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Hamilton Faculty Panel

Faculty Experts Share Expertise on 'Hamilton'

Kevin Cherry headshot

Kevin Cherry, associate professor of political science, is an expert on classical and contemporary political thought in America. He can discuss Hamilton's understanding of government, executive power, and liberty.

"The first time he performed a song from his hit musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda explained that he chose Hamilton as his subject because he “embodies the word’s ability to make a difference.”  Behind the powerful words Hamilton wrote were equally powerful ideas about the nature, purpose, and structure of government. He explains modern America—with its powerful presidency and dynamic economy—so well because his ideas helped to make our nation what it is today."

Rob McAdams headshot

Rob McAdams, director of Partner in the Arts, can discuss how art, theatre, and hip hop integration in the classroom, can be a helpful resource for teachers. 

"By using hip hop, theater dance, music, and visual arts in the classroom educators can make curricular content accessible to all of their students." 

Patricia Herrera headshot

Patricia Herrera, associate professor of theatre, and a Hamilton expert, can speak to the power of theatre in rewriting history. 

"What makes the musical so incredible is that there’s this multiracial cast that is representational of what we want America to be, and then it uses a hip-hop vocabulary that you don’t often see in theater,” Herrera says. “Because you are bombarded and saturated with all of these possibilities, you begin to lose sight of other things. The audience gets to imagine the possibilities of America, but it becomes a problem when you stop there. What an opportunity it would’ve been to include the narratives of enslaved people.”

Patrice Rankine headshot

Patrice Rankine, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences and professor of classics, can discuss lessons we can learn from the play and what this important script tells us about contemporary American society. 

“Hamilton may be the most popular example of a current wave of theatre that embodies shared experiences from different racial and gender perspectives,” said Rankine. “Other examples of this provocative approach include Slave Play on Broadway, which explores interracial relationships, and Fairview at the Wooly Mammoth theatre, which tackles perceptions of race.”

Kelly Lambert headshot

Samantha Seeley, assistant professor of history, can provide historical context and discuss how historians received Hamilton

"Dramas need great heroes. Potraying Hamilton as a hero makes for a gripping show that speaks to our current moment, though sometimes in ways that take liberties with the complexity of our past."

"Historians have roundly praised the show for how it dramatizes the major debates of the Revolutionary era. However, many historians have questioned the show's portrayal of some of these debates. Despite the racially-diverse cast, Hamilton tends to underplay the issue of slavery and abolition. The show also largely omits the politics of Hamilton's Democratic-Republican rivals." 

 

Contact

To connect with these experts contact Media Relations Specialist Lindsey Campbell at lcampbe4@richmond.edu.