Co-sponsored by the William P. Clements Department of History, SMU
Promotional Partner: World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
Danielle Allen, the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, was awarded a 2002 MacArthur Fellowship for her ability to combine "the classicist's careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist's sophisticated and informed engagement."
Featured on the front page of the New York Times, Allen’s Our Declaration is already regarded as a seminal work that reinterprets the promise of American democracy through our founding text. Combining a personal account of teaching the Declaration line by line with a vivid evocation of the colonial world, Allen reveals our nation’s founding text to be an animating force that not only changed the world more than two hundred years ago, but also still can. Challenging conventional wisdom, she boldly makes the case that the Declaration is a document as much about political equality as about individual liberty. Author Cornel West says, “This wise and rich book is what we need in these troubled times.”
Bestselling author Andrew Solomon praises Allen’s 2017 memoir Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A., saying, “In this narrative of freedom and incarceration, education and disadvantage, rehabilitation and punishment, Danielle Allen paints an unforgettable portrait of a cousin she loved. The pacing is brisk and novelistic, but the message is large and clear: we need urgently to reform the system through which we process juveniles who commit crime, because the current system perpetuates the very injustices it was designed to address.” Readers of Ralph Ellison and Ta-Nehisi Coates don’t want to miss hearing Danielle Allen speak.