National Archives to Hold Civil War Symposium
Press Release · Thursday, September 23, 2010

Washington, DC…The National Archives observes the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a day-long symposium, The Civil War: Fresh Perspectives on Saturday, November 20, 2010 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The symposium will feature three panel discussions related to themes found within the National Archives special exhibit, Discovering the Civil War. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, will make opening remarks. Keynote remarks will be presented by Edward Ayers, President of the University of Richmond.

Note: The symposium is open to working press, but due to a limited number of press passes, pre-registration is required before October 15. Contact Public Affairs at:

Advanced registration is required along with a fee of $50. Registration opens to the public on October 1. Register online or by phone at (877) 444-6777.

Summary of Panels:

Welcoming and Keynote Address, 9 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

The Home Front, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
How did the Civil War impact everyday life, and how did people confront the challenges of living in a nation at war? A distinguished panel discusses the home front in both the Union and the Confederacy and how daily life was affected. Moderated by Gary W. Gallagher, John L. Nau III Professor of History, University of Virginia, panelists include J. Matthew Gallman, Professor of History, University of Florida; Thavolia Glymph, Associate Professor of African & African American Studies and History, Duke University; James Marten, Professor and Chair of History, Marquette University; and Amy Murrell Taylor, Associate Professor, University of Albany, SUNY.

A Global War: International Implications, 2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Through diplomatic negotiations and naval conflicts, the Civil War’s impact extended far beyond U.S. borders. While Union and Confederate troops battled on American soil, a global diplomatic battle ensued. Moderated by Edward Ayers, President of the University of Richmond, panelists include Richard J. M. Blackett, Andrew Jackson Professor of History, Vanderbilt University; Howard Jones, University Research Professor, University of Alabama; Phillip E. Myers, former Director of Administration, Western Kentucky University Research Foundation; and Brian Schoen, Assistant Professor of History, Ohio University.

The Nation Before and After, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
What was the state of our nation before and after the Civil War? Before the war, as southern states were seceding from the Union, few Americans could have imagined a war that would last four years, destroy much of the South, and free four million slaves. How did our injured nation begin to create a new social, political and economic order? Moderated by Eric Foner, Professor of History, Columbia University, panelists include Paul A. Cimbala, Professor of History, Fordham University; Elizabeth R. Varon, Professor of History, Temple University; Eric H. Walther, Professor of History, University of Houston; and Joan Waugh, Professor of History, UCLA.

Reception, 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

The symposium will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building located at Constitution and 7th St., NW. Use the Special Events entrance. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station.

Presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives, the University of Richmond, the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, and the Civil War Roundtable of the District of Columbia.

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