Rotunda at dusk

Civil War Memory: Charlottesville and Beyond 

Date & Time

June 8, 2018 @ 10:30 am - 11:45 am


Minor Hall, Room 125
Charlottesville, VA 22903



The Civil War created a complex tradition of remembering the most disruptive event in United States history. Different memories played out in various ways, including the creation of a memorial landscape that in time generated controversy. The Lost Cause memorial landscape in Charlottesville occupied a central position in recent debates and controversies regarding the memory of the war. Gary W. Gallagher, John Edwin Mason, and Elizabeth R. Varon, all members of the Department of History at UVA, will discuss the creation, development, and continuing impact of the various Civil War memory traditions at the University, in Charlottesville, and across the nation.


Gary Gallagher

Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professor of History; John L. Nau Professor in the History of the American Civil War, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; Director, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History

Gary W. Gallagher is the John L. Nau III Professor in the history of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia. He graduated from Adams State College of Colorado and earned his MA and PhD in History from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to teaching at UVA, he was Professor of history at The Pennsylvania State University. Professor Gallagher is one of the leading historians of the Civil War. His books include The Confederate War, Lee and His Generals in War and Memory and Stephen Dodson Ramseur: Lee’s Gallant General. He has coauthored and edited several works on individual battles and campaigns and has published over 100 articles in scholarly journals and popular historical magazines. Professor Gallagher has received many awards for his research and writing, including the Laney Prize for the best book on the Civil War, the William Woods Hassler Award for contributions to Civil War studies, the Lincoln Prize, and the Fletcher Pratt Award for the best nonfiction book on the Civil War. Professor Gallagher was founder and first president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites and has served on the Board of Directors of the Civil War Trust.

John Mason

Associate Professor of History, Corcoran Department of History, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

John Edwin Mason teaches African history and the history of photography. He has written extensively on early nineteenth-century South African history, especially the history of slavery, South African popular culture, especially the Cape Town New Year’s Carnival and jazz, and the history of photography. He is now working on Gordon Parks and American Democracy, a book about the ways in which Parks’ Life magazine photo-essays on social justice and the books that he published during the civil rights era challenged Americans’ notions of citizenship and, at the same time, made him one of the era’s most significant interpreters of the black experience. He is also a documentary photographer with a long-term interest in exploring race and gender in American motor sports. Until recently, he was an active musician, performing with the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra, the Lynchburg (Virginia) Symphony Orchestra, and the New Lyric Theatre, among many other groups. He contributes regularly to Ellingtonia, the publication of the Duke Ellington Society.

Elizabeth Varon

Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; Associate Director, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History

Elizabeth R. Varon grew up in northern Virginia. She received her PhD from Yale, and has held teaching positions at Wellesley College and Temple University. She is a Professor in American History, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. A specialist in the Civil War era and 19th-century South, Varon is the author of We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia; Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy; Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859 and Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War. Southern Lady, Yankee Spy won three book awards and was named one of the “Five Best” books on the “Civil War away from the battlefield” in the Wall Street Journal. Appomattox won numerous accolades, and was named one of Civil War Monitor’s “Best Books of 2014” and one of National Public Radio’s “Six Civil War Books to Read Now.” Varon’s public presentations include book talks at the Lincoln Bicentennial in Springfield, at the Gettysburg’s Civil War Institute, and on C-Span’s Book TV.