Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
University of Maryland

America has Hamilton-mania! A year after Disney+ started streaming Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning musical, fans are still riveted by its crafty lyrics, hip-hop tunes, and big, bold story, which has rejuvenated interest in the real lives and true histories that Hamilton puts center stage.

In this talk, University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell explores this musical phenomenon to reveal what its success tells us about the marriage of history and show business. Learn what this amazing musical gets right and gets wrong about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, and the birth of the United States, and why it matters. We will examine some of the choices Hamilton's creators made to simplify, dramatize, and humanize the complicated events and stories on which the show is based, including slavery and the use of actors of color to portray the Founding Fathers and key participants in the American Revolution.

Dr. Richard Bell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a BA from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from Harvard University. Bell has won more than a dozen teaching awards. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress, and received the National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar award. His latest book is Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home.



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For questions:
Jenny Kilberg