James G. Basker

James G. Basker
Event Year

James G. Basker is president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute and Richard Gilder
Professor of Literary History at Barnard College, Columbia University. As president of
the Gilder Lehrman Institute since 1997, Basker has overseen the development of
history education initiatives nationwide, including history high schools, teacher
seminars, traveling exhibitions, digital archives, and the National History Teacher of
the Year Award program.
Basker has also served as project director for several history exhibitions at the New-
York Historical Society, including Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern
America (2004–2005), Lincoln in His Own Words: An Intimate View of Our Greatest
President (2009), and John Brown: The Abolitionist and His Legacy (2009–2010). He is
an elected member of the Society of American Historians and former fellow of the
American Antiquarian Society. He serves on Mount Vernon’s Scholarly Advisory
Board, the boards of the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize and the Frederick Douglass
Book Prize, and as a trustee of the New-York Historical Society.
Basker was educated at Harvard, Cambridge, and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes
Scholar. He taught for seven years at Harvard University before coming to New York,
and he has been a visiting professor at NYU, Cambridge University, and Rogue
Community College in Oregon. From 1989 to 2019, he also led OxBridge Academic
Programs, which sponsored academic programs and teacher seminars in Oxford,
Cambridge, Paris, and Barcelona.
His publications include Amazing Grace: Poems about Slavery 1660–1810 (2002),
Early American Abolitionists (2005), and American Antislavery Writing: Colonial
Beginnings to Emancipation (2012) as well as scores of essays and educational
booklets on various topics in English and American history and literature.