Stand Up and Be Seen!

Four Western historians shared their perspectives at a public forum and the Ruth A. Haas Library displayed University Archive materials from the period in the WCSU commemoration during April of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War.

Faculty members of the WCSU department of history and non-Western cultures presented a panel discussion on “The Legacy of Our Civil War: 150 Years After Fort Sumter” on Tuesday, April 12. Participants included Drs. Kevin Gutzman, Leslie Lindenauer, Marcy May and Burton Peretti.

An exhibition of letters, photographs, newspapers and period literature from the Civil War and its immediate aftermath were shown from April 1 through 30 in the main lobby of the Haas Library. Featured historical items were selected from holdings of the University Archives and Special Collections, cosponsor with the department of history and non-Western cultures for the commemorative programs during April.

“The purpose of the panel and exhibit is to mark this important anniversary — the beginning of the Civil War,” WCSU Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Brian Stevens observed. “For students, it will serve to bring that historical event into view.

“This anniversary is particularly resonant today as we watch civil wars and revolutions erupting in the Middle East,” Stevens added. “These programs provide an opportunity to look at an historical event not as static, but rather as evolving in our collective consciousness, where meanings and perceived ‘truths’ can shift depending on the background and the period in time of the person looking at the event.”

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Clockwise from top:
Southbury resident Andrew Bleidner stands beside some of the Civil War memorabilia he contributed to the exhibit.

Some of the memorabilia featured in the Civil War exhibit.