Professor Denver Brunsman Delivers Trachtenberg Teaching Award Distinguished Lecture

Denver Brunsman
October 10, 2018

On October 10, Professor Denver Brunsman delivered the Trachtenberg Teaching Award Distinguished Lecture, titled "Teaching History With the Musical Hamilton," at the Textile Museum. The musical Hamilton is the most celebrated American cultural phenomenon of the early 21st century. It has also changed the teaching of history in classrooms across the country. In this presentation, Professor Brunsman shares his experience with using Hamilton in his classes at GW, particularly "George Washington and His World," taught annually at the Mount Vernon estate. By pairing George Washington with Alexander Hamilton, Professor Brunsman has helped to humanize both figures for students and highlighted previously neglected historical topics. The musical has opened critical questions about historical authorship, authenticity, and memory. In the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton, it matters "who lives, who dies, who tells your story."