Below is a blog entry written by the staff at University of Virginia & Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello about their new, jointly taught course “Age of Jefferson”, starting February 17th on Coursera.
Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States and a principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He also founded the University of Virginia and designed and lived in his famous mountain home, Monticello. These two staples in American history ─ named a joint World Heritage Site by UNESCO ─ have come together to present “Age of Jefferson,” a rich, six-week course that tells the story of Jefferson as no one else can.
When can I get started?
The course gets underway February 17th, U.S. President’s Day. You can learn from revered scholar Peter Onuf about Jefferson’s principle accomplishments in this, the first MOOC offered by U.Va. and Monticello. Onuf, U.Va.’s Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor Emeritus and senior fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, will cover many topics, including church and state, education, the Declaration of Independence, architecture and Jefferson’s lifelong relationship with the institution of slavery.
I think I’ve heard of Peter Onuf. Who is he and why is this such a big deal?
There are several reasons you may have heard of Onuf. He taught at the University of Virginia for more than 20 years and has written several acclaimed books, including Jefferson’s Empire: The Language of American Nationhood and The Mind of Thomas Jefferson. He is one of the three “history guys” on the popular public radio show Backstory with the American History Guys. He is also coauthoring a study of Jefferson’s intellectual and sentimental life with Annette Gordon-Reed, author of the prize-winning Hemingses of Monticello.