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6 Panalists
2 Single speaker
5 Morton Kondracke
3 Speaker in room
1 A panel of speakers
4 Speaker in room

Upcoming Kluge Center Events


The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, in partnership with the Middle Passage Project of the College of William & Mary, Norfolk State University and the Virginia Commonwealth’s 2019 Commemoration, is pleased to present:

Symposium: 1619 and the Making of America: The Encounter of Africans, Indigenous People, and “The English” in Early Virginia

FEBRUARY 23, 2018, at 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Room LJ-119, First floor, Thomas Jefferson Building (view map)

Tickets are not required for this event, which is free and open to the public.

1619 was a pivotal year in America’s history: it marks the arrival of the first Africans to English North America; the establishment of the first permanent English Colony in North America at Jamestown, Virginia; and the first representative legislative assembly in the New World with the founding of the House of Burgesses.

This Symposium will explore the intricate encounters of Africans, Europeans, and Native peoples during this pivotal period. Who were the Africans who arrived in Jamestown in 1619, where did they come from, what world did they bring with them? What emerged from Africans’ engagement with indigenous Native American populations and their spiritual and cultural life-ways, and what is the enduring legacy of this encounter today? Read news release

Eventually, Virginia would become a center of the American slave trade. But in early seventeenth-century America, Blacks exercised full citizenship rights, including the rights to vote, to pay taxes, and to hold indentured servants. Some, like Anthony Johnson, became owners of sizeable tracts of land.

What brought an end to this fleeting period in American history when concepts of race and difference had not hardened into ideology and everyday practice? From 1619-1650, during the life span of the first arriving Africans, racial discrimination emerged and chattel slavery would be codified into law. How were the relationships among Red and Black people affected by this change? How might historians help us reclaim the humanity of these early Africans that was denied to them through the institution of slavery and recover their contributions to the making of America? How might contemporary understanding of the meaning of America as a nation of diverse immigrants and indigenous peoples be informed by exploring this history and examining its legacies?

This Kluge Center program will promote historical accessibility to the meaning of 1619 and lay the groundwork for a national dialogue and renewed understanding of major events that began 400 years ago.

The Middle Passage Project of the College of William & Mary will present some of the project’s findings. Founded in 1995, The Middle Passage Project explores the history and memory surrounding the transatlantic slave trade, its resounding effects on Africans in the Americas, and its representation in literature and the humanities, art, and history, it also makes possible the study.

The Symposium will begin with three short presentations by scholars from the College of William & Mary and Norfolk State University, who have been exploring the meaning of 1619 in a partnership for more than five years. A panel discussion and conversation with the audience, including the press, will follow. The program will be accompanied by the display of books, maps, and other documents from Library of Congress collections and be followed by a brief reception, to which all are invited.

The planned outcomes of this Kluge Center Symposium include a digital database, a “1619 Making of America Summit” hosted by Norfolk State University (2019), and the Tenth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora with 900 scholars from around the world in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia (2019). All are collaborations with the Virginia Commonwealth 2019 Commission and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. Additional interest and support are welcome.


Joanne M. Braxton, Ph.D., M.Div., 2015 David M. Larson Fellow in Spirituality and Health at the John W. Kluge Center, Director of the Middle Passage Project at the College of William & Mary. Dr. Braxton is the author or editor of many books and articles, including Monuments of the Black Atlantic: Slavery and Memory, an anthology of essays on the Afro-Atlantic experience (Lit Verlag, 2003) and The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar (U of Virginia P, 1993). An article based on the symposium presentation is scheduled for publication in a forthcoming issue of the American Indian Cultural and Research Journal on Blackness and Indigeneity. Dr. Braxton is currently compiling a database of the spatial relations of Africans and Native Americans in early Virginia.

