This episode is a recording of a talk held on May 7th, 2015 at the Portland Public Library as the culminating event in the three-year Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War project run by the Maine Humanities Council and Maine Historical Society with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. We join David Blight for “The Civil War in American Memory: Legacies in our Time.”
One of the most renowned Civil War scholars in the country, David Blight is a Professor of American History at Yale University and the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale. In 2013-14 he was the William Pitt Professor of American History at Cambridge University in England, and in 2010-11, he was the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th century American History at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.
Professor Blight works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards of museums and historical societies, and as a member of a small team of advisors to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum team of curators. In 2012, Professor Blight was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has written and edited many essays and books, including A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including their Narratives of Emancipation; Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War; and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, which received eight book awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize.
Professor Blight holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and did his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University. He has also taught at Harvard University, at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and for seven years was a public high school teacher in his hometown, Flint, Michigan.