At 3 p.m. on April 18, 2013 in the University Center Crest Room, Dr. Wilfred M. McClay will give a talk entitled “The Mirage of Innocence and the Mirror of Guilt: Confronting the Dilemmas of a Postwar Moral Economy.” Dr. McClay is the SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities and a Professor of History at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His book The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America (North Carolina, 1994) won the 1995 Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history published in the years 1993 and 1994. Among his other books are The Student’s Guide to U.S. History (ISI Books, 2001), and Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America (Woodrow Wilson Center/Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003). He is currently at work on a biographical study of the American sociologist David Riesman under contract to Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and is editing two collection of essays, one called Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past, which features sixteen essays by American historians on changing American understandings of self and person, and a collection of his own essays entitled Pieces of a Dream: Historical and Critical Essays.
Dr. McClay is also currently a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC, and a member of the Society of Scholars at the James Madison Program of Princeton University. He was appointed in 2002 to the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board for the National Endowment for the Humanities.