Benjamin Franklin w/ Q&A | WKAR

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March 31, 2022
7:00pm Eastern Time
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Thu., Mar. 31, 2022 at 7 p.m. | Preview clips from the upcoming Ken Burns series and join the conversation around Benjamin Franklin.

Ken Burns's two-part, four-hour documentary, Benjamin Franklin, explores the revolutionary life of one of the 18th century's most consequential and compelling personalities, whose work and words unlocked the mystery of electricity and helped create the United States. Franklin's 84 years (1706-1790) spanned an epoch of momentous change in science, technology, literature, politics, and government — fields he himself advanced through a lifelong commitment to societal and self-improvement.

A presentation of WKAR in partnership with the Michigan State History Association, DAR of Michigan and The Historical Society of Michigan

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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN - Reel 3: Franklin as a scientist, writer, and diplomat

The Discussion is Next

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60 minutes



  • Panelist Avatar
    Amanda Pinckney

    Panel Moderator

    Amanda Pinckney is WKAR's Communications Manager.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Emily Conroy-Krutz


    Emily Conroy-Krutz is a historian of nineteenth-century America, with a specialization in religion and foreign relations. She earned her PhD from Harvard University in 2012. Her book, Christian Imperialism: Converting the World in the Early American Republic, was published by Cornell University Press in 2015 as part of the U.S. and the World Series. It examines the global reach of the American foreign mission movement in the years between the 1790s and 1840s and analyzes the missionary response to imperialism. Her writing on foreign missionaries, American empire, transatlantic reform, and women’s history can be found in journals and edited volumes including the Journal of the Early Republic, Diplomatic History, and Early American Studies. Her current research is on 19th-century missionary connections to American foreign policy. At Michigan State, she teaches courses on American women’s history, the American Revolution, the US and the World, legal history, and religious history.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Katy Haas


    Co-Producer, Benjamin Franklin. Katy Haas grew up in New Hampshire and began at Florentine Films as a post-production intern during high school on Horatio’s Drive, Jack Johnson and National Parks before attending the Burren College of Art and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. After receiving her Bachelor's degree in American Studies from Smith College, Haas continued to pursue documentary film and photography, developing photo essays at home and abroad and teaching photography. She returned to Florentine Films as the apprentice editor on the Dust Bowl (2012), and was an associate producer on the award-winning series Country Music (2019).

  • Panelist Avatar
    Clay Jenkinson


    Clay Jenkinson is a humanities scholar, author, and social commentator, devoting most of his career to public humanities programs. As one of the nation’s leading interpreters of Thomas Jefferson, Clay has performed before Supreme Court justices, presidents, eighteen state legislatures, and countless public, corporate and student audiences as well as appearing on The Today Show, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, The Colbert Report and CNN. He has dedicated the better part of his life to researching the historical characters that he portrays and to bringing back and defining the “living theatre” of Chautauqua, which also emphasizes education with audience participation to enhance the learning and entertainment experience. Clay is the recipient of one of the first five Charles Frankel Prizes, the National Endowment for the Humanities’ highest award (now called the National Humanities Medal), from President George H. Bush. He serves as editor-at-large of and hosts The Thomas Jefferson Hour radio show and podcast. He also leads humanities-based group tours to historic locales such as the Lewis & Clark trail in Montana and Idaho, John Steinbeck’s California, and Jefferson’s France. He lives and writes in Bismarck, North Dakota.

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.