John M. McCardell Jr., former president of Middlebury College and College Professor, spoke on "The Civil War and Historical Memory or Memories" April 2 at Middlebury College.
McCardell's lