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April 19, 2005

Press Contact:
Jodi Bart, UT Law, (512) 471-7330.
Event Contact: Mary McDonald, UT Law,, (512) 232-1301.

Preeminent Civil War Historian to Speak at UT Law, April 28

Headshot photo of David Blight

What: Lecture on the U.S. Civil War by Professor David Blight, Yale University.
Where: UT School of Law, Townes Hall, Jeffers Courtroom (Maps:
When: Thurs., April 28 at 3:30 p.m.
Cost: Free; Open to the public and University community. A reception will follow.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Will E. Orgain Lectureship at UT Law presents a lecture by David Blight, professor of history at Yale University and director of the Gilder-Lehrman Center for Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. Professor Blight will present a new way of understanding the nation's collective response to the War in his talk, “Healing or Justice: Has Civil War Memory Divided or Unified America?” on Thurs., April 28 at 3:30 p.m. in the Jeffers Courtroom of Townes Hall.

In his award-winning book of 2001, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Cambridge, Mass., 2001), Prof. Blight argues that because Americans ignored the racist underpinnings of the war in favor of reunification, the nation has since then struggled with racial conflict. Race and Reunion won the Frederick Douglass Prize, the Lincoln Prize, three awards from the Organization of American Historians and the Bancroft Prize.

Blight has also written about the Civil War in Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002) and Frederick Douglass’ Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (Baton Rouge, 1989) and has been a consultant on documentary films, such as the PBS series Africans in America (1998). For more on his involvement with that series, please see

Blight earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and before he came to Yale in 2002, taught at Harvard, Amherst, and North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. He also taught in Munich, Germany as Senior Fulbright Professor of American Studies, and for seven years he taught high school in his hometown of Flint, Michigan.