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News Release

October 22, 2007


Cynthia Haven, News Service: (650) 724-6184,

Matthew Tiews, Stanford Humanities Center: (650) 725-0896,

Schama to speak on abolition of slave trade on Oct. 29

Simon Schama's 2006 book, Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution, tells the story of America's first emancipation: not the one afforded by the Emancipation Proclamation, but one nearly a century earlier, during the American Revolution, when the British offered freedom to the slaves who would fight on the side of the Crown.

Now Schama moves forward in history to explore the legacy of the slave trade in his Presidential Lecture, "The Abolition of the Slave Trade Two Hundred Years On—America and Britain: Two Diverging Destinies?"

The lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, in Cubberley Auditorium. A discussion with Schama is scheduled for 10 a.m. the following day, Oct. 30, at the Stanford Humanities Center. Admission to both events is free and open to the public.

Schama is a professor of art history and history at Columbia University; he also is a prolific writer and an award-winning broadcaster. His books have won the Wolfson Award for History, the National Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, the W. H. Smith Prize for Literature and the National Book Critics' Circle Award for general nonfiction.

As a broadcaster, he has written and presented more than 30 films for the BBC and PBS, including two films on Rembrandt; a five-part series based on his book Landscape and Memory; the award-winning, Emmy-nominated A History of Britain; a film on Tolstoy; a 90-minute adaptation of Rough Crossings; and, most recently, the eight-part Power of Art.

Schama writes regularly on culture and politics for The Guardian and, since 1994, has contributed articles to The New Yorker, for which he won a 1996 National Magazine Award for art criticism.

Schama's visit is sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center. The Stanford Presidential Lectures in the Humanities and Arts bring distinguished scholars, artists and critics to campus for lectures, discussions and a variety of related interactions with faculty, students and the community.


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