The second annual 4th of July celebration at the Obama Institute picked up on Frederick Douglass’s famous oration, ”What to the American Slave Is the 4th of July?”

Obama Institute Speaker and board member Prof. Alfred Hornung made this connection in his introductory remarks. He welcomed Obama Fellow Prof. Celeste-Marie Bernier (University of Edinburgh) who held an engaging lecture titled “Suffering, Struggle, Survival: The Activism, Artistry, and Authorship of Frederick Douglass and Family (1818–2018).”


After lunch, the poster exhibit once again presented institute research to the public. Faculty members, graduate students, and students of the Obama Institute answered questions about their current research projects.

In the evening, Prof. Gerd Hurm (Trier University) held his timely lecture “On Documentary ‘Fakes’: Edward Steichen and Key Is- sues in 20th Century American Photographic Discourse.”




A joint summer fête of the department bookended this year’s 4th of July. Board members, students, and faculty continued discussions about the topics touched off by the day’s activities.