Upcoming Events » Hard Working History: Lincoln, Emancipation, and the Civil War 150 Years Later

May 18, 2010 7:00 pm
Pollard Memorial Library
401 Merrimack St.
Lowell, MA
Susan Fougstedt

We use history and memory to make sense of our present-day lives. This presentation at Pollard Memorial Library, by scholar Cathy Stanton, whose work has focused on history, memory, and commemoration, will ask “What work are we asking these histories to do as we negotiate the tensions of contemporary American society?”

Drawing on studies of historical memorialization, examples of Lincoln and the Civil War in today’s popular, educational, and memorial culture, and Lowell’s own richly commemorative landscape, the presentation will encourage audience participation in thinking about the changing meanings of this past as the Civil War’s 150th anniversary begins. Ms. Stanton’s lecture and discussion will be held Tuesday May 18, 2010 at 7 PM in the Community Room, located on the ground floor of the library.

Cathy Stanton is an anthropologist with an interest in the social uses of history in American culture. She has studied Civil War re-enactors, living history interpreters, national parks, and postindustrial place-making projects. She received her doctorate from Tufts University and her dissertation, “The Lowell Experiment: Public History in a PostIndustrial City” was published as a book and won the 2007 National Council on Public History Book award. She currently teaches anthropology at Tufts and also serves as a consultant to the National Park Service Ethnography Program. She is beginning a new research project on the role of the automobile at historic sites.

This program is funded by MassHumanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This program will be held in conjunction with the Library’s display of Forever Free, a traveling exhibition that “reexamines President Lincoln’s efforts toward the abolition of slavery during the Civil War,” which will run from May 15 to June 25, 2010 at the library. Forever Free is organized by the Huntington Library and the Gilder Lehman Institute of American History in cooperation with the American Library Association. It is made possible through major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

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