UNE Center for Global Humanities presents ‘Reflections on the 1619 Project’ on April 27

Image showing a bunched-up and faded red, white, and blue flag
UNE will welcome scholar Robert Allison, a professor of history at Suffolk University, for the discussion at 6 p.m. on April 27.

In August 2019, New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and a team of writers working under her direction published the “1619 Project,” a collection of essays that challenged readers to reconsider widely held assumptions about the founding of the United States, arguing that the arrival of the first enslaved peoples in North America in 1619 constitutes the true founding of our nation. For her efforts, Hannah-Jones received the Pulitzer Prize along with countless other accolades. But the project has not been without its controversy. Some historians have contended that the project’s central focus on race and slavery fails to recognize other, equally important, foundational aspects of the nation’s history.     

Just how credible is the 1619 Project’s argument, and have race and slavery really played outsized roles in the formation of American culture and history? These are the questions scholar Robert Allison will address when he visits the University of New England Center for Global Humanities to present a lecture titled “Reflections on the 1619 Project” on Thursday, April 27, at 6 p.m. at the WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion on the UNE Portland Campus.

Allison is a professor of history at Suffolk University. He is also the president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, a scholarly organization focused on early American history, and a life-trustee of the USS Constitution Museum. As chair of Revolution 250, a consortium of organizations planning Revolutionary commemorations in Massachusetts, he hosts a weekly podcast featuring conversations on the Revolution with historians and interpreters. Allison is the author of several books, including “The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World,” a biography of American naval hero Stephen Decatur; short books on the history of Boston and the American Revolution; and an edition of “The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African.”

In addition to offering a critical appraisal of the 1619 Project in his lecture at UNE, Allison will encourage attendees to consider how we should commemorate the 250th anniversary of American independence in 2026.

This will be the fourth and final lecture of the Spring 2023 season for the Center for Global Humanities, where lectures are always free, open to the public, and streamed live online. For more information and to watch the event, please visit: https://www.une.edu/events/2023/reflections-1619-project