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Reckford Lecture

The Institute hosts the annual Mary Stevens Reckford Memorial Lecture in European Studies, established in 1990 by UNC Classics Professor Kenneth J. Reckford to honor his wife, Mary Stevens Reckford (February 25, 1934 – November 12, 1987).

The lecture is designed to appeal to the public, rather than specialists. Speakers are asked to provide “pleasure, instruction, an interdisciplinary approach and a sense of shared humanity.” Because Mary Reckford’s birthday is Feb. 25, the Institute hosts the lecture within the month of February.

A graduate of Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mary Reckford took graduate courses at UNC through the Evening College (now known as The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education) for five years, studying such topics as Renaissance intellectual history, St. Augustine, sixteenth-century English literature, Arthurian literature, the Mediterranean world in the sixteenth century, and the history of science from the late-medieval period through the eighteenth century. She was mother to the Reckfords’ five children, Rachel, Joseph, Jonathan, Sam and Sarah.

Reckford Lecturers

2024 Christine Poggi, professor of fine arts and the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director, New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. “From Primal Matter to Surrogate Veneer: Wood and Faux Bois in Picasso’s Cubism.”

2023 – Ana Lucia Araujo, Professor of History at Howard University. “Slavery as History and Memory.”

2022 – Magdalena J. Zaborowska, Professor of African America and American literacy and cultural studies at the University of Michigan. “‘Between Home, Blackness, and Me’: Unsettling Locations, Lives, and Archives in American Literary Studies.”

2021 – Catherine Woollard, Director of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles

2020 – Ronald “R.A.” Judy, Professor of English, University of Pittsburgh

2019 – Stefani Engelstein, Professor and Chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at Duke University

2018 – Zia Haider Rahman, Author, In the Light of What We Know (2014)

2017 – Leon Botstein, President, Bard College and Music Director, American Symphony Orchestra

2016 – Stephanie Schrader, Curator, J. Paul Getty Museum

2015 – Modris Eksteins, Professor Emeritus of History at University of Toronto

2014 – Michael Geyer, Samuel N. Harper Professor of German and European History at the University of Chicago

2013 – Martin Puchner, Professor of Drama and English and Comparative Literature

2012 – Mark Mazower, Professor of World Order Studies, Columbia University

2011 – Chantal Mouffe, Professor of Political Theory, the University of Westminster, London

2010 – Catherine Hall, Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History, University College London

2008 – Joan W. Scott, Harold F. Lindner Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study

2007 – Caroline Walker Bynum, Professor of Western European Middle Ages, Institute for Advanced Study

2003 – Kenneth J. Reckford, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Classics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2001 – Jaquelin T. Robertson, Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University

2000 – Robert Pinsky, Poet Laureate of the United States, Professor, Graduate Writing Program, Boston University

1999 – Peter Burke, Professor of Cultural History and Fellow, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University

1998 – Natalie Zemon Davis, Henry Charles Lea Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Princeton University

1997 – Lynn Hunt, Annenberg Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

1996 – Peter Brown, Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History, Princeton University

1995 – Carlo Ginzburg, Franklin D. Murphy Professor of Italian Renaissance Studies, University of California

1994 – Peter Paret, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study

1993 – Robert Darnton, Professor of European History and Director of The Program in European Cultural Studies, Princeton University

1992 – Alvatore I. Camporeale, Professor at the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies and Johns Hopkins University

1991 – Rona Goffen, Professor of Art History, Rutgers University

1990 – Nancy S. Streuver, Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University

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