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Bishop C.C. McCabe Lectures

Bishop Charles Cardwell McCabe embodies the spirit of American University's founders. McCabe, Vice Chancellor and Chancellor of the university from 1899-1902, dreamt of an educational system unlike that of any other university of its time. He believed in building a lasting future for AU and began the first successful fundraising campaign with his call to action, "Five dollars each, from one million people," to foster the new university.

Under Bishop McCabe's leadership, American University's second building was constructed: the McKinley Memorial Building, created in honor of United States President William McKinley. McCabe himself laid the cornerstone for the building.

2019-2020 Lectures

Nicki Washington: “Unapologetically Dope: Lessons for Black Women and Girls on Surviving and Thriving in the Tech Field”
April 2, 2020

Deborah Lipstadt: “Israel: A Lightning Rod of Antisemitism”
February 19, 2020

Carmen Maria Machado
February 12, 2020

Angela Saini: “Superior: The Return of Race Science”
October 29, 2019

Nate Silver: “The Past, Present, and Future of Election Predictions and Data Analytics”
October 17, 2019

The Bishop McCabe Lecture Fund

The Bishop C.C. McCabe Lecture Fund was established by the Board of Trustees in 1907 in memory of the Bishop and through his generous bequest to the College of Arts and Sciences. Although these funds help to offset the costs of producing the lecture series, they do not fully support its needs.

If you are interested in making a gift in support of the Bishop C.C. McCabe Lecture Series, please the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 202-885-5900, or make your gift online.

Bishop McCabe's legacy can still be felt today. The Bishop McCabe Fund was established in 1906 through a bequest in the Bishop's will to create a lecture series in the College of Arts and Sciences. Today, the Bishop C.C. McCabe Lecture Series features prominent faculty members, notable alumni, and distinguished scholars from all disciplines within the College.

Past Lectures


Alice Dreger: “Cultivating the Virtue of Disloyalty”

Teju Cole: "Blindspot"

Teju Cole: "Known and Strange Things: Art and Activism in the 21st Century"


Jelani Cobb: "The Half-Life of Freedom"

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, "The Diversity Blues: Reframing the Diversity Agenda at HWCUs"


Amy Stolls 

Ta-Nehisi Coates


Nina Tandon: "Super Cells: Building with Biology"

Linda Daly: "The Problem and Pleasures of Writing from Life"


Ava Farmer Reading: Ava Farmer (nom de plume of Sandy Lerner) on her novel, Second Impressions, the first sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Dean Hamer: "Out in the Silence: At the Forefront of LGBT Inclusion"

Writers in Motion: Reading the Fall, Writing the Recovery

Madeleine Thien, Vicente Groyon, Eduardo Halfón, Alice Pung,
Christopher Merrill, Marjorie Ames, Jim Leach, Kyle Dargan

Health of the Economy / Economics of Health

Adam Davidson, David Kestenbaum, Rachel Louise Snyder


Sandow Birk: "Capturing Dystopia"

Allan Lichtman: "Seven Days until Tomorrow"

Dunya Mikhail & Bruce Weigl: "The Syntax of Wars"


Dr. Akasha Gloria Hull: "Fiction and Black Feminism"

Edward Hirsch: Poetry Reading


Lonnie Bunch: "The Power of Remembering: The Continuing Importance of Black History Month"

Natasha Trethewey: "A Remnant South: A Reading and Discussion"

American Identity

Charles Holt: A performance of Black Boy

Lillian Jiménez, Film Screening and Discussion:
"Antonia Pantoja: Forging a Path for Puerto Rican Civil Rights in the U.S."

Dr. Peter Selz: "Art of Engagement"

Fall 2005: Woman as Object, Subject, and Creator

Dr. Lisa Farrington: "Black Feminist Artists"

Ann Beattie: "Tribute to Dr. Frank Turaj"

Dr. Peter Dans: "Hollywood & Women Doctors"


Allan J. Lichtman: "Keys to the White House"

Paul R. Ehrlich: "One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future"

Richard D. Breitman: "U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis"

Author wearing yellow jacket, speaking.

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