Signature Conference: “War as Muse: Revisiting Iconic Texts of the Civil War Era”

Every year the Nau Center will host a major conference on a selected theme, open to the UVA community and the general public.  This year’s conference, “War as Muse: Revisiting Iconic Texts of the Civil War,” takes place on Friday April 1, 2016.  The conference will interweave military and literary history, using notable writers and their works to explore the profound ways in which the Civil War not only changed the lives of its combatants and chroniclers, but also fundamentally transformed American letters. Some of the iconic authors to be discussed include William Tecumseh Sherman, Mary Boykin Chesnut, Jefferson Davis, Joseph T. Wilson, Edward Porter Alexander, and Charlotte Forten.

Here is the conference lineup and schedule:

Session 1

8:00: Coffee available
8:30: Opening remarks from Gary Gallagher and Elizabeth Varon
8:45-9:30: Elizabeth Varon, University of Virginia, “Joseph T. Wilson’s 'The Black Phalanx': African-American Patriotism and the Won Cause”
9:40-10:25: Brenda E. Stevenson, University of California at Los Angeles, "Considering the War from Home and on the Front: Charlotte Forten’s Civil War Diary Entries"
10:35–11:20: Cynthia L. Nicoletti, University of Virginia, "Competing Visions of the Civil War: Jefferson and Varina Davis's Postwar Memoirs"
11:30-12:00: Question and Answer #1
12:00-1:00: Lunch

Session 2

1:15-2:00: Stephen Cushman, University of Virginia, "Surrender According to Johnston and Sherman"
2:10-2:55: Sarah E. Gardner, Mercer University, "'Forget to Weep My Dead': Mary Chesnut's Civil War Reading"
3:15-4:00: Gary W. Gallagher, University of Virginia, "The Best Confederate Memoirist: Edward Porter Alexander's Unrivaled Military Accounts"
4:15-4:45: Question and Answer #2
4:50-5:00: Farewell remarks from Gary Gallagher and Elizabeth Varon
Friday, April 1, 2016
Time and Location: 
8:00AM-5:00PM, Special Collections Auditorium