MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Nancy F. Cott, the Jonathan Trumbull professor of American history at Harvard University, will deliver the 2015 Charles S. Grant Memorial Lecture on Thursday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Dana Auditorium on the Middlebury College campus.
The topic will be “The Rei(g)n of Marriage: An American History,” and the lecture is free and open to the public.
Professor Cott is a noted historian of 19th- and 20th-century social movements, political culture, law, gender, and citizenship in the United States. She is the author of The Bonds of Womanhood (Yale University Press, 1977), The Grounding of Modern Feminism (Yale University Press, 1987), No Small Courage: A History of Women in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2000), and Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (Harvard University Press, 2001).
President-elect of the Organization of American Historians, Cott was the lead author in drafting the historians’ amicus brief on the history of marriage in the recent landmark Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, Obergefell v. Hodges. She also participated in writing the challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and testified as an expert witness in the federal Perry v. Schwarzenegger case in opposition to Proposition 8 in California.
The Charles S. Grant Memorial Lecture commemorates the gifted and beloved teacher who was an esteemed scholar at Middlebury College until his death in 1961. Shortly thereafter, several colleagues and friends in the Middlebury community created a fund that eventually became substantial enough to establish an annual lectureship in American history as a tribute to him.
Many prominent American historians of the past 35 years have delivered Grant lectures at Middlebury, including Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, David McCullough, James McPherson, John Lewis Gaddis, and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.