"An Academic Life" with Hanna Holborn Gray and John Mark Hansen

Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Hannah Holborn Gray

"Readers interested in academic administration or the history of American universities would do well to spend a couple hours in Gray’s edifying company."Kirkus

"Hanna Holborn Gray has written a marvelous book that is at once a rich, warm, and vivid memoir of an astonishing life and a sharp, lively, and informative account of what it is like to run America’s greatest universities. An Academic Life is for anyone who wants to understand how universities have changed, and what they stand for."Anthony Grafton, author of Worlds Made by Words: Scholarship and Community in the Modern West

Join the Seminary Co-op to celebrate the publication of Hanna Holborn Gray’s An Academic Life: A Memoir, in which the distinguished scholar and former University of Chicago president (1978–93) reflects on her trailblazing life in the academy.

Hanna Holborn Gray, the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Early Modern European History, who was the first woman president of a major American university, will be joined in conversation by John Mark Hansen, the Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Political Science and the College.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: An Academic Life is a candid self-portrait by one of academia's most respected trailblazers. Gray describes what it was like to grow up as a child of refugee parents, and reflects on the changing status of women in the academic world. She discusses the migration of intellectuals from Nazi-held Europe and the transformative role these exiles played in American higher education—and how the émigré experience in America transformed their own lives and work. She sheds light on the character of university communities, how they are structured and administered, and the balance they seek between tradition and innovation, teaching and research, and undergraduate and professional learning.

An Academic Life speaks to the fundamental issues of purpose, academic freedom, and governance that arise time and again in higher education, and that pose sharp challenges to the independence and scholarly integrity of each new generation.

About the author: Hanna Holborn Gray has lived her entire life in the world of higher education. The daughter of academics, she fled Hitler's Germany with her parents in the 1930s, emigrating to New Haven, where her father was a professor at Yale University. She has studied and taught at some of the world's most prestigious universities. She was the first woman to serve as provost of Yale. In 1978, she became the first woman president of a major research university when she was appointed to lead the University of Chicago, a position she held for fifteen years. In 1991, Gray was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in recognition of her extraordinary contributions to education.

About the interlocutor: John Mark Hansen is one of the nation's leading scholars of American politics. His current research focuses on public opinion, public budgeting, and politicians' interferences from the outcomes of elections. He is the author of two books, Mobilization, Participation and Democracy in America (1993) with Steven Rosenstone for which he received the Outstanding Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists in 1995, and Gaining Access: Congress and the Farm Lobby, 1919-1981 (1991). He has served as Dean of the Division, as Chairman of the Political Science Department, and as Associate Provost for Education and Research.


Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637