Students and faculty explored the incisive language and organic nature of America’s cardinal text, the Declaration of Independence, when the Honors College hosted Danielle S. Allen, Ph.D., during a Koch Lecture Series event on February 18, 2015. With doctorates from Cambridge University and Harvard University, Allen holds an endowed chair and teaches at Princeton University. Her APU lecture focused on her recent book, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2014), delving into the meaning of democracy and its implications for Americans, and facilitating rigorous dialogue among attendees.

Known for her work on justice and citizenship, Allen, in 2001,­­ at age 30, became one of the youngest recipients of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grant,” which offers recipients with intellectual promise $500,000 to think and write. The foundation recognized Allen for her ability to combine the classicist’s careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist’s sophisticated and informed engagement. A prolific author who contributes frequently to the Washington PostBoston ReviewDemocracyCabinet, and Nation on issues of citizenship and education, Allen challenged APU Honors College students to discuss and think through the principles and practice of human liberty and equality.