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GCC Hosts Spring Civil War Lecture Series and Essay Contest

January 25, 2012

Genesee Community College is pleased to be hosting another lecture series on the history of the Civil War as part of the College’s Civil War Initiative commemorating the 150th anniversary of that terrible conflict. The four part series will run Tuesdays, February 7, March 6, April 3, and May 1 from 7:00 to 9:00pm in T102 of the Batavia Campus. All lectures are free and open to the public, but pre-registration for each lecture is encouraged by contacting The BEST Center.

Also featured this spring is a Civil War Essay Contest open to all students between grades 9 and 12 with the topic, “War Takes a Nasty Turn: The Changing Nature of the War of 1862.” The first place essay winner will receive a color Nook electronic reader. The essay should be a minimum of three pages formatted in 12 point Times New Roman font and double spaced. All citations must be in written in Chicago Style (www.chicagomanualofstyle.org). All essays must be received electronically by Friday April 13, 2012 to ddmaxfield@genesee.edu. Winners will be announced before the final Civil War lecture on May 1, at 7:00 p.m.

“We are very excited to have another great line-up of dynamic speakers, who are all authorities on the history of the Civil War and each with his or her own area of expertise,” Derek Maxfield, GCC’s resident Civil War historian and history instructor said. “GCC is really taking the lead in offering an array of great programs to commemorate one of the most important aspects of our nation’s history.”

The lecture series topics and dates are as follows:

Tuesday, February 7th - "Goats of War" by Derek Maxfield, GCC

This talk covers some unusual and not often discussed antiheroes of war—the goats. “The term goat is all encompassing,” according to Maxfield. “It refers to the scapegoats or the political generals who didn’t quite fit into the normal context of the war. Some officers were ridiculed for their actions or inactions, others were considered villains. This lecture will cover these unsung compatriots of the Civil War.” The talk will explore the differences between the heroes and goats, and why the Civil War produced a significant number of goats.

Tuesday, March 6

“Until Every Negro Has Been Slaughtered: Remembering United States Colored Troops at the Crater” with Kevin Levine, History Department Chair and instructor of History at St. Anne’s – Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Levine is the author of upcoming book Remembering the Battle of the Crater, and he will discuss how the African American troops held the front defense of this battle which was preceded by a planned underground explosion at the Confederate camp. This battle is also known for the significant number of African American troops killed during the encounter.

Tuesday, April 3

“From Bondage to Freedom” by Kevin Cottrell, founder of Motherland Connextions, will discuss the Underground Railroad as it pertains to Western New York and Southern Ontario. Motherland Connextions is one of the first multi-cultural humanitarian efforts helping to spotlight the many effects diversity had in sustaining freedom, and instilling courage and hope in our communities nationwide.

Tuesday, May 1

"The Longstreet Family in War and Peace" by Dr. Terrianne Schulte of D'Youville College. This talk explores the impact of the war and its aftermath with the well-known and controversial southern family, the Longstreets. Dr. Schulte will focus on Confederate General James Longstreet, his second wife, Helen Dortch Longstreet, and his uncle, Judge Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, the author of Georgia Scenes.

Genesee Community College has also developed two blogs - the GCC GLOW Region History Co-Op Blog – which seeks to help promote partnerships with GLOW region historical organizations and the Civil War Blog – which is a part of the Civil War initiative. The war blog promotes upcoming events at the College and will feature posts about GCC history instructor Derek Maxfield’s work. The blogs can be found at www.glowhistory.wordpress.com and www.civilwaratgcc.wordpress.com.

Another College event worth noting is the Civil War Exhibit currently on display in the Alfred O’Connell Library featuring more than a dozen miniature models depicting wartime scenes and situations, as well as a full case of authentic weapons and war accoutrements, as well as uniforms, a tent, and a selection of framed newspapers dating back to the 1850’s. The exhibit continues through February 17, 2012 and is open during normal Library hours.

To register for any of the Civil War lectures, please contact The BEST Center at 585-345-6868 or email bestcenter@genesee.edu.

 

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