Edward L. Ayers

Winner of the 2012 National Humanities Medal, President Emeritus and Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities at the University of Richmond, former professor of history at the University of Virginia and dean of UVA’s Graduate School and College of Arts & Sciences, and the co-host of the public radio program Backstory with the American History Guys as the show’s 19th-Century Guy.

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Melody Barnes

Served as the assistant to the president and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council from 2009 to 2012 and is now the vice provost for global student leadership initiatives at New York University

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Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the […]

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John Freeman

Editor of a biannual literary journal, Freeman’s, an accomplished nonfiction writer, and serves as the executive editor at the Literary Hub

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Stanley Nelson

Emmy-Award winning documentary filmmaker, the creator of Freedom Riders, and 2013 recipient of a National Humanities Medal.

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Sir Salman Rushdie

Sir Salman Rushdie is one of the most celebrated authors of our time. A brilliant provocateur, he’s penned a handful of classic novels, influenced a generation of writers, and received a Queen’s Knighthood […]

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Alice Waters

Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four […]

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John Bridgeland

President and CEO of the public policy firm Civic Enterprises, who served as assistant to the President under George W. Bush and as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Alphonse Fletcher University Professor & director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, cultural critic, journalist, and host of Finding Your Roots

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Gilbert King

American writer and photographer best known as the author of Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America (2012), which won the Pulitzer Prize

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Dion Diamond

Civil rights activist who took part in the original Freedom Riders movement in 1961 while he was a student at Howard University

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Peter S. Onuf

Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History, Emeritus at the University of Virginia, Senior Research Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, Monticello, and the co-host of the public radio program Backstory with the American History Guys as the show’s 18th-Century Guy

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Karl Marlantes

Writer and veteran, his latest work is the non-fiction, What It Is Like to Go to War, which weaves his personal recollections of Vietnam with analysis of the effects of war on those who fight

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Annette Gordon-Reed

Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School, and a Professor of History at Harvard University. She won a Pulitzer Prize in History in 2008 for her book, The Hemingses of Monticello

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Daniel Mendelsohn

Award-winning, internationally bestselling author, critic, translator and essayist; writes frequently for The New York Review of Books and The New Yorker and teaches literature at Bard College

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Joan Browning

One of the nine original Albany Freedom Riders and has given more than 75 lectures across the country about her experiences as an activist in the civil rights movement.

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Diane McWhorter

Author of the Pulitzer Prize winning work, Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama—The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution

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Jill Lepore

Staff writer at The New Yorker and the David Woods Kemper ‘41 Professor of American History at Harvard University

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Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Editor, geographer and writer whose work has appeared in The New York Review of Books, New York, Harper’s, the Believer, Artforum, and The Nation

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Nick Carr

Writer on technology and culture, known for the accliamed book The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us

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Sidney Milkis

Author and Professor of the Department of Politics and Faculty Associate in the Miller Center at the University of Virginia

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Bree Newsome

Award-winning filmmaker, writer, composer, community activist and organizer; in 2015, Newsome famously scaled the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Statehouse to remove the Confederate flag

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Lucia Stanton

Monticello’s Shannon Senior Historian Emeritus and founder of the Getting Word oral history project and expert on the enslaved families of Monticello

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Ed Meese

75th Attorney General of the United States (1985-1988). He is an author and a law professor, now sitting on the National Advisory Board of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education

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Hua Hsu

Writer, Associate professor of English at Vassar College and contributor to The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, and The Wire

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Jack Hamilton

Assistant Professor of American Studies and Media Studies at the University of Virginia and pop critic at Slate

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Jon Meacham

Presidential historian, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, contributing editor at TIME, and executive vice president at Random House Books, as well as a trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello

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Lulu Miller

Co-host of the NPR program Invisibilia who previously held a Poe-Faulkner Fellowship for her fiction writing at the University of Virginia

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Liz Ogbu

Designer, urbanist, and expert on sustainable design and spacial innovation in challenged urban environments globally

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Patrick Cox

Editor, reporter and broadcaster at Public Radio International and host of the podcast The World in Words.

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Barbara Perry

White Burkett Miller Professor of Ethics and Institutions at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center where she is also the director of presidential studies and the co-chair of the Presidential Oral History Program

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Michele Norris

American radio journalist, former co-host of National Public Radio’s newsmagazine All Things Considered, and founder of the Race Card Project

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Sarah Lewis

Bestselling author, curator, and assistant professor of history of art and architecture and African American Studies in the Department of History of Art + Architecture at Harvard University

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Zach Grenier

Actor, known for his performances in Fight Club (1999), Deadwood (2004-2006), and The Good Wife (2009-2016)

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Kathryn Erbe

Actress, known for her performances in Stir of Echoes (1999) and Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001-2011). She is an ensemble member of the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City

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Joshua Yates

Director of the Thriving Cities Project, Research Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, and Director of the Program on Culture, Capitalism, and Global Change at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

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Liz Smith

Chairman and CEO, Bloomin’ Brands, Inc, one of the world’s largest casual dining companies.

