Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
William Chafe spoke at U.S. Embassy Wellington on September 23, 2010, on the expectations associated with the Obama presidency and the challenges he faces in trying to realize those expectations. He spoke of the dramatic changes in human rights in America that have occurred in the past 50 years, but also the degree to which we (and the President) have generated expectations that are hard to achieve.
William Chafe was awarded the Organization of American Historians‟ (OAH) Roy Rosenzweig Distinguished Service Award, given annually to an individual whose contributions have significantly enriched an understanding and appreciation of American history, in April 2010.
"To list his distinguished publications is to follow a path that leads through the changing contours of 20th century American history. He has been a path-breaking scholar, one of the few who can write both brilliant monographs and critical and influential syntheses," according to a statement from the organization. "His „The American Woman: Her Changing Social, Economic, and Political Roles, 1920-1970‟ and his „Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom,‟ marked both his debut as a scholar of incredible range and established one of the great and timely themes of his scholarship: race and gender equality." The organization also noted Chafe‟s writings and their use in college classrooms, including "The Unfinished Journey: America Since World War Two" and most recently, "The Rise and Fall of the American Century: The United States from 1890-2009." A leader in the profession, Chafe has also helped develop OAH‟s Leadership Advisory Council, of which he is currently the co-chair. "I can't say how much this award means to me," Chafe said. "I care deeply about the community of American historians, and how important it is for us to represent the diversity of our past and seek full inclusion of all Americans in the narrative of our country's quest to realize its ideals." See also: ussc.edu.au/people/william-chafe
To watch the entire presentation, visit U.S. Embassy Wellington's iTunes page: