Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Talk to Address the Civil War in the American Memory

Chestertown, MD, March 14, 2001 — Dr. David Blight, Professor of History at Amherst College, will address the topic "Healing and Justice: The Problem of the Civil War in American Memory" on Thursday, March 22, 2001, at 4:30 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of Washington College's Miller Library. The free talk is sponsored by the Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture Series and the public is invited to attend.
Dr. Blight received his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. He has concentrated his studies on the Civil War, Reconstruction, African-American history, and American intellectual and cultural history. He is the author of the recently published book, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Belknap Press, 2001).
Dr. Blight will examine the myths and reinterpretations of the Civil War that have been fostered in America since the end of the war and are still popularized today in American politics and society.
In an recent editorial for The Washington Post, Dr. Blight wrote: "Let us be clear about the nature of the Lost Cause and the state's rights doctrines historically tied to the Confederacy. After the Civil War, the Lost Cause took root in the South in an admixture of physical destruction, the psychological trauma of defeat, the revitalization of a Democratic Party that resisted Reconstruction, white supremacy, racial violence and--with time--an abiding sentimentalism that disseminated countless images of 'faithful' slaves. The Lost Cause also became for many white southerners a web of organizations and rituals, a civil religion that assuaged their sense of loss."
The Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture Series was established upon Goodfellow's death in 1989 to honor the memory of the history professor who had taught at Washington College for 30 years. The intent of the endowed lecture series is to bring a distinguished historian to campus each year to lecture and spend time with students in emulation of Dr. Goodfellow's vibrant teaching style.

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