Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, specializes in the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery, and 19th-century America. He is one of only two people to serve as President of the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, and Society of American Historians. His most recent book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery won the Pulitzer, Bancroft, and Lincoln prizes for 2011. Foner will lead a session on “The Changing Tide of War: From Union to Emancipation” and will participate in a panel discussion on the history and memory of the Civil War.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, as well as director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He is the author most recently of Black in Latin America (New York University Press, 2011) and Faces of America (New York University Press, 2010), which expand on his critically acclaimed PBS documentaries of the same names, and Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Criticism in the African Diaspora (Basic Books, 2010). He is the co-editor of Call and Response: Key Debates in African American Studies (W. W. Norton, 2011). Gates will participate in a panel discussion on the history and memory of the Civil War.
Valerie Paley is the N-YHS Historian and Vice President for Scholarly Programs at the New-York Historical Society and is the curator of the Society’s permanent installations in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History, which opened in late 2011. She was formerly the founding editor of the New-York Journal of American History. Paley supervises the scholarly fellowship program and consults on historical content throughout the institution. Paley will lead a session on the role of women in the Civil War and the Sanitary Fairs.
Barnet Schecter is an independent historian in New York City. He is the author The Devil’s Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America, The Battle for New York, and George Washington’s America: A Biography Through His Maps. His writing has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Observer, Metropolis, The Village Voice, The Washington Post, Terra Nova, and other publications. Schecter will lead a session on the Civil War Draft Riots, followed by a walking tour of Civil War sites in NYC.
Donald R. Shaffer is the author of After the Glory: The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans, which won the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship in 2005. More recently he published (with Elizabeth Regosin), Voices of Emancipation: Understanding Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction through the U.S. Pension Bureau. Dr. Shaffer is also author of the blog “Civil War Emancipation” and teaches online as a virtual professor. Shaffer will lead a session on the United States Colored Troops and the film Glory.
Manisha Sinha is Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina and The Slave's Cause: Abolition and the Origins of America's Interracial Democracy (Forthcoming). She is also co-editor of the two-volume African American Mosaic: A Documentary History from the African Slave Trade to the Twenty First Century and Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race and Power in American History. Sinha will lead a session on slavery and the early war.
John Stauffer is Chair of the History of American Civilization and Professor of English and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Among the leading scholars of the Civil War era, antislavery in particular, he is the author or editor of eight books and more than 50 articles. His most recent books are GIANTS: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, which was the winner of the Iowa Writers Award and a Boston Book Club prize; and The State of Jones, co-authored with Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins, which was a New York Times bestseller and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Stauffer will lead a session on Frederick Douglass in the Civil War and will participate in a panel discussion on the history and memory of the war.
Craig Symonds is Professor Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy where he taught naval history and Civil War History for thirty years. He was named Teacher of the Year in 1988, and the Researcher of the Year in 1998—the first person ever to win both awards. Symonds is the author of twelve books and the editor of nine others. His books have won the Barondess Lincoln Prize, the Daniel and Marilyn Laney Prize, the S.A. Cunningham Award, the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize, and the John Lyman book Prize three times. In 2009 he shared the Lincoln Prize with James M. McPherson. Symonds will lead a session on the outbreak of the Civil War.
“Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”