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Another March Madness, Mar. 16

Duke Symposium Marks 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

DURHAM, N.C. -- Prominent historians from Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Ohio State University will gather at Duke for a one-day symposium marking the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

The symposium, Another March Madness: The American Civil War at 150, will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, March 16, in Perkins Library’s Gothic Reading Room and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the library’s Rare Book Room.

It will feature talks and presentations on a wide range of topics related to the war and its ongoing impact a century and a half later.

Co-organizers Shauna Devine and Margaret Humphreys, both Duke historians, said the panelists are Civil War experts representing a broad range of interests.

“Our goal is to provide an opportunity to learn about the many divergent aspects of the conflict, including the medical, military, cultural, political, and social history of the Civil War,” Devine said.

Guest speakers include:


  • Joseph Glatthaar, professor of history at UNC, will speak on the relationships between officers and enlisted men in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia;
  • Susanna Lee, professor of history at North Carolina State, will discuss the wartime conflicts with Native Americans and their claims to Union citizenship;
  • Laura Edwards, professor of history at Duke, will examine the legal ramifications of the war;
  • Mark Grimsley, military historian at Ohio State University, will examine Reconstruction violence as an extension of Civil War violence; and
  • Devine and Humphreys will talk about medical history relating to the war, including the development of new medical standards and diagnostic techniques.


The symposium coincides with a Civil War-related exhibit currently on display in Perkins Library. "I Recall the Experience Sweet and Sad": Memories of the Civil War showcases the memoirs of men and women who lived through the conflict including Walt Whitman, whose work as an army hospital nurse inspired some of his greatest works. A second display highlighting Duke’s rich Civil War medicine collection will also be on view in the Gothic Reading Room for the symposium.

The event is sponsored by the Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Foundation; the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine, Duke University & School of Medicine; the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation, Inc.; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History; the Duke University Department of History; Duke's Army ROTC Department of Military Science; and the Duke University Libraries.

For more information, including a program schedule and speaker bios, visit the symposium website.

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Posted 24 February 2012

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Last modified March 15, 2012 2:33:08 PM EDT