tags: Top Young Historians
Jill Lepore, 39
Teaching Position: Chair, History and Literature Program and Professor of History, Harvard University
Area of Research: Early America
Education: Ph.D. Yale University, American Studies, 1995
Major Publications: New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery and Conspiracy in Eighteenth Century Manhattan (2005); A is for American: Letters and Other Characters in the Newly United States (2002); The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity (1999),and editor of Encounters in the New World: A History in Documents (1998).
Lepore is currently working on The Boston Massacre and the Trial of Liberty.
Awards: Bancroft Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Society's Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians' Book Prize, and the New England Historical Association's Book Award all for The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity (1999).
Winner of the Kahn Award for A is for American: Letters and Other Characters in the Newly United States (2002).
Lepore was a Distinguished Lecturer, for the Organization of American Historians (2002-2005); she received the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2003-2004); the 2002 Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Fellowship; Affiliate, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (1999-2000); and the Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize, American Studies Association.
Additional Info: Formerly Associate Professor of History at Boston University (1996-2003).
Lepore is co-founder and co-editor of the Web magazine Common-place (www.common-place.org). The website, which is sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society and the Florida State University Department of History, describes itself as a "common place for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture."
Lepore has advise on television projects including: "History of America" for PBS' American Experience, "The Murder of Dr. Parkman for Spy Pond Productions (1999), and "TimeLab 2000" for the History Channel (1998-1999). She has alo appeared on C-SPAN, and has been interviewed by NPR.
Like nearly everyone else, I spent most of graduate school drinking coffee. But, unlike everyone else, I had a rule about it: drink alone. When I set about writing my dissertation, I put myself on strict social quarantine from eight to four every day, since I knew that, otherwise, I'd spend much of my time in coffeehouses near campus, complaining about how slow the writing was going. It's not that I didn't want to complain. Boy did I ever. But I was running out of money and had piles of student loans to pay, and I needed to finish that dissertation.
Also, I had something I wanted to say, pretty urgenetly, and nothing concentrates the mind as much as sitting at your desk, with no one to talk to. When I'm writing, I don't answer email and, though I answer the phone, I'm told I'm impossibly rude to anyone who calls (and I never can remember if anyone did). Hell, I was probably rude to the dog. It's harder to be so isolated now; students need to reach me and someone at my house always needs tylenol or a diaper change. But if my writing days are shorter, and come less often, I still drink my coffee alone.
By Jill Lepore
About Jill Lepore
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