Event—Adult Education

Benjamin Franklin: Revolutionary Thinker and Founding Father


Portrait of Benjamin Franklin, David Martin, 1767. Source: The White House Historical Association via Wikimedia Commons.

Class Description

Explore Benjamin Franklin’s diverse roles as a statesman, scientist, inventor, and philosopher. We will delve into Franklin’s contributions to American independence, his scientific experiments, particularly in electricity, and his profound influence on America’s cultural and political landscapes.

Interactive discussions will focus on Franklin’s diverse writings, his strategic diplomatic missions, and the ways his ideas continue to resonate in contemporary society. This class, ideal for history enthusiasts and lifelong learners, invites participants from diverse backgrounds to engage in a comprehensive examination of Franklin’s enduring impact, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for this iconic figure.

Daniele Macuglia, Assistant Professor of History of Science at Peking University, earned his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2017. His academic endeavors include research at the University of Chicago's Institute on the Formation of Knowledge and Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society.

Materials List

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  • H.W. Brands, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin. Doubleday, 2000. ISBN: 978-0385493284

First Reading

  • Read prologue to “London Once.”

Cost and Registration

4 Sessions, $225 ($202 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.

We now offer our classes at three different price options: Regular ($225), Community Supported ($215), and Sponsor ($235). Following the models of other institutions, we want to ensure that our classes are accessible to a wider audience while continuing to support our instructors. You may choose the price that best fits your situation when registering through Learning Stream.

To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.


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