Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History with Richard Bell - Context Travel

Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History with Richard Bell


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Join historian Rick Bell as we talk about all things Hamilton and History. We’ll discuss how this juggernaut show treats the Revolution, democracy, race and slavery, and what it tells us about how history is made and who gets to make it in America.

Even in lockdown, America has Hamilton-mania. With Disney+ streaming the show this summer, everyone’s talking about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical. Its crafty lyrics, hip-hop tunes, and big, bold story have even rejuvenated interest in the real lives and true histories that Hamilton: the Musical puts center stage. 

In this seminar, which is aimed at people who know the soundtrack or who’ve seen the show, 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. We’ll learn what this amazing musical gets right and gets wrong about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, and the birth of the United States and about why all that 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. We will also talk about Hamilton’s cultural impact: what does its runaway success reveal about the stories we tell each other about who we are and about the nation we made?

Photo credit: Smithsonian Art Inventory Catalog, IAP 08930129

Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home which is shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Center for History and Culture, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 48 reviews
92%
(44)
6%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
2%
(1)
K
K.
Engaging discussion on Hamilton

This was a really lively discussion on how the musical Hamilton is different from actual history. A very engaging host and it was fun to have attendees ask questions live via zoom (seeing their faces and hearing them speak) rather than just via Chat.

R
R.
Hamilton Conversation

I highly recommend this conversation. Dr. Bell is a great teacher and the material was clear and well presented. The hour and a half flew by and now I want to see the musical again.

T
T.
-

Excellent lecture that broadens the perspective on Hamilton. I so appreciate Dr Bell’s passion for history.

L
L.S.

Guest did not leave comment

C
C.

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 48 reviews
92%
(44)
6%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
2%
(1)
K
K.
Engaging discussion on Hamilton

This was a really lively discussion on how the musical Hamilton is different from actual history. A very engaging host and it was fun to have attendees ask questions live via zoom (seeing their faces and hearing them speak) rather than just via Chat.

R
R.
Hamilton Conversation

I highly recommend this conversation. Dr. Bell is a great teacher and the material was clear and well presented. The hour and a half flew by and now I want to see the musical again.

T
T.
-

Excellent lecture that broadens the perspective on Hamilton. I so appreciate Dr Bell’s passion for history.

L
L.S.

Guest did not leave comment

C
C.

Guest did not leave comment