About the Co-Directors

Paul Benson, Ph.D.Paul Benson, Ph.D.

Co-Director Paul Benson, is a professor of humanities at Mountain View College of the Dallas County Community College District. Winner of four national teaching awards, Dr. Benson has directed three previous NEH Landmarks of American History & Culture Workshops for Community College Teachers including two on transcendentalism and social reform in Concord, Mass., and one on Thomas Jefferson, as well as one NEH Institute on slavery in the early American Republic. 

Paul Finkelman, Ph.D.Paul Finkelman, Ph.D.

Co-Director Paul Finkelman is currently the John E. Murray visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He has held chairs at Duke Law School, Albany Law School and LSU Law School and has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in four cases. Receiving his doctorate in history from the University of Chicago working under Stanley N. Katz and the late John Hope Franklin, he was also a fellow in law and humanities at Harvard Law School. Finkelman is author of more than 40 books and 200 scholarly articles. In 2018 Harvard University Press will publish his next book Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court. His book, An Imperfect Union:  Slavery, Federalism, and Comity, is considered a classic study of slavery and law and has been in print for more than 45 years. Dred Scott v. Sandford: A Brief History has recently come out in a second edition. In addition Dr. Finkelman has directed three NEH Summer Institutes for Teachers.