Framing a Better Civic Dialogue in an Age of Racial Reckoning: Universities, the Public, and You

On Wednesday, April 7, the Office of the Provost hosted the fourth installment in the North Star Seminar series. The event featured Dr. Jonathan Holloway, a U.S. historian, and 21st president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Dr. Jonathan Holloway Headshot

Dr. Holloway's talk was titled "Framing a Better Civic Dialogue in an Age of Racial Reckoning: Universities, the Public, and You." The talk addressed  issues like healing divides and elevating the state of civic dialogue in America. Dr. Holloway spoke from his new book, The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of African Americans, which asks, "What does it mean to be an American?"

This session was moderated by Provost and Executive Vice President Ben Vinson III and Professor of Law Andrew S. Pollis, JD.

This event was generously supported by Cuyahoga County Public Library and CWRU's Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence.

See the Recording

Our Sponsors


Office of the Provost

Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence

Cuyahoga County Public Library Logo

About Jonathan Holloway

Prior to accepting the presidency of Rutgers, Dr. Holloway was provost of Northwestern University from 2017 to 2020 and a member of the faculty of Yale University from 1999 to 2017.  At Yale, he served as Dean of Yale College and the Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies.

As Northwestern University’s chief academic officer, Dr. Holloway supervised the university’s educational policies and academic priorities, oversaw preparation of the university’s annual budget, acted on faculty appointments and promotions, and directed the allocation of resources and space to academic units.

President Holloway’s scholarly work specializes in post-emancipation U.S. history with a focus on social and intellectual history.

He is the author of The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of African Americans (Oxford University Press, February 2021) as well as Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941 (2002), and Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940 (2013), the latter two published by the University of North Carolina Press. He edited Ralph Bunche’s A Brief and Tentative Analysis of Negro Leadership (New York University Press, 2005) and coedited Black Scholars on the Line: Race, Social Science, and American Thought in the Twentieth Century (Notre Dame University Press, 2007). He wrote the introduction for the 2015 edition of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk (Yale University Press), and is working on a new book, A History of Absence: Race and the Making of the Modern World.

Dr. Holloway, who began his academic career at the University of California, San Diego, received a bachelor’s degree with honors in American studies from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in history from Yale University.

Learn More About Dr. Holloway