September 21, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—David W. Blight of Yale University will speak on “The Emancipation of Wallace Turnage and John Washington” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, in the Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall, at Amherst College. Sponsored by the History Department and the Dean of the Faculty, this lecture series is named in honor of Professor Emeritus of History and American Studies Hugh Hawkins. Blight's lecture is free and open to the public.

Blight is the Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University and director of Yale's Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. One of the nation's foremost authorities on the United States Civil War and its legacy, he is the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001) which earned a variety of awards, including the Frederick Douglass Prize, the Lincoln Prize, three awards from the Organization of American Historians and the Bancroft Prize. Blight's other books include Frederick Douglass's Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (1989) and Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War (2002). He has edited and co-edited five other books, including When This Cruel War Is Over: The Civil War Letters of Charles Harvey Brewster (1992) and Union and Emancipation: Essays on Politics and Race in the Civil War Era (1997), and is co-author of the U.S. history textbook A People and a Nation.

Blight earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has taught at North Central College, Amherst College and Harvard University. His courses include seminars in 19th-century U.S. history, African-American history and historical memory.