Robert Trent Vinson, Ph.D., Frances L. and Edwin L Cummings Professor at the College of William & Mary. Dr. Vinson received his Ph.D. in African History from Howard University and is the author of several books, including The Americans Are Coming! The Dream of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa (Ohio UP, 2012) and Albert Luthuli: Mandela before Mandela (Ohio UP, 2018). In the fall of 2019, Dr. Vinson will convene the Tenth Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) with 900 scholars from around the world in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia.

Cassandra Newby-Alexander, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Director of the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies at Norfolk State University. Dr. Newby-Alexander is the author of Virginia Waterways and the Underground Railroad (History Press, 2017), An African-American History of the Civil War in Hampton Roads (History Press, 2010) and other books. In September 2019, Dr. Newby-Alexander will host the American Evolution “1619 Making of America Summit,” at Norfolk State University, which will be a cross-cultural event exploring the contributions and influences of the three founding cultures of African descent, Native Peoples, and the English, and others. The September 2019 summit will be woven together by the three major commemoration themes, Democracy, Diversity, and Opportunity.

Lynette Lewis Allston is chief and Tribal Council chair of the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, one of 11 officially recognized by the Commonwealth. She is co-author of the book, Do TraTung, (Nottoway Press, 2013), which offers a compelling look at the history, culture and lifestyle of the Nottoway Indians. Allston led the successful state recognition of the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, Incorporated and is recognized for her influential state recognition petition letter.

Please check back soon for more events.

Videos of past events may be watched here

Wish to be a scholar-in-residence at the Kluge Center? Visit our fellowships page

To Attend an Event

Kluge LogoThe, John W. Kluge Center hosts lectures, book talks, panel discussions and symposia that highlight the work of its scholars-in-residence.

Unless otherwise noted:
Events are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.

Events occur inside the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building. Get general maps and directions here. Please allow time for routine security procedures.

Links to more information are provided as available.

Request ADA accommodations five days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

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   Washington DC 20540-4860


2017 Press Releases

November 29, 2017 (17-173)
Kluge Fellow To Present Cutting-Edge Research on Social Media and Politics

November 13, 2017 (17-169)
Library to Host Symposium on Early Research of Papers of King George III

October 30, 2017 (17-162)
Kluge Center Lectures to Explore Early Mapping in China, Persia

September 21, 2017 (17-135)
John Haskell Named Director of John W. Kluge Center

September 8, 2017 (17-124)
Library Astrobiology Symposium Explores "Life As It Could Be"

July 10, 2017 (17-094)
Walkowicz Named Astrobiology Chair at Kluge Center

April 7, 2017 (17-047)
Kluge Center to Host Panel on Religious Belief in American History, May 4

March 27, 2017 (17-039)
Wayne Wiegand, Timothy Breen, and Jose Casanova To Deliver Kluge Center Lectures

March 2, 2017 (17-025)
Discussion on "Fiction, Faith and the Imagination" To Honor Marilynne Robinson

January 12, 2017 (17-002)
New Scholars Working on American Film, History and Library Studies Arrive at Kluge Center

2016 Press Releases

December 1, 2016 (16-206)
Symposium on Contemporary African Immigrants in the United States, Dec. 15

November 15, 2016 (16-198)
Italian Art of Papermaking Is Subject of New Library Publication

November 2, 2016 (16-195)
Swann Foundation Now Accepting Fellowship Applications

October 12, 2016 (16-182)
Sociologist Bruce Carruthers to Discuss Trust and Credit in America, Oct. 28

September 29, 2016 (16-172)
Edward Widmer Appointed Director of The John W. Kluge Center

September 6, 2016 (16-151)
Toyin Falola Begins as Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South

September 6, 2016 (16-150)
Barry Posen Begins as Kissinger Chair

August 18, 2016 (16-137)
Wayne Wiegand Appointed Distinguished Visiting Scholar

August 15, 2016 (16-135)
Astrobiology Symposium to Explore the Emergence of Life, Sept. 15

