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Yale University's Blight Examines Civil War, Slavery Issues for Smith Lecture


March 25, 2004

DELAWARE, OHIO -- Dr. David Blight, professor of American history at Yale University, will present a lecture entitled "The Problem of Slavery and the Civil War in American Memory" on Thursday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Ohio Wesleyan University's Gray Chapel. An expert on the Civil War and Reconstruction, abolitionism, American historical memory, and African-American intellectual and cultural history, Blight will speak as part of the Richard W. Smith Civil War History Lecture Series.

Blight will address the problem of the Civil War, emancipation, and Reconstruction in our historical memory. He will also focus on the implications and costs of the reconciliation of North and South for American race relations and for the liberties and freedom of African Americans. Blight will discuss these issues in the context of several stories to help illustrate the nature of the relations between race and reunion in American culture.

A successful editor and author, Blight has written numerous books, articles, book chapters, essays, and book reviews. His most recent works include a collection of essays entitled Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War, and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, which received seven book awards including the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize. Blight is also the editor and author of two essays in Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory, which is due out this year.

Blight has been Professor of History at Yale University since January 2003 and recently was named Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale. He taught for 13 years at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Prior to his time at Amherst he was the Senior Fulbright Professor at the University of Munich's Amerika Institut in Germany, and he also taught at Harvard University and North Central College in Illinois. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in History and American History, respectively, from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.