Wiggins Lecture

Philip Gura, Robert Gross (University of Connecticut), and David Hall (Harvard), American Antiquarian Society, 2004

UNC Press has issued Professor Gura’s Life of William Apess, Pequot in paperback in February 2018.

In October 2017 Professor Gura delivered the keynote address at a symposium on Henry David Thoreau at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. It can be seen on YouTube.

In March 2017 the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press published Professor Gura’s Man’s Better Angels: Romantic Reformers and the Coming of the Civil War.   It was reviewed in the Nation, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Review of Books, among other places.

In November 2015 Professor Gura delivered the annual Richard W. Gunn Memorial Lecture  at the University of Kansas. Previous speakers have included Fredric Jameson, Marjorie Garber, J. Hillis Miller, and Bill Brown, among others.

In March. 2015, UNC Press  published Professor Gura’s The Life of William Apess, Pequot, the first biography of the 19th-century Native American writer and activist. An excerpt appeared in the March issue of the New England Review. An interview with Mindy Todd of WCAI on Cape Cod can be found here:

Farrar, Straus and Giroux published Prof. Gura’s Truth’s Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel, on April 7th, 2013. He appeared on WUNC’s “The State of Things” on May 14th to talk about the book; see  .

Professor Gura has been named Distinguished Scholar for the Collegium and the Unitarian Universalist Historical Society for its joint convocation in 2013. Collegium is an association for liberal religious studies, established to encourage collaboration among scholarly members of  clergy and laity who share similar interests; to promote significant theological reflection within and about the Unitarian Universalist movement and other liberal re­ligious movements; to disseminate resources, research, and findings which bear upon the problem of how liberal religion is to address the contemporary situation; and to sustain its heritage of the learned ministry.  See . The Unitarian Universalist Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation of the heritage of the two religious denominations.

Professor Gura’s Jonathan Edwards: The Evangelical Writings appeared in the Library of America in 2013.

In the spring of 2012 Centerstream Publishing published a paperback edition of Gura’s  book, C. F. Martin and His Guitars (2003).

In April 2012 Gura  delivered the keynote lecture at the semi-annual meeting of the American Antiquarian Society in Boston on the topic, “Celebrating the American Antiquarian Society, 1812-2012.” The talk coincides with the publication of his The American Antiquarian Society, 1812-2012: A Bicentennial History, the official history of the Society.

The eighth edition of the Norton Anthology of American Literature, of which Gura is an editor, was issued in the fall of 2011.

The Division on American Literature to 1800 of the Modern Language Association has designated Professor Gura the recipient of its Distinguished Scholar Award for 2008. The award was given at the MLA Convention in San Francisco in December.

Professor Gura’s book, American Transcendentalism: A History, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in non-fiction. Hear interviews with him on WICN at, Open Source at , WUNC at , and see a video at WGBH, .

In April 2008 Professor Gura was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Historians in recognition of the literary and scholarly distinction of his historical writing.

In fall 2007 Professor Gura was named Visiting Scholar at James Madison University and delivered several lectures. He also lectured at the Harvard Divinity School, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Old South Meetinghouse in Boston, all on aspects of his recent work on Transcendentalism.

In April 2007 Professor Gura was a featured speaker at the symposium, “American Transcendentalism: Regional, National, Transnational,” at Harvard University.

In 2006-07 Professor Gura was the Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he worked on his new project, American Transcendentalism: A History. Annually, the AAS, one of the largest private research libraries in the world, invites a senior scholar to do research and writing on a major project, to engage fully in the collegial life of the Society, and to serve as an anchor for the AAS fellowship program as a whole, and as a mentor to the younger scholars in residence..

In March 2005 Hill & Wang published Professor Gura’s Jonathan Edwards: America’s Evangelical in its new “American Portraits’ series. On March 29 he was featured on WUNC’s “The State of Things” see (

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill awarded Professor Gura the 2004 Distinguished Teaching Award in Post-Baccalaureate Education.

The American Antiquarian Society invited Professor Gura to give the 22nd annual James Russell Wiggins  Lecture in the History of the Book in America, in November 2004. The series is named in honor of the late editor of the Washington Post, U. S. ambassador to the United Nations, and president of AAS. Wiggins Lecturers are scholars from a variety of disciplines touching the history of the book. Their lectures are statements on important, broad methodological and interpretive issues in the field.

In June 2004 Professor Gura led  the American Antiquarian Society’s week-long summer seminar in the history of the book. The topic of this year’s offering was “Enriching American Studies Scholarship through the History of the Book.” He will be assisted by guest faculty and AAS staff.

The University of North Carolina Press published Professor Gura’s latest book, C. F. Martin and His Guitars, 1796-1873, the first in-depth study of the founder of the world’s most famous guitar company. For this project C. F. Martin & Company made available its archive of C. F. Martin’s journals and correspondence, perhaps the most complete in existence for the history of American stringed instruments. Gura was featured on WUNC radio’s “The State of Things” in a show devoted to the Martin guitar.

On May 1, 2003, at the American Antiquarian Society, Professor Gura lectured on “How I Met and Dated Miss Emily Dickinson,” in which he detailed the process he went through to try to authenticate what may be the second known photograph of Dickinson (see below). In conjunction with the lecture, he was featured on WBUR (Boston) “Morning Edition.”

In the spring of 2003 the College of William and Mary sponsored a lecture and performance series called “Virginia’s Music: Tidewater to Appalachia,” to coincide with Mike Seeger’s tenure as Artist-in Residence.” On February 6th, to start the series, Professor Gura lectured on “Mike Seeger, the New Lost City Ramblers, and the Folk Revival.”

 Professor Gura spoke at the National Symposium on Jonathan Edwards, at the Library of Conference in October 2003 to celebrate the three-hundredth anniversary of Edwards’s birth.  The title of Gura’s presentation was “Lost and Found: Recovering Edwards for American Literature.”

In the fall of 2002 the Association of Graduate English Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill awarded presented Professor Gura with its Ph.D. mentoring award. Two years earlier he was honored with a similar award for his work with M.A. students.

On November 30, 2001, Professor Gura was featured on the the nationally syndicated NPR talk show, The Connection, hosted by Dick Gordon.  The show’s topic was “Celebrating the Banjo.” The guests included six-time Grammy Award winner Bela Fleck, banjoist Tony Trischka, and James Bollman, co-author with Gura of America’s Instrument: The Banjo in the Nineteenth Century.

At its biennial meeting in Norfolk, VA, in early March 2001, the Society of Early Americanists presented Philip F. Gura their “Award of Merit” for “his contributions to early American studies as a scholar, teacher, and journal editor.”

America’s Instrument: The Banjo in the Nineteenth Century has been awarded one of the  Deems Taylor Special Citations by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). These awards are presented annually to American authors whose books, articles, and liner notes on the subject of music are deemed particularly praiseworthy. The citations will be awarded at a reception at Lincoln Center Plaza on December 6th, 2000.

This book also was featured on November 30, 2001, on Dick Gordon’s The Connection, an NPR show;  available at  and on July 5th, 2000, during the National Public Radio program All Things Considered. The story in its entirety is available in Real Audio (