History Professor Fred Anderson of the University of Colorado at Boulder will deliver the 100th annual Distinguished Research Lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 4 p.m. in the Old Main Chapel.
CU-Boulders Distinguished Research Lectureship is the highest honor bestowed on a faculty member by the Graduate School, recognizing an entire body of creative work and research.
The Distinguished Research Lectureship singles out someone who has done extraordinary and exceptional work over the course of a career, not just one book or one project, said John Stevenson, associate dean of the Graduate School. Fred has the reputation as being one of the great teachers on the Boulder campus; he has inspired many students over many years.
The lecture titled War and Peace in American History is free and open to the public. The talk is sponsored by the Council on Research and Creative Work, or CRCW, through the CU-Boulder Graduate School and will be followed by a reception.
Andersons research and teaching focuses on the colonial period, the American Revolution and early U.S. history. His publications include two critically acclaimed books Crucible of War: The Seven Years War and the Fate of the British in North America, 1754-1766 and The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000.
His book Crucible of War was the inspiration for the Public Broadcasting Service documentary series called The War That Made America. He also wrote the companion book for the series and served as an adviser to the PBS program.
Andersons Feb. 20 lecture will explore how wars have shaped North America and the United States, and examine how Americans view the place of warfare in their history.
Because Americans love peace and value freedom, we tend to imagine our wars mainly as occasions when we have been compelled to defend our liberty, or to liberate others, Anderson said. But if we look beyond the three conflicts that everyone knows best -- the Revolution, the Civil War and World War II -- and seriously consider the impact of less-celebrated conflicts like the French and Indian War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War and the Spanish-American War, it becomes possible to understand war as a pervasive, immensely powerful influence in our history.
I hope to argue that a more encompassing understanding of warfare as a shaping force can yield a different view of American history, its turning points and its meanings, Anderson said.
Anderson was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2001. Also in 2001, Crucible of War received two prestigious awards, the Francis Parkman Prize for the best book on American history, and the Mark Lynton History Prize for the best book-length work of history.
In 1987-88, and again this year, Anderson was awarded a Faculty Fellowship from the CRCW. Anderson received his doctorate from Harvard in 1981 and joined the history faculty at CU-Boulder in 1983.