Hands-on History Workshop -Declaring Independence
Lead Scholars: Danielle Allen and Mary Babson Fuhrer
Co-Sponsored by Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area
The Declaration of Independence is not only a beloved statement of our nation’s embrace of liberty and equality. It is also a living document, whose values continue to shape our lives today. This workshop features a presentation on how the Declaration of Independence came to be, both nationally and locally; an examination of the Society’s collection of period documents and images that reveal the Declaration’s birth and early dissemination; and a discussion on how to uncover evidence of the ways in which independence was first debated and then celebrated in participants' own communities.
This workshop is the first in a series of programs presented by Freedom's Way National Heritage Area and the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) that explores the enduring meanings of the Declaration over time—and in the present. These programs will include talks, workshops, and public discussion, appreciation, and performance of the Declaration of Independence across the region.
Danielle Allen is director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and professor in Harvard’s Department of Government and Graduate School of Education. She is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Allen is the author of Our Declaration (2014), among many other works. In 2002, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her ability to combine “the classicist’s careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist’s sophisticated and informed engagement.”
Mary Babson Fuhrer is a public historian and independent scholar. She specializes in using primary sources to recover everyday lives from the past; she was recently honored by Mass Humanities with its 2014 History Commendation for twenty years of contribution to public history. She is the author of numerous articles and the book Crisis of Community: Trials and Transformation of a New England Town, 1815-1848 (2014).