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David W. Blight
David W. Blight

AMERICAN HISTORIAN AND AUTHORITY ON THE CULTURAL IMPACT OF THE CIVIL WAR, TO SPEAK

NYS Writers Institute, November 15, 2012
7:30 p.m. Presentation | Clark Auditorium, NYS Museum,
Cultural Educaion Center, Albany


CALENDAR LISTING:

David W. Blight, leading authority on the Civil War’s cultural legacy, and Professor of American History at Yale, will present a lecture, “America Divided, Then and Now: The Civil War in our National and Local Imagination,” as part of UAlbany’s 2012 “Researching New York” Conference, on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Clark Auditorium of the New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center, in downtown Albany. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by UAlbany’s Department of History, the NYS Archives Partnership Trust, the NYS Museum, and the NYS Writers Institute. For additional information on the “Researching New York” Conference go to: http://nystatehistory.org/researchny.

PROFILE
The featured speaker for the 2012 “Researching New York” Conference, David W. Blight will present a lecture, “America Divided, Then and Now: The Civil War in our National and Local Imagination.” Professor Blight will address the nature of Civil War memory at the time of the previous two major anniversaries: 1911-15 and 1961-65, focusing especially on the Centennial. He will also consider the larger question of why and how the Civil War and emancipation continue to have such an enduring and conflicted hold on our collective memory in America.

One of the foremost authorities on the U.S. Civil War and a pioneer in the historical subspecialty of “memory studies,” Blight is Professor of American History and Director, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University. He has won major prizes for historical research, including the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Prize for his 2011 book, American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era, as well as Yale’s Frederick Douglass Prize and Columbia University’s Bancroft Prize for his 2001 book, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001).

Tony Horwitz, author of Confederates in the Attic, called American Oracle, “intellectual history at its best—deep terrain, mined by a scholar who brings gems to the page,” and novelist Caryl Phillips said,  “Blight’s elegant narrative enables us to see the full, enduring, significance of the Civil War…. an outstanding achievement.”

In a piece on Race and Reunion that appeared in The New York Review of Books, David Brion Davis said, “[This book] will strongly influence the writing of post-Civil War history for decades to come. Indeed, Race and Reunion is surely one of the four or five most important works in American history written in the past decade.”

Blight’s other books include Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory & the American Civil War (2002), Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory (2001), and Frederick Douglass’ Civil War (1989). He is also the recent editor of two previously unknown narratives by escaped slaves published together as A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation (2007).

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.