Civil War conference includes York Americanist Marc Egnal

Foreign observers at Falmouth, Va. 1863 NARA photo

Above: British observers with Union troops in Virginia, 1863 (photo, National Archives, Civil War no. G30)

York historian Marc Egnal is co-chairing an international conference on the US Civil War organized by York and the University of Toronto’s Centre for the Study of the United States, June 10-11 at the Munk Centre for International Studies, 1 Devonshire Pl. in Toronto.

The conference, “Civil War, Causes and Consequences”, brings together some of North America’s leading Civil War historians.

Egnal, who is also convener of the Toronto-area Americanists, has written extensively on the different paths taken by the societies of North and South and the effect that had on economic development in the 18th and 19th centuries. He will present a paper titled “The Role of Idealism in an Economic Interpretation” as part of an afternoon panel discussion, titled “An Interpretation that won’t disappear: Economic Origins of the Civil War.”

The session, which begins at 1pm on Friday, June 10, is one of three planned for the first day of the conference which begins with an evaluation of Edward Ayers’ work on the roots of the Civil War at 10am and concludes with presentations on “Social Change in the Confederacy” at 3:15pm.

John Lennox, York associate vice-president graduate and dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, will introduce keynote speaker Steve Hahn, of the University of Pennsylvania, during the evening dinner session which begins at 6:30pm. Hahn’s speech is titled “Rethinking Slave Emancipation in the United States.”

Saturday’s sessions begin at 8:45am with a panel on “Reconstruction and Southern Nationalism on Two Continents” and continues at 11am with a session titled, “Civil War in Memory.”

For full program information, visit the Web site of the Centre for the Study of the United States.

While there is no fee for registration, organizers ask that those interested in attending the sessions contact conference co-chair Rick Halpern at CSUS to indicate their interest and to receive additional information.