Join us when Abram Van Engen, Associate Professor of English, will discuss his new book, City on a Hill, History of American Exceptionalism.
Van Engen explains how the idea of American exceptionalism took shape in the twentieth century. In particular, he shows how the phrase “City on a Hill,” from a 1630 Puritan sermon by Massachusetts Bay governor John Winthrop, came to be a cornerstone of American political rhetoric more than 300 years after it was delivered, even though it went ignored and unprinted in its own day. Through this work, Van Engen reveals the way national stories take shape and shows us how those tales continue to influence competing visions of the country—the many different meanings of America that emerge from its literary past.
All attendees are welcome at the reception following the talk and copies of the book will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to all.
This event is organized by the American Culture Studies program and cosponsored by the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, the Washington University English Department, and the Washington University Religious Studies Program.