined how the stories we tell ourselves about our history shape our sense of responsibility in the present. And in his current work on the great writer James Weldon Johnson, David will provide the world with yet another example of how one can transform reality through the use of language.

Please join us for what I know will be an enlightening and engaging class on the challenges and triumphs of writing biography. 

David W. Blight

David W. Blight is a teacher, scholar and public historian. At Yale University he is Sterling Professor of History, joining that faculty in January, 2003. As of June, 2004, he is Director, succeeding David Brion Davis, of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. In his capacity as director of the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale, Blight organizes conferences, working groups, lectures, the administering of the annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and many public outreach programs regarding the history of slavery and its abolition. He previously taught at Amherst College for thirteen years. In 2013-14 he was the William Pitt Professor of American History at Cambridge University, UK, and in 2010-11, Blight was the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th-Century American History at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. During the 2006-07 academic year he was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, New York Public Library. In October of 2018, Simon and Schuster published his new biography of Frederick Douglass, entitled, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, which garnered nine book awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Francis Parkman Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. The Douglass book has been optioned by Higher Ground Productions and Netflix for a projected feature film. Blight works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards of museums and historical societies, and as a member of a small team of advisors to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum team of curators. For that institution he wrote the recently published essay, “Will It Rise: September 11 in American Memory.”  In 2012, Blight was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and delivered an induction address, “The Pleasure and Pain of History.” In 2018, Blight was appointed by the Georgia Historical Society as a Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Teaching Fellow, which recognizes national leaders in the field of history as both writers and educators whose research has enhanced or changed the way the public understands the past.

Purchase Ticket

Don’t get that ticket just yet!

This is just one of four Five Things I’ve Learned sessions devoted to The Power of the Written Word.

Join Roosevelt Montás, Myisha Cherry, David W. Blight, and Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. – and get special Series Ticket pricing.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

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