March 9 conference to honor History Professor Emeritus Thomas Haskell

Rice University’s Department of History and the Dean of Humanities will host a special conference March 9 to honor Thomas Haskell, the Samuel G. McCann Professor Emeritus of History. The conference will feature leading historians from across the United States, including Thomas Bender (New York University), James Kloppenberg (Harvard University) and Wilfred McClay (University of Tennessee), as well as former students of Haskell’s.

Haskell served the university from 1970 until his retirement in 2009. He is a noted authority on the history of American thought and society and historical interpretation. In the 1980s he engaged in a celebrated debate with David Brion Davis about the role of capitalism and the moral sensibility of antislavery and, more broadly, about the relationship of moral action and social change.

“Tom had a great and positive impact on many lives of students and colleagues alike,” said conference organizer Martin Wiener, the Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of History. “Rice University, specifically our department, has been privileged to know such a man and scholar.”

“Values in History: A Conference Honoring Thomas Haskell,” will be from 9:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Fondren Library’s Kyle Morrow Room. It is free and open to the Rice community. For information, visit,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.