UMN Law School


The Horatio Ellsworth Kellar Distinguished Visitors Lecture: Glenn Altschuler




March 23, 2016 The McMartin Pre-School trial occurred in the midst of a media-fed frenzy about the pervasiveness of sexual abuse of children in the United States. One of the longest-running cases in American history, McMartin involved about 400 accusers and the use of controversial techniques to enhance the ability of children to recall repressed memories. It stimulated a re-examination of the reliability of the concept of repressed memory and of the rules regarding the testimony and cross-examination of children in sex abuse cases. Glenn Altschuler is dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions and the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. in American History from Cornell in 1976 and has been an administrator and teacher there since 1981. He is the author or co-author of 10 books and more than 1,000 essays and reviews. In addition to his scholarly essays, he has written for American Heritage Magazine, The Australian, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Jerusalem Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Moscow Times, The New York Observer, NPR’s Books We Like,, and, among many others. His op-eds and book reviews are published regularly by The Huffington Post, The Conversation (U.S. edition), and Psychology Today. The National Book Critics Circle has cited his work as “exemplary”; Psychology Today has featured it as “essential reading.” For four years he wrote a column for the “Education Life” section of the New York Times. Altschuler is a Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell, where he been the recipient of the Clark Teaching Award, the Donna and Robert Paul Award for Excellence in Faculty Advising, and the Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Award for Outstanding Advising. He has been an animating force in Cornell’s program in American Studies, teaches courses in American popular culture, and has been a strong advocate for high-quality undergraduate teaching and advising.

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