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Civil Wars focus of Great Lakes History Conference

Posted on October 04, 2010

The 35th Annual Great Lakes History Conference, sponsored by Grand Valley State University, will take place on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus October 8-9. 


Dozens of panelists will offer insights on the theme, "Civil Wars in Domestic and Global Context: Conflict and Resolution from the Battlefield to the Home Front," including two distinguished keynote speakers. 

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, will provide the conference's opening keynote address on Friday, October 8, at 7:30 p.m., at Loosemore Auditorium, in DeVos Center, 401 W. Fulton. His topic is "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and the American Slavery." Foner is a distinguished historian with numerous accolades. His book, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, won the Bancroft Prize, the Parkman Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He is the leading contemporary historian of the post-Civil War Reconstruction period.

In addition, Brooks D. Simpson will provide a keynote address at the L.V. Eberhard Center, 301 W. Fulton, on Saturday, October 9, at 12:45 a.m. Simpson, who is Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University, will speak on "The Fruits of Victory: Ulysses S. Grant and the Legacy of the Civil War." He has authored five books, co-authored another and is the editor or co-editor of six additional books. He is especially known for his book, Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865 (Houghton Mifflin 2000).

Visit the Department of History website,, and its link to the conference for complete event information. Conference coordinators Scott Stabler and Doug Montagna, associate professors of history, can be reached at (616) 331-3298.

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