Spring 2011, Vol. 19, No. 2 (requires Adobe Acrobat)

Historian David Blight to Present Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture

David Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University, will present this year’s Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture at 4:10 p.m. on March 24th, location to be announced. Professor Blight’s talk is titled “Gods and Devils Aplenty: Robert Penn Warren’s Civil War.”

A prolific writer, Professor Blight is most recently the author of A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Narratives of Emancipation (Harcourt, 2007). In 2001, he published Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Harvard University Press), which received eight book awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize. Other publications include Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002); and Frederick Douglass’s Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (LSU Press, 1989). Professor Blight is currently writing a book related to the Civil War sesquicentennial that is rooted in the work of Robert Penn Warren, comparing the 100th anniversary of America’s most pivotal event to its 150th. He is also working on a new biography of Frederick Douglass that will be published by Simon and Schuster by 2013.

Professor Blight was elected as a member of the Society of American Historians in 2002. Since 2004, he has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Historical Society and the Board for African American Programs at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. He also serves on the Board of Advisors to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and is involved in planning numerous conferences and events to commemorate both the Lincoln anniversary and the sesquicentennial of the U.S. Civil War. In his capacity as director of the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale, Blight organizes conferences, working groups, lectures, the administering of the annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and many public outreach programs regarding the history of slavery and its abolition. In 2009, Blight chaired the jury for nonfiction for the National Book Award. Currently, Professor Blight holds the Rogers Distinguished Fellowship in 19th-Century American History at the Huntington Library.

The Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture Series was established in 1994 through the endowment of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Nash Jr., and Mr. and Mrs. George Renfro, all of Asheville, North Carolina. The lecture honors Harry C. Howard Jr. (B.A., 1951) and allows the Warren Center to bring an outstanding scholar to Vanderbilt annually to deliver a lecture on a significant topic in the humanities.

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