Meet Our Speakers

Ed Ayers has catapulted history into the digital era, reinforcing the vital link between past and present for millions of students, educators, and researchers. The University of Richmond president is working closely with the school’s Digital Scholarship Lab on a multimedia atlas of American history, a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. And his digital archive, The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War, has been used in classrooms worldwide.

On his public radio show and podcast, BackStory, Ed and his co hosts tear a topic from the headlines and invite fellow scholars, newsmakers, and listeners to plumb its historical depths. The nationally syndicated show is brain candy for anyone who appreciates passionate, intelligent, and irreverent thought. The author of ten books on the American South, Ed has been a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history and the Beveridge Prize for the best book in English on the history of the Americas.

An equally accomplished classroom teacher, Ed was voted 2003’s National Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and continues teaching a class for freshmen at U of R.

See Ed’s TEDxRVA 2013 talk here!