Mercer Southern Studies Program Presents ‘Civil War Memory’

September 19, 2011

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037, vanderhoek_m@mercer.edu

MACON – Mercer University’s Southern Studies Program will hold a year of special events in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, titled “Civil War Memory,” which will include the department’s long-running Lamar Lecture Series. The Lamar lecturer for 2011 is historian and author Dr. Gary Gallagher, who will present three lectures titled “Becoming Confederates: Three Paths to a New National Loyalty.”

This year marks the 54th anniversary of the Lamar Lecture Series, which has become the most prominent lecture series on Southern culture and history. Over the years, the series has welcomed presentations by renowned historians, sociologists and literary scholars.

Dr. Gallagher’s lectures will be held in the spring semester on the University’s Macon campus. The lectures are all free and open to the public.

Dr. Gallagher, the James L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia, is the author of five books on Civil War history, including The Union War; Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War; Lee and His Army in Confederate History; Lee and His Generals in War and Memory and The Confederate War.

“Dr. Gary Gallagher is one of the nation’s leading interpreters of Civil War memory,” said Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, professor and chair of history and director of southern studies at Mercer. “His lectures serve as a fitting opening to the year-long series sponsored by the Southern Studies Program.” 

“The Civil War was a pivotal moment in American history and how we remember the war continues to be a battle,” said Dr. David Davis, assistant professor of English. “The events in this series will examine how we continue to imagine the war, and how imagination sometimes obscures memory.”

In addition to the lectures, the Southern Studies Program will hold a film screening and discussion. Gone with the Wind will be screened at the Cox Capitol Theatre in downtown Macon on Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 for the public and $3 for Mercer students. Discussion will follow with Dr. Karen Cox, author of Dreaming of Dixie: How the South was Created in American Popular Culture, and Dr. Gardner, who is also author of Blood and Irony: Southern White Women’s Narratives of the Civil War, 1861-1937.

The series also includes two lectures during the spring semester. The first will be given by Dr. Fitz Brundage at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 in the Medical School Auditorium.  Dr. Brundage is the William B. Umstead Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and author of the Lillian Smith Award-winning book The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory. Robert Cook will present the second lecture at 7:30 p.m. on April 2 in the Medical School Auditorium. Cook is research fellow at the Marcus Cunliffe Centre for the Study of the American South at University of Sussex and author of Troubled Commemoration: The American Civil War Centennial, 1961-1965. Both spring lectures are supported by the Georgia Humanities Council.

About the Lamar Lecture Series
Made possible by the bequest of the late Eugenia Dorothy Blount Lamar, the Lamar Lecture Series began in 1957. The series promotes the permanent preservation of Southern culture, history and literature. Given each fall, it is recognized as the most important series on Southern history and literature in the United States. Speakers have included nationally and internationally known scholars, such as Cleanth Brooks, James C. Cobb and Eugene Genovese. All lectures are original and are published as books following the lectures.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals – Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.
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