Book Talk: Abram Van Engen

Join us on Tuesday, April 21st for a Book Talk with Abram Van Engen , Associate Professor of English, Director of English Graduate Studies, Interim Director of American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.  Abram will discuss his new book, City on a Hill, History of American Exceptionalism.

In this talk, Abram Van Engen pulls from his recent book to explain how the idea of American exceptionalism took shape in the twentieth century. In particular, he shows how the phrase “City on a Hill,” from a 1630 Puritan sermon by Massachusetts Bay governor John Winthrop, came to be a cornerstone of American political rhetoric more than 300 years after it was delivered, even though it went ignored and unprinted in its own day. Through this work, Van Engen reveals the way national stories take shape and shows us how those tales continue to influence competing visions of the country—the many different meanings of America that emerge from its literary past.

The talk will take place at 7:00 PM in The Women's Building Formal Lounge and will be followed by a reception. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.  The event is free and open to the public.