Civil War Lecture Series at Lima Campus Center

Genesee Community College is pleased to host a Civil War lecture series this fall in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Lectures will be held at our Lima Campus Center and are free and open to the public. Each lecture will begin at 7:00pm.

Wednesday, Sept. 21st – Topic: “ Upton: Days of Challenge: 1861-1881”

Speaker: Don Burkel, Historian and Executive Director/Downtown Mgr. of the Batavia Business Improvement District

Synopsis: This program focuses on General Emory Upton’s military career and his attempts at reforming the U.S. military and its policies. Upton was an outstanding leader of men, a brilliant tactician, and dedicated reformer. Several of his ideas to improve the U.S. military are still in effect today.

Wednesday, Oct. 12th – Topic: “The Union Cavalry, Modern Firearms and the Development of Tactical Flexibility”

Speaker: Peter Francione, GCC Adjunct Instructor

Synopsis: When the Civil War erupted in 1861, the cavalry force available to the Union Army was dispersed, under-strength, and devoid of leadership at the command level. Despite these disadvantages, the Union cavalry developed itself into a vital arm of the United States Army that would help hasten the defeat of the Confederacy as a whole. This is the story of the evolution of the Union Cavalry into a force every bit as effective as Confederate cavalry.

Wednesday, Nov. 9th – Topic: “Exploring the literary ‘lived experience’ of the Civil War.”

Speaker: Norm Gayford, GCC Professor of English

Synopsis: In his recent essay titled "Reflections on the Crisis in the Humanities," Richard Wolin, Distinguished Professor of History and Comparative Literature at CUNY, reminds us of the intersection of history and literature: "The study of history allows us to come to terms with the achievements as well as the depredations of our collective past so that we might experience a future that is free of injustice….[t]he study of literature introduces us to imaginary worlds and new experiences, so that our conceptions of human possibility transcend the boundaries and limitations of what was heretofore conceivable" (Hedgehog Review, Summer 2011, 15). Through the literary work of writers whose lives necessitated the crossing of literary/historical boundaries because they lived with–even in–the Civil War, we can reach the perceptions, the comprehension, the intuitions of which Wolin speaks. In the evening’s presentation, we’ll experience excerpts from Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, William Wells Brown, Harriet Jacobs, Fanny Fern (aka Sarah Willis Parton) to confront this crossing of boundaries, giving us fresh views into the literary ‘lived experience’ of the Civil War.

Wednesday, Dec. 7th – Topic: “Women and the Civil War”

Speaker: Dr. Terrianne Schulte, Asst. Professor of History, D’Youville College, Buffalo

Synopsis: TBA


About Derek Maxfield

Associate Professor of History Genesee Community College
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