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Civil War conference brings historians to campus during Sesquicentennial

“The Future of Civil War History” combines academic and public history

An innovative three-day conference, “The Future of Civil War History: Looking Beyond the 150th” will be held on campus March 14-16. Gettysburg College, Gettysburg National Military Park, and the Gettysburg Foundation will host the conference, which occurs in the midst of the country's 150th commemoration of the American Civil War.

“The Future of Civil War History: Looking Beyond the 150th” combines academic and public history, and attendees will explore new ways to engage diverse audiences in meaningful conversations about the history and legacy of the American Civil War through a wide variety of presentations, panels, working groups and field experiences.

“No other event during this commemorative period brings together such an incredible range of historians working in the field of Civil War history. We will focus on how to create a more usable past for an American public who seeks deep meaning from their Civil War era. At a time when our nation is at war, the relevancy of our Civil War history could not be greater,” said Peter Carmichael, director of the College’s Civil War Institute (CWI).

Topics of discussion include: misconceptions about Civil War military history, issues of Civil War memory, emancipation and slavery, talking about gender at Civil War sites, and battlefield rehabilitation.

Featured speakers include David Blight, Cathy Stanton, Ed Linenthal, Stephen Berry, Tiya Miles, Scott Hartwig and John Hennessy. Members of the Gettysburg College community including Peter Carmichael (CWI), Jill Ogline Titus (CWI), Allen Guelzo (Civil War Era Studies), and others will serve as presenters, moderators, and panelists.

Follow along with the conference on CWI's Facebook and Twitter.

This conference is part of Gettysburg College’s American Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration. The College will sponsor events and programs throughout the anniversary that runs from 2011-2015 with special focus on 2013, which marks the 150th anniversary of the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg, and President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. For more information, visit www.gettysburg.edu/cw2013 and www.gettysburgcivilwar150.com.

Gettysburg College (then known as Pennsylvania College) played a vital role in the Civil War, with more than 200 alumni serving the Union or Confederacy, and the College’s Pennsylvania Hall functioning as an observation post and hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg. On Nov. 19, 1863, College students and faculty processed to hear Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address at the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Earlier in the year, an 1851 graduate of the College, prominent attorney David Wills, had invited Lincoln to deliver “a few appropriate remarks” at the cemetery’s dedication. Lincoln stayed with the Wills family on the square the night before delivering his famous speech. 

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Mon, 11 Mar 2013

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