Annual Jefferson Lecture to be Held at William Paterson University on May 2

---More than 150 students from area high schools to hear lecture about Jefferson’s views on democracy

Andrew Shankman, an associate professor of history at Rutgers University, will present the 28th Annual Abram Kartch/Thomas Jefferson Lecture at William Paterson University in Wayne on Wednesday, May 2 to more than 150 students from area high schools.

Shankman will address, “Thomas Jefferson and American Democracy.” The program runs from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Shea Center on campus. A limited number of seats for the free program will be available to the public.

Shankman received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and is an associate professor of history at and director of graduate studies at Rutgers University, Camden. He is the author of Crucible of American Democracy: The Struggle to Fuse Egalitarianism and Capitalism in Jeffersonian Pennsylvania, which was a History Book Club selection, and editor of The World of the Revolutionary American Republic, forthcoming from Routledge. He has published several essays on early national U.S. history, and his article, “A New Thing on Earth: Alexander Hamilton, Pro-Manufacturing Republicans, and the Democratization of American Political Economy,” received the Program in Early American Economy and Society (PEASE) best article prize and the Ralph D. Gray SHEAR prize for best article published in the Journal of the Early Republic. His current book project is titled Ungovernable Republic: Nationalist Jeffersonians and the Failure to Make a Nation.

The Abram Kartch/Thomas Jefferson Lecture Series began in 1985 after Abram Kartch, a retired Paterson businessman and Jefferson scholar, provided William Paterson with an endowment to establish and continue the series. Designed to provoke discussion about the relationship of Jefferson’s words and thoughts to modern society, the series has presented lectures by many of the country’s leading Jefferson scholars, including Henry Steele Commager, James B. Shenton, Jan Lewis and Pauline Maier. Kartch, who in later years resided in Wayne, died in 1997 at age 93.

An essay contest for high school and college students will be conducted by the University in connection with the lecture. Certificates and a monetary prize will be awarded to a student who writes the best essay on the theme developed in Shankman’s lecture. The essays will be judged by members of the history department. The winner will be announced by June 6 and the winning paper will be placed on file in the University library. In addition the winner’s name will be engraved on a plaque kept by his or her school for the next year.

For additional information about the event, contact Lucia McMahon, William Paterson University associate professor of history, at 973-720-3044 or

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