Nell Irvin Painter is the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, Princeton University. Her books include: The History of White People; Creating Black Americans: African American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present; Southern History Across the Color Line; Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol; The Narrative of Hosea Hudson: His Life as a Negro Communist in the South; and Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction. Her most recent book, Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over, reflects on her return to school to earn a BFA and MFA in painting, asking questions about how women and artists are seen and judged by their age, looks, and race, how we define what "an artist" is, and how these ideas are tied to our shared conceptions of beauty, value, and difference.
Dr. Painter will be in conversation with Winthrop Professor of History Walter Johnson in the Distinguished Lecture, which inaugurates two exhibits of her art curated by History & Literature Lecturer Jonathan Square. The main show, Freedom from Truth: The Self-Portraits of Nell Irvin Painter, will be held in the Arts Wing of the Smith Center, while a satellite show at the Center for Government and International Studies, White History as Told Through Art, will focus on her cartographic work.