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Kathi Kern Added to OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program Roster

By Gail Hairston

(April 25, 2016) — University of Kentucky Associate Professor of History Kathi Kern has been appointed one of the 78 new speakers to the Organization of American Historians’ prestigious Distinguished Lectureship Program for 2016-17.

These scholars, who are affiliated with some of the nation’s top universities, join more than 400 other OAH Distinguished Lecturers who speak to audiences across the country each year and are widely sought for appearances at museums, libraries, universities, community centers, churches and synagogues, and other venues. OAH Distinguished Lecturers strive to promote understanding and appreciation of all facets of U.S. history from the 1600s through the present, which is an essential component of the organization’s mission.

Kern also directs UK’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) and holds an endowed professorship at the Chellgren Center in the Academy for Undergraduate Excellence. She is the author of many articles and book chapters as well as “Mrs. Stanton's Bible” (2001), selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Book. Kern has won the Provost’s Outstanding Teaching Award, the UK Alumni Association’s Great Teacher Award, and the UK College of Education's Teachers Who Made a Difference Award.

To hear a UK at the Half radio interview with Kathi Kern, visit

Kern’s research focuses on the women's rights movement in 19th century America, particularly on the ways religion, gender and politics have mixed to create new ideological positions and social change. She has been actively engaged in research, authoring successful grants funded through the U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History grant program with awards totaling nearly $4 million. Much of her time is spent in outreach to public school teachers, teaching summer institutes in the Mississippi Delta, in Alaska and at the Smithsonian Institution.

In her role as director of CELT, Kern has worked extensively in international faculty development, training university faculty in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China. In 2009-2010, Kern was the Stanley Kelley Jr. Visiting Associate Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the religion department and the program in women and gender at Princeton University.

Katherine M. Finley, the OAH's executive director, said, “We thank these historians for their service to the organization and for helping advance our mission. And we congratulate them on achieving this high honor.”

Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the world's largest professional association dedicated to American history scholarship. With more than 7,800 members from the U.S. and abroad, OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching and presentation of American history, encouraging wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of history practitioners. It publishes the quarterly Journal of American History, the leading scholarly publication and journal of record in the field of American history for more than nine decades. It also publishes The American Historian magazine. Formerly known as the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (MVHA), the association became the OAH in 1965 to reflect a broader scope focusing on national studies of American history. The OAH national headquarters are located in the historic Raintree House on Indiana University's Bloomington campus. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.