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David W. Blight

David BlightDavid W. Blight is Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale. During the 2010-11 academic year, he is Rogers Distinguished Fellow in Nineteenth Century American History at the Huntington Library, San Marino, Cal. In 2006-07, he was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, New York Public Library.

Blight is author of The Civil War in Modern Memory: Robert Penn Warren, Bruce Catton, Edmund Wilson, James Baldwin, to be published in September by Harvard University Press. He is at work on a biography of Frederick Douglass, scheduled for publication in 2013 by Simon and Shuster. Blight's book, A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including their Narratives of Emancipation (Harcourt, 2007), focuses on rare slave narratives that were the subject of a front page story in the New York Times in 2004. Blight also wrote Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Harvard University Press, 2001), which received eight book awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, as well as four awards from the Organization of American Historians.

Blight has written and edited numerous essays, book reviews, and textbooks, and has consulted on several documentary films, including the PBS series, The Reconstruction. His Yale lecture course, The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, is available on-line.

Blight received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has taught at Harvard University. He was senior Fulbright professor in American Studies at the University of Munich in Germany in 1992-93.

He served on the board of advisers to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and is involved in planning numerous conferences and events to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

Video from symposium

Video of honorary degree presentation