Guest Speaker: Professor James Basker

As the students carryout the final weeks of the program, it was appropriate for them to have a chance to speak with Professor James Basker, founder of Oxbridge Academic Programs.

James Basker is President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Oxbridge Academic Programs, and Richard Gilder Professor of Literary History at Barnard College, Columbia University. He was educated at Harvard, Cambridge, and as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He has published several books, including Amazing Grace: An Anthology of Poems about Slavery 1660-1810 (2002), Early American Abolitionists: A Collection of Anti-Slavery Writings 1760-1820 (2005), and American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation (2012).

Today he spoke to our students about the importance of literature by using examples of poems and essays published by slaves that helped fuel the events that led up to the Civil War. Many of the works shared by Professor Basker explained the feelings of those that were enslaved during the time and gave insight as to how their bold actions caused massive change in American society. Professor Basker’s goal by the end of the presentation was too inspire students to appreciate literary work while understanding how the work they will create  in the future can help solve the problems they view around them.

Many students stayed afterwards to ask Professor Basker about his research and what drove him to creating Oxbridge Academic Programs. Students will have a chance to speak with him again on Thursday during the Ice Cream Social being held in the evening!