Batavia, NY- The Civil War Initiative at Genesee Community College launched in 2011 to mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the historic conflict. As the nation marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War’s end in 2015, the College continues to offer a variety of events to educate and enlighten. The popular Civil War Lecture Series continues with three events planned; the Civil War Encampment returns to GCC’s Medina Campus Center April 24-26, 2015; and new this year a Commemorative Civil War Ball is planned for March 21, 2015 at the Clarion Hotel in Batavia. GCC is a co-sponsor of this event being put on by the Daughters of the American Civil War.
The Civil War Lecture series at the College has drawn hundreds of people to learn more about the leaders of the War, the battles and even the music. Spring semester 2015 brings another interesting line-up of speakers arranged by Civil War Initiative Coordinator and Assistant Professor of History Derek Maxfield. They include:
•GCC Assistant Professor of History Charles Scruggs; Feb. 4, 2015 / Batavia Campus
“From the Blue and the Gray to Brown: An Exploration of Race, Reconstruction and Higher Education”
The Civil War shaped American higher education in profound ways. Prof. Scruggs will examine the complex connections between our nation’s colonial colleges and the institution of slavery.
•Dr. Michael Eula, Genesee County Historian; March 4, 2015 / Batavia Campus
“The Ideal of Freedom, the Civil War, and Genesee County, New York, 1861-1865”
“Freedom” was the explicit ideological goal of both the Union and the Confederacy, but each understood it in dramatically different ways. Dr. Eula, Professor Emeritus of History at El Camino College in Torrance, California will explore “freedom” from the Union viewpoint with special emphasis on Genesee County. How did “freedom” shape views on slavery, the place of women in society, the role of government, the construction of nationalism and the place of civil rights? Ironically, the echoes of these concerns resonate in our own day—conclusively illustrating the often subtle connection between the past and the present.
•GCC Historian Panel moderated by Prof. Derek Maxfield; April 1, 2015 / Batavia Campus
“Reconsidering the Civil War: GCC Historians Consider Historiography and American Memory”
An all-star team of GCC historians comes together to assess the Sesquicentennial commemorations of the Civil War. How have histories of the War changed over the years? How do we want to remember America’s greatest tragedy? The discussion will feature Professors Garth Swanson, Charles Scruggs, Timothy Palmer, Peter Francione, and Dan Hamner as well as Orleans County Campus Centers Associate Dean Jim Simon.
All events begin at 7 p.m. in Room T102 of the Conable Technology Building on GCC’s Batavia Campus. Each is FREE and open to the public.
On Saturday, March 21, 2015 the Daughters of the American Civil War, a ladies group in Batavia dedicated to honoring women of the Civil War era, presents a Commemorative Civil War Ball from 7-10 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel in Batavia. The event will feature Civil War music provided by City Fiddle with a dance master to call the dances. Dance instruction will be offered free of charge to ball attendees from 1 -3 p.m. the afternoon of the event in the Clarion ballroom.
This is an historic re-enactment open to all re-en-actors and the general public. Formal dress is requested for the ball and period dress is appreciated. All eras of military dress will be honored. Pre-sale tickets for the event are $25 and are available online at www.showtix4u.com. Tickets at the door are $30. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Genesee Veterans Support Group and the Genesee County Historians Association.
There are also three Civil War lectures scheduled this spring at GCC’s two campus centers in Orleans County.
•Thursday, February 26, at 7 p.m., the Medina Campus Center has scheduled a lecture entitled, “A Legacy of Conflict: The Longstreet Family and the Problem of Historical Memory,” presented by Dr. Terrianne Schulte, associate professor of history at D’Youville College.
•Wednesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. at the Albion Campus Center, Sarah Handley-Cousins, a PhD candidate at the University of Buffalo, will speak about Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.
•Wednesday, April 8 at 7 p.m. at the Medina Campus Center, a special panel discussion entitled, “Reconsidering the Civil War and American Memory” will feature James Simon, associate dean of GCC’s Orleans County campuses, Dan Hamner, GCC adjunct instructor and Bill Lattin, former Orleans County historian. The panel discussion will be moderated by Derek Maxfield, founder of GCC’s Civil War Initiatives and assistant professor of history.
The Civil War Encampment returns to GCC’s Medina Campus Center April 24-26, 2015. Now in its fourth year, the community has embraced this event and the historical education and many activities it offers. More information about this year’s Encampment will be available as the date draws closer.
For the latest information on events and activities associated with the CWI, check out the website http://civilwaratgcc.wordpress.com or contact assistant professor Derek Maxfield at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6288 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Photographs from the 2014 Civil War Encampment are available here: