Picturing Frederick Douglass

Lecture by John Stauffer

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 6:00pm
Collins Cinema

In his lecture, Picturing Frederick Douglass, John Stauffer explains how and why Frederick Douglass became the most photographed American in the 19th century.
Douglass believed photography could be a powerful weapon for battling slavery and racism and achieving civil rights, a complement to speeches, writings, and other forms of protest. Through the circulation of his portraits, he helped launch one of the great ideological wars in American history: between dignified African Americans and racist stereotypes. In the process, he became a public face of the nation.
John Stauffer is professor of English and African American Studies and former chair of American Studies at Harvard University, and the editor of 21st Editions, a limited edition photography press. He is the author or editor of over 20 books and 100 articles focusing on antislavery and/or photography.
Sponsored by The Freedom Project. The Freedom Project at Wellesley College is dedicated to the exploration of the idea of freedom in all of its manifestations, but especially in the tradition of Western classical liberalism. This tradition emphasizes the sanctity of individual rights, freedom of contract and economic rights, constitutional democracy, and the rule of law. The Freedom Project also promotes interdisciplinary understandings of the idea of freedom, and values expansive intellectual pluralism and debate, especially on contentious issues.