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Leslie Bowman

President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and operates the UNESCO World Heritage site, Monticello

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Peter Hedlund

Peter Hedlund is Lead Technologist at Encyclopedia Virginia, an online project of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

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Fraser Neiman

Director of archaeology at Monticello, as well as a lecturer in the anthropology program of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Architectural History at the University of Virginia.

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Andrew Johnston

Associate professor and the director of the Historical Preservation Program in the Department of Architectural History at the University of Virginia.

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Elizabeth Venditto

Project Manager for Immigrant Stories, a digital storytelling and archiving project at the University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center

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Jeanette Abi-Nader

Executive Director of City Schoolyard Garden and member of the Charlottesville Food Justice Network. She helped launch the national Growing Food and Justice For All Initiative.

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Deborah E. McDowell

Alice Griffin Professor of English and the director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia, as well as a member of the President’s Commission on Slavery at UVA

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Marian Wright Edelman

Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund, author and lifelong advocate for disadvantaged Americans, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award

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Nikki Giovanni

Acclaimed poet, writer, commentator, educator, political activist, a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, and the recipient of a Langston Hughes Award for Distinguished Contributions in Arts and Letters

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Gene Schutt

President of the College Foundation and Associate Dean for Development of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia

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Dahlia Lithwick

Senior editor at Slate, and in that capacity, writes the “Supreme Court Dispatches” and “Jurisprudence” columns

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Chad Wellmon

Chair of the planning committee of Human/Ties, Associate Professor of German Studies and History and UVa Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

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James Davison Hunter

Labrosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor of Religion, Culture and Social Theory at the University of Virginia and executive director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

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Jared Harris

Samuel L. Slover Research Associate Professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and a Senior Fellow at Darden’s Olsson Center for Applied Ethics

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Sonya Clark

Chair of the Craft and Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts

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Holly Cowan Shulman

Research Professor in the Department of History at the University of Virginia, Editor of the Dolley Madison Digital Edition, and Founding Director of Documents Compass at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

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Reverend Reginald Green

Part of the Freedom Riders movement when he was a seminarian at Virginia Union University, before serving as the pastor of Walker Memorial Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

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Lynn Novick

Director and producer of landmark documentaries about American history and culture for more than twenty-five years, A Peabody and Emmy award winner, and creative partner and principal collaborator of Ken Burns since the early 1990s; together they have co-directed more than 60 hours of programming, some of the most critically acclaimed and top-rated documentaries to have aired on PBS

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Garnette Cadogan

Essayist and journalist who focuses on history, culture, and the arts. He is editor-at-large for Non-Stop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas (edited by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro) and is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of the Harlem Renaissance

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Stuart Rockoff

Executive Director of the Mississippi Humanities Council, which supports various humanities education initiatives for inmates at Mississippi state prisons.

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Christopher Jackson

Actor and Emmy and Grammy Award winning songwriter/composer, currently performing as George Washington in the award-winning musical, Hamilton

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Jay Tolson

Editor of The Hedgehog Review, a publication of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia

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Sara Guyer

Director of the Center for the Humanities and a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Debjani Ganguly

Director of the Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures (IHGC) and a professor of English at the University of Virginia

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John Mason

Associate professor and the associate chair of the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia who specializes in African history and the history of photography

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Kirt von Daacke

Associate professor of history and an assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia whose research focuses on social constructions of race, social hierarchies, and identity in 18th- and 19th-century America.

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Lisa Woolfork

Associate professor of English at the University of Virginia and a faculty affiliate at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies.

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Jennifer Stertzer

Senior editor of the Papers of George Washington and the manager of digital programs at the Center for Digital Editing at the University of Virginia

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Worthy Martin

Associate professor and associate chair of computer science as well as the co-director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia

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Greg Fairchild

E. Thayer Bigelow Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business

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Bruce Reed

Former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and the former president of the Broad Foundation which advances entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science, and the arts

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Sandra Sheppard

Executive producer of Children’s and Educational Media at Thirteen/WNET, a public television station in New York City

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Marc Ruppel

Senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Public Programs, where he specializes in digital media and transmedia storytelling

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Ravon Ruffin

D.C.-based museum consultant and creative; urban sustainability, digital culture and Black Feminist discourse are the lens through which she seeks to redefine the museum as a community space

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Amanda Figueroa

PhD student in American Studies at Harvard University; her academic research examines the use of art and performance in antifemicide activism at the El Paso-Cd. Juárez border

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Elaine C. Kamarck

Senior Fellow in the Governance Studies program as well as the Director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution

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