Max Rosenn Lecture Series in Law and Humanities

2023 Speaker

Jill Lepore

Award-winning Author & Historian, Journalist and Professor of History
  • Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 2 p.m.
  • Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts

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Jill Lepore is a writer and professor of history whose essays and books explore absences and asymmetries in the historical record. She is also a bestselling author and journalist who once wrote "History is the art of making an argument about the past by telling a story accountable to evidence." James Gleick has said of her, "Lepore is a brilliant and prolific historian with an eye for unusual and revealing stories." Susan Orlean noted, "Everything Jill Lepore writes is distinguished by intelligence, eloquence, and fresh insight." Her popular podcasts explore the themes “Who Killed Truth?” and “The Rise of Doubt.”

Lepore is the David Woods Kemper Professor of American History and Affiliate Professor of Law at Harvard University. She is also a staff writer at The New Yorker. Other essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Times Literary Supplement, Foreign Affairs, Yale Law Journal, American Scholar, and American Quarterly; her works have been widely translated and anthologized.  
Lively, funny, and argumentative, Lepore’s books have been described as surprising and enlightening, as well as elegant, sobering, beautifully written and intellectually rigorous. 

About the Rosenn Lecture Series

The Max Rosenn Lecture in Law and Humanities was established at Wilkes University in 1980 in recognition of Judge Rosenn’s exceptional contributions to public service.

Judge Max Rosenn’s long career as a public servant spanned many fields, including law, philanthropy, public welfare, health and religion. He made innumerable contributions to the enhancement of northeastern Pennsylvania, to state government, and to the federal judiciary. Following the Hurricane Agnes Disaster of 1972, he played a vital role in the rehabilitation of Greater Wilkes-Barre and its many neighboring communities as chairman of the Flood Recovery Task Force for Wyoming Valley.

The Honorable Judge Max Rosenn

After receiving an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Judge Rosenn commenced his legal career. He interrupted that career to enter military service in World War II. After several years in the South Pacific, he returned to his wife and sons and resumed the practice of law. He entered state government in 1966 as secretary of public welfare for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As secretary, Judge Rosenn also served as a member of the cabinet of Governor William W. Scranton and in the cabinet of his successor, Raymond Shafer, and as chairman of the Governor’s Council for Human Services. Following his resignation as Secretary and resumption of the practice of law, he served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and chairman of the Legislative Executive Task Force to Restructure Human Services for Pennsylvania. He also served as a member of the 1968 Governor’s Commission to Revise the Public Employee Laws of Pennsylvania. President Nixon appointed him to the United States Court of Appeals in 1970.

He and wife Tillie were lifetime residents of the Wyoming Valley, have two sons, Professor Keith and Dr. Daniel, and six grandchildren.

In recognition of his exceptional contributions and his warm relationship with them, Judge Rosenn’s former law clerks and former law firm Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, with the assistance of his family and friends, established in 1980 the Max Rosenn Lecture Series in Law and Humanities.

Justice Bound: A Tribute to Max Rosenn

Judge Rosenn served on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals from 1970 until 2006. In that time, he had 71 law clerks who assisted him. This film was commissioned by them, in partnership with Wilkes University and the Rosenn family, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Rosenn Lecture Series.

Past Speakers

The Rosenn Lecture Series has brought speakers with expertise in diverse fields and interests, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bryan Stevenson, Anna Deavere Smith, Anthony Lewis, Cory Booker and Bob Woodward.

  • Jon Meacham | Presidential Historian and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author | 2022
  • Terry Gross | Award-winning host of NPR’s Fresh Air | 2021
  • Bryan Stevenson | Attorney, human rights activist, executive director of the Equal Justice Intiative, and Author | 2019
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | All-time Leading Scorer in NBA history, New York Times best-selling author, Civil Rights Activist | 2018
  • Anna Deavere Smith | Playwright, actor, and professor | 2017
  • Ron Prosor | Abba Eban Chair of International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC) | 2016
  • Brian Greene | String Theorist | 2015
  • Richard Lugar | Retired United States Senator | 2014
  • Noah Feldman | Bemis Professor - Harvard University | 2013
  • Cory Booker | Mayor - Newark, New Jersey | 2012
  • Michelle Rhee | Founder and CEO of StudentsFIrst | 2011
  • Greg Mortenson | Best-selling author and humanitarian | 2010
  • Zanny Minton-Beddoes | Economics Editor, The Economist | 2009
  • Richard Leakey | Paleoanthropologist | 2008
  • Christopher Dillon Quinn | Award-winning documentary film director and John Bul Dau | one of The Lost Boys of Sudan | 2007
  • Bob Woodward | Assistant Managing Editor of the Washington Post | 2006
  • Irshad Manji | Award-winning journalist | 2005
  • Amy Chua | Author, Yale Law School Professor | 2004
  • Robin Wright | Author and Chief diplomatic correspondent | 2003
  • Fareed Zakaria | Editor if Newsweek International | 2002
  • Norman Mailer | Novelist, Biographer, and Historian | 2001
  • David Halberstam | Author, Journalist, and Historian | 2000
  • Abner J. Mikva | Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law and Senior Fellow, IGPA University of Illinois | 1999
  • Morris S. Dees Jr. | Chief Trial Counsel, Southern Poverty Law Center | 1998
  • Paul Simon | Retired United States Senator | 1997
  • Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. | Chief Judge Emeritus, United States Court of Appeals | 1996
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ph.D. | Author, Historian | 1995
  • Tom J. Farer, J.D. | Director, International Relations Program | 1994
  • Leslie H. Gelb, Ph.D. | Author, Journalist, New York Times Columnist | 1993
  • T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. | Author, Educator, Renowned Pediatrician | 1992
  • John Paul Stevens | Justice, U.S. Supreme Court | 1991
  • Ambler Moss | Dean, School of International Studies, University of Miami | 1990
  • Nina Totenberg | Legal Affairs Correspondent | 1989
  • Malcolm Toon | Former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union | 1988
  • Bettina Gregory | Senior Correspondent | 1987
  • Henry Steele Commager | Historian, Professor of Law, Amherst College | 1986
  • Richard Schifter | Former U.S. Ambassador | 1985
  • Joseph J. Sisco | Former Undersecretary of State | 1984
  • Edwin Newman | Correspondent, NBC News | 1983
  • Anthony Lewis | Columnist, New York Times | 1982

Support the Rosenn Lecture Series

The speakers presented by the Max Rosenn Lecture Series in Law and Humanities are made possible through generous contributions to the Max Rosenn Endowment. Your support enables us to continue the tradition of bringing renowned speakers and offering a venue that is free and open to the public.

Support the Max Rosenn Lecture Series

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