Let Truth Have Fair Play: Elihu Palmer’s Struggle for Religious Freedom

In this First Amendment speaker series event, Professor Kirsten Fischer discusses her new book, American FreethinkerElihu Palmer and the Struggle for Religious Freedom in the New Nation. Palmer was a secular activist in early America that pushed for free speech and religious freedom.

About the Presenter

Kirsten Fischer is a professor of history at the University of Minnesota. She recently wrote American Freethinker: Elihu Palmer and the Struggle for Religious Freedom in the New Nation. Published by the University of Pennsylvania in 2021, the book is a biography of a once-notorious public speaker who attacked Christianity and pushed for freedom of speech. She is also known for her book Suspect Relations: Sex, Race, and Resistance in Colonial North Carolina (Cornell, 2002), which shows the development of racial thinking in a slave society. Fischer is an award-winning teacher and the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships. She has presented her work in France, Italy, Germany, and Canada. She was hosted for two years at the University of Heidelberg’s Center for American Studies, once as a Fulbright scholar.