Since 1979 the Carleton College History Department has been fortunate to have a special lectureship that was endowed by Mr. Herbert P. Lefler (Class of ’42) (Feb 3, 1920-Dec 27, 1991) and Mrs. Mary Jane Lefler (May 17, 1921-Feb 20, 2018). They were also Carleton parents.

The Herbert P. Lefler Lectureship allows us to bring prominent working historians to campus who have recently raised important conceptual questions relevant to the entire discipline of history. These two to three-day visits are integrated into the History 298 junior year colloquium, but they also serve to bring the entire department, indeed the community, together to address issues which span their various individualized, specialized programs.

To do this we ask our Lefler lecturers to give a public presentation on their most recent research and to conduct a seminar discussion with majors about the key conceptual issues raised in their scholarship. The lecturers also meet with students for a lunch conversation, and are the Guests of Honor at a department dinner attended by department faculty and special guests from the surrounding academic community. The presentations are usually 45 minutes long, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. All lectures are free and open to the public.

2020–2021 History 298 instructors: Fall, Professor Adeeb Khalid; Winter, Professor Susannah Ottaway.

Questions can be sent to Mieux Williamsen, Administrative Assistant, History Department office (507) 222-4217.


Lefler Poster

May 4th 12:25 – 1:25 p.m.

The Carleton College History Department is pleased to invite you to attend our Spring Herbert P. Lefler virtual lecture to be presented by Professor Sophie White, University of Notre Dame. She will be speaking on The Voices of the Enslaved, Tuesday, May 4th, during common time, 12:25-1:25 p.m.  Open to the public, everyone is welcome to attend! Please mark your calendars.

Register here for Zoom Link

Sophie White is Professor of American Studies, Concurrent Professor in the Departments of Africana Studies, History, and Gender Studies, and Fellow of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and The Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame. Her newest book, Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture/University of North Carolina Press, 2019) foregrounds an exceptional set of source material about slavery in French America: court cases in which enslaved individuals testified and in the process produced riveting autobiographical narratives. Voices of the Enslaved has won seven book prizes including the 2020 James A. Rawley Book Prize from the American Historical Association and the Frederick Douglass Book Prize for most outstanding book on slavery published 2019. With Trevor Burnard, she has co-edited a volume on slave testimony in French and British America 1750-1848 (Routledge, 2020) and she is preparing a digital humanities project, Hearing Slaves Speak in Colonial America: A Database of Voices of the Voiceless. 


Please also visit the Gustavus Adolphus College Herbert P. Lefler Lectureship pages, where a second lectureship was created by Mrs. Mary Jane Lefler in 1993, in memory of her husband.