The John Lax Memorial Lecture

The John Lax Memorial Lecture was endowed in 1982 by professors Peter and the late Anneli Lax of New York University’s mathematics department, in memory of their son, John, a historian who taught at Mount Holyoke in the mid-1970s. After John Lax’s premature death, his parents created a permanent memorial in the form of this annual lecture. The Lax Lecture is given by a historian of the highest distinction to commemorate the work and spirit of John Lax by making the latest advances in history accessible to the public.

Past John Lax Lectures

Ann Stoler, Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research, and director of the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry

Ann Stoler, Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research, and director of the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry, presented the 2021 John Lax Memorial Lecture, "Weaponizing the Senses: Imperial Democracy on the Line."

Annette Gordon-Reed, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and Professor of History at Harvard University

Annette Gordon-Reed, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University,gav e the 2019 John Lax Memorial Lecture “The Hemings Family — Life after Monticello.”

2018 John Lax Poster

Professor Perdue will discuss how the year 1900 was not only pivotal in the history of China, but also significant for the world of imperial powers.

Jean Allman, J.H. Hexter Professor of the Humanities, Department of History, Washington University in St. Louis

Jean Allman, J.H. Hexter Professor of the Humanities, Department of History, Washington University in St. Louis delivered the 2017 John Lax Memorial Lecture, "A Post-Mortem of the African Revolution: Rethinking the Global Sixties."

Tiya A. Miles, Mary Henrietta Graham Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan

Professor Tiya Miles's research interests include African American and Native American interrelated and comparative histories and women's literature. Miles is the Mary Henrietta Graham Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan.

John Merriman, Charles Seymour Professor of History at Yale

John Merriman, Charles Seymour Professor of History at Yale, is an eminent historian of modern France and Modern Europe.