UPenn scholar of social thought Barbara Savage to deliver AAHH Week 4 lecture on narratives of history

Professor Barbra Savage

Barbara Savage, the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, has a wide range of research interests grounded in history. 

Savage teaches and researches 20th-century African American history; histories of American religion, social movements, media, politics, and the interrelations between those fields; and Black women’s political and intellectual history. Savage’s African American Heritage House Chautauqua Speaker Series lecture, at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, in the Hall of Philosophy, examines the weekly theme of “The Future of History.”

“The future of history is secure, despite recurring debates about whose history matters and why,” Savage said. “The narratives of American history must be as expansive and diverse and as complicated and contradictory as the lives of the people in it.”

Week Four aims to investigate questions about how our present will be recorded for future generations. It will explore how we will distill a near-infinite amount of information into digestible accounts of our times

The theme’s description asks: “Beyond the logistics of such questions, broader issues are at play: Who are the gatekeepers of our stories, and who do we trust to be stewards of our lives and memories?”

“As an esteemed historian of African American history, Savage brings invaluable perspectives to the grounds,” said Camille Borders, AAHH program director. “Her work across disciplines of religious history and Black feminist studies has had massive impacts within academia and outside of it. This week she will bring voice to the experiences of Black women during the 19th and 20th century, while calling us all to do more in reflecting on our past as we chart new paths for our future.”