Dr. Cara Rogers of the Ashland University history faculty will present the lecture “Jefferson’s Hopeful Moment: The Problem of Freedom in an Age of Slavery” on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 4 p.m. at Hope College in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

  As outlined in the presentation’s description, “While Thomas Jefferson’s shortcomings on the slavery issue are well-known, other ideas he expressed related to slavery present a far more complicated picture emerging from his endlessly complex mind.  This lecture will examine Jefferson’s comprehensive plan to eliminate slavery and argue that Jefferson’s experience in Europe from 1784 until 1789 allowed him to think more openly about race and slavery than he ever could again in his life in America. Free from the constraints of Virginia’s plantation society, surrounded by liberal European philosophers, and hopeful that he would soon be out of debt and therefore able to begin emancipating his own slaves, Jefferson imagined a Virginia without slavery.”

Cara Rogers is an assistant professor of history at Ashland University, where she teaches courses on the Age of Enlightenment, American history from the colonial era until the Civil War, and Thomas Jefferson. Previously, she taught at Collin College in Dallas and at Rice University. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and has a master’s degree in history from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Ph.D. from Rice University. Her dissertation, under revision for future publication, examines the ways in which Jefferson's book “Notes on the State of Virginia” influenced debates over race and slavery. Her other areas of interest include the Atlantic world, 19th century intellectual history, and world history.

The lecture is being hosted by the college’s Tocqueville Forum student organization.

Audience members who need assistance to fully enjoy any event at Hope are encouraged to contact the college’s Events and Conferences Office by emailing events@hope.edu or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at hope.edu/calendar

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, Hope is currently requiring that masks be worn by all individuals while indoors on campus unless in their living space or alone in their work space.

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 13th streets.