Keynote Address: "Genghis Khan, Thomas Jefferson, and God: A Sense of Place"

Thursday, Apr, 6 2017 — 4:30 PM
At: Gailor Auditorium

Professor Jack Weatherford (Macalester College, Emeritus) will deliver the keynote address "Genghis Khan, Thomas Jefferson, and God: A Sense of Place" at the 2nd Annual Interdisciplinary Conference: "A Sense of Space and Place: Global and Local Perspectives", co-organized by the Mellon Globalization Forum, International and Global studies, and Office of Global Citizenship at the University of the South. The keynote address will be followed by ca. 30 presentations by Sewanee faculty and students on April 7-8. Please visit the or download the Conference Program: "A Sense of Space and Place: Global and Local Perspectives"  The conference is accompanied by eight cultural and academic events, which will take place between March 31 and April 25‌.

Lecture Abstract:

In the eighteenth century, the colonists of North America invented a new nation, the United States. Five centuries earlier in 1206, Genghis Khan created a new nation, the Mongol Empire, on the other side of the globe. One was a sedentary nation of famers, plantations and merchant cities, and the other was a nomadic empire moving across timeand space. Yet, each confronted the issue of religion and in society. How should conflicting religious claims be reconciled with issues of religious freedom? What is the place of God in public life? Today, once again the forces of religious fanaticism are attacking the basic principles of religious freedom, and perhaps we can learn form the example of leaders such as Genghis Khan and Thomas Jefferson.

Speaker Bio:

Jack Weatherford is a New York Times bestselling author with books published in more than twenty languages. He held the DeWitt Wallace Chair of Anthropology at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and is on the editorial board of Lapham’s Quarterly. His most recent book is Genghis Khan and God the Quest for God: How the Word’s Greatest Conqueror Gave us Religious Freedom, which was preceded by The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, and by Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

In May 2000, Jack Weatherford received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Chinggis Khaan College in Mongolia, and later he was the commencement speaker and received honorary degrees from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 2006 he spoke at the United Nations at the request of Mongolia to honor the 800th anniversary of the founding of the nation by Genghis Khan. In 2007, President Enkhbayar Mongolia awarded him the Order of the Polar Star (Altan Gadas), and in 2010, President Elbegdorj awarded him the National Friendship Medal.

In 2014, his book El Legado Indigena was published by the Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Bolivia for which he received the Order of the Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho, Antonio José Sucre and was named Honorary Cultural Ambassador of Bolivia.

His writing has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Lapham’s Quarterly, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Utne Reader, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Mongol Messenger and the Mongol Daily News. He has lectured at more than one hundred universities, museums, and corporations around the world including Harvard, Smithsonian, National Geographic Society, American Indian Chamber of Commerce, American Renaissance Society, World History Association, Federation of State Humanities Councils, World Press Institute, and the United States Archives.

He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, with additional graduate research at Frankfurt University in Germany and post-doctoral work at Duke University, the American University of Cairo, and the Catholic University of Ecuador. He has been a Kellogg Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow (Egypt), a Marshall Fellow (Germany), an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Fellow, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.

You may read Dr. Weatherford's Curriculum Vitae

The conference “A Sense of Space and Place: Global and Local Identities” and associated events have been co-organized by the Mellon Globalization Forum, International and Global Studies Program, Office of Global Citizenship, and Sewanee Writers’ Conference. The organizing committee includes Justyna Beinek (International and Global Studies and Russian), Nicholas Roberts (History and International and Global Studies), Kelly Whitmer (History), and Scott Wilson (Politics). We extend special thanks to Sara Nimis, Print Services, Megan Roberts, and Helen Stapleton. Images in the conference materials courtesy of Pradip Malde and Brock Gordon. All events are free and open to the public.


Back to listing