This Thursday and Friday, September 24-25, 2020, the Marshall Center in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond will host a Frederick Douglass Webinar. This was originally scheduled as a conference last spring, but the pandemic caused a change of time and venue. That allows more people to attend.
The webinar begins on Friday night at 7pm with the keynote by the fantastic David Blight, who will speak on his book Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. Questions from the audience can be submitted in the chat section in writing, as tends to be the case with webinars.
Thursday morning, at 11 am, begins with the panel "Frederick Douglass's America," followed by a lunch break. Then, at 1 pm, "Statesmanship in Douglass's Life and Thought," and, at 2:30 pm, "The Political Thought of Frederick Douglass."
After a thirty minute break, Blight returns with Edward Ayers to conclude with closing remarks and dialogue.
Each panel on Friday has three speakers, and questions can be submitted in the chat section in writing. David Blight and I are the historians amid political scientists, and I really still haven't figured out how to speak to political scientists. I always feel a little silly telling my stories while they are up there making big idea arguments, although I know that my stories are neither silly nor little and actually contain big ideas. So much so that fifteen minutes cannot contain them all and another fifty minutes ends up on the cutting-room floor.
I do know, after working on a bibliography for Oxford University Press, that the political scientists are doing some great work integrating Douglass's early abolition with his later political positions. The usual narrative describes him as having become conservative or falling away from his radicalism during his later decades, but they show a consistency of principles and ideology across his work. The really good political scientists work in that area where philosophy and politics overlap, where we lay people usually find the philosophes of the Enlightenment, which moves into the questions and problems of putting ideology into action. I usually think of it as a spectrum of ideology, activism, and operational politics -- that is, from your ideals on one hand and how to get things done on the other.
Anyway, the program is here: https://jepson.richmond.edu/conferences/marshall/douglass-schedule.html
The registration form is here: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eh9z9lse8a29f176&oseq=&c=&ch=
More on the Marshall Center Lecture Series here, with links to the registration form and webinar on the page, in case the above links don't work: https://jepson.richmond.edu/conferences/marshall/lecture-series.html