July 29, 2016 (16-123)
Peace and the Quran Subject of Kluge Center Lecture

July 7, 2016 (16-113)
Peng Guoxiang Named Chair in Countries and Cultures of the North

June 28, 2016 (16-111)
Luis Campos Named Astrobiology Chair

June 21, 2016 (16-109)
Barry Posen Named Kissinger Chair

May 27, 2016 (16-095)
“Fathers of the Internet” Headline Saving the Web Symposium, June 16

May 11, 2016 (16-085)
Juan Cole Named Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South

May 10, 2016 (16-087)
Bruce Carruthers Named Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History

May 9, 2016 (16-086)
Peter Brooks to Discuss 1871 “Bloody Week” of Paris, June 2

April 25, 2016 (16-073)
John Sexton to Discuss the Future of American Research Universities, May 26

April 22, 2016 (16-072)
Bruce Jentleson to Discuss Transformational Statesmanship of 20th Century, May 19

April 14, 2016 (16-069)
Scientists to Discuss New Findings about Depression and Its Treatment, May 5

April 5, 2016 (16-064)
Wendy Hall Named Kluge Chair in Technology and Society

March 17, 2016 (16-054)
Norman Mineta and Alan Simpson to Discuss Privacy and Civil Liberties at the Daniel K. Inouye Distinguished Lecture, April 19

February 29, 2016 (16-046)
Four Pioneering Scientists to Discuss “The Origins of the RNA World,” March 17

February 11, 2016 (16-027)
Peter Brooks Appointed Distinguished Visiting Scholar

February 9, 2016 (16-028)
Maguire Lecture Rescheduled to April 26

January 8, 2016 (16-009)
John Sexton Named Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance

January 5, 2016 (16-003)
David Hollenbach to Discuss Humanitarian Crises and People Displaced by War

2015 Press Releases

November 19, 2015 (15-205)
Mary Dudziak to Discuss America’s Entry into World War I

October 30, 2015 (15-197)
John Witte to Discuss the Lasting Impact of the Protestant Reformation

October 23, 2015 (15-191)
Marie Arana Named Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South

October 16, 2015 (15-185)
Comfort Begins Tenure as Third Chair in Astrobiology

September 17, 2015 (15-162)
Ambassador Robert Gallucci to Serve as Director of the John W. Kluge Center

September 11, 2015 (15-160)
John Witte, Jr. Named Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the North

August 11, 2015 (15-125)
Philosophers Habermas and Taylor to Share $1.5 Million Kluge Prize

July 28, 2015 (15-128)
Third Blumberg Dialogue to Focus on Astrobiology and the Arts

July 27, 2015 (15-127)
Mary Dudziak Named Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance

June 25, 2015 (15-114)
Sreten Ugričić Appointed Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Kluge Center

June 17, 2015 (15-109)
Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell Announced as Inaugural Speakers for Daniel K. Inouye Distinguished Lecture Series

June 12, 2015 (15-093)
Ed Ayers to Discuss “The Shape of the Civil War,” June 24

May 21, 2015 (15-088)
Top Scholars Engage in Rapid-Fire Dialogues at ScholarFest, June 11

May 8, 2015 (15-082)
Second Blumberg Dialogue on Astrobiology May 27-28

May 1, 2015 (15-074)
William Julius Wilson to Discuss Race and Economic Class, May 21

April 22, 2015 (15-070)
Bradford Lee to Lecture on U.S. Military Intervention in WWI

April 15, 2015 (15-067)
David Hollenbach Named to Maguire Chair at the Kluge Center

April 7, 2015 (15-055)
Nathaniel Comfort Named to Chair in Astrobiology at John W. Kluge Center

April 6, 2015 (15-054)
Bruce Jentleson Named Kissinger Chair at John W. Kluge Center

April 2, 2015 (15-046)
Kluge Center Celebrates 15 Years with ScholarFest June 10-11

March 11, 2015 (15-036)
Kislak Lecture to Examine Forensic Imaging of Historic Manuscripts

March 2, 2015 (15-033)
First Blumberg Dialogue to Focus on Astrobiology and Religion

February 11, 2015 (15-025)
William Julius Wilson Named Kluge Chair

January 9, 2015 (15-003)
Kluge Center Announces Blumberg Dialogue Series in Astrobiology

2014 Press Releases

October 28, 2014 (14-191)
Bradford Lee Appointed Kissinger Chair

October 14, 2014 (14-180)
McAuliffe to Serve as Director of John W. Kluge Center

October 10, 2014 (14-182)
How Discovery of Life in the Universe Will Transform Our Thinking

August 15, 2014 (14-146)
Astrobiology Symposium “Preparing for Discovery” Explores Impact of Finding Life Beyond Earth, Sept. 18-19

June 30, 2014 (14-115)
Origins of the Tet Offensive, 1958 Referendum in French West Africa Subject of July Lectures

May 27, 2014 (14-091)
Kluge Center Hosts Astrobiology and Theology Discussion June 18

February 21, 2014 (14-030)
Lecture Series Looks at Foreign Policy Through the Lens of Realpolitik

February 3, 2014 (14-017)
Scholars to Discuss World Christianity, Immigration and the United States, Feb. 26

January 10, 2014 (14-006)
Leading Authorities in Astrobiology to Discuss the Societal Implications of the Search for Life in the Universe

January 2, 2014 (14-002)
Robin Lovin to Discuss Moral Vocabulary in Politics, Jan. 23

2013 Press Releases

October 18, 2013 (13-177)
John Bew Named Kissinger Chair at John W. Kluge Center

October 17, 2013 (13-179)
New Chair in Astrobiology at Kluge Center Arrives Nov. 1

September 30, 2013 (13-171)
Scholars to Discuss World Christianity, Immigration and the U.S.

September 13, 2013 (13-158)
Shrinking Moral Vocabulary in Politics

August 15, 2013 (13-142)
Longevity of Human Civilization Symposium at Kluge Center

August 5, 2013 (13-140)
Former College President Appointed Distinguished Visiting Scholar

June 21, 2013 (13-123)
Scholar Uncovers the Autobiographies of India, July 11

June 11, 2013 (13-115)
Kluge Center Announces Summer 2013 Lecture Season

May 20, 2013 (13-103)
Morton Kondracke to Discuss the Life and Career of Jack Kemp, June 4

April 30, 2013 (13-083)
Steven Dick Named Chair in Astrobiology at Kluge Center

April 15, 2013 (13-074)
"The Ike Age: Eisenhower, America & the World of the 1950s," Lecture

April 8, 2013 (13-067)
"Why Two in One Flesh? The Western Case for Monogamy over Polygamy" April 30

March 27, 2013 (13-061)
Advisory: Igniting Conversations, Illuminating Minds, April 29-May 2

March 13, 2013 (13-049)
Indian Historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam Appointed Chair At The John W. Kluge Center

February 15, 2013 (13-027)
Scholars to Examine Human & Moral Relationship to the Environment

January 31, 2013 (13-018)
Library of Congress Seeks Applicants for Fellowships in the John W. Kluge Center

January 31, 2013 (13-016)
Robin Lovin Named to the Cary & Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History

January 18, 2013 (13-010)
Kluge Center Announces Winter/Spring Lecture Season

For More Information

Press contact:
Donna Urschel, (202) 707-1639

Public contact:
Jason Steinhauer, (202) 707-0213

[email protected]


Current Issue

Celebrating 15 Years

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In this issue
A record Kluge Prize, the first ever #ScholarFest & the inaugural Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Lecture cap a celebration of 15 years of The John W. Kluge Center.

Open the Fall 2015 Newsletter (PDF, 714 KB)

Past Issues

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Email us at: [email protected]

Write to us at:
   The John W. Kluge Center
   Library of Congress
   101 Independence Ave SE
   Washington DC 20540-4860


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