GCC's Spring 2013 Civil War Lecture Series Updated

New Lecturer Announced for the First Lecture in February

Batavia, NY- Genesee Community College’s spring 2013 lecture series on the history of the Civil War announces a new lecture for its February 6th engagement. (The previously announced “Civil War Prisons in American Memory” lecture by Dr. Benjamin Cloyd needed to be cancelled.).

On Wednesday, February 6 at 7 p.m., "Hanging Henry Wirz: Debating the Meaning of 'War Crimes' during the American Civil War" will be presented by Carole Emberton, assistant professor of History at the University of Buffalo. Her presentation will explore how the concept of "war crimes" emerged in response to Wirz's trial as commandant of Andersonville Prison. The debate over Wirz's guilt as well as other atrocities committed during the war, including the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre and even the act of secession itself reveal the anxiety produced by the war's immense devastation and the struggle to control its meaning for future generations. It also highlights the importance of mid-nineteenth century developments in international law pertaining to the rules of war and justice for those who violate them.

GCC’s spring 2013 four-part lecture series in Batavia is free and open to the public, and pre-registration for each lecture is encouraged by contacting The BEST Center at 585-345-6868

On March 6, GCC Professor Garth Swanson presents the “New York’s Forgotten War—The War of 1812 and the Making of the Empire State.” The War of 1812 remains a confusing and little remembered chapter in the history of the United States. New York, as a result of its extensive border with British-controlled Canada, was one of the primary fronts of the war and its residents experienced considerable hardship over the three years of the conflict. In addition, political divisions brought on by the war threatened to tear the state apart internally. Yet, New York quickly emerged from the war stronger and more economically vibrant than ever. In his talk, Professor Swanson will assess the role of New York in the conflict and evaluate the ways the war helped to create a modern New York state.

The third lecture on April 3 features “Myths and More at Gettysburg” with George McGaughney. No Civil War battlefield is more famous (at least in the north) than Gettysburg. To many, it is sacred ground that warrants many visits and careful study, and like any other historical landscape, it is prone to myths and legends. In this talk McGaughney will talk about the basis of those myths and the many discoveries he has made as a frequent visitor. His findings will surprise even the most knowledgeable Civil War buff.

There will be a fourth Civil War lecture in Batavia in May, and also a separate, three-part lecture series is scheduled at the Medina Campus Center. Exact details on these events are still in development.

In addition to the lecture series, a three-day Civil War encampment will take place at the Medina Campus Center from Friday, April 26 until Sunday, April 28. The encampment will include re-enactors in authentic soldier costumes setting up Union and Confederate camps and many other events and re-enactments throughout the weekend.

For further information on the Civil War and the initiative at GCC, check out the Civil War blog at http://civilwaratgcc.wordpress.com/.

For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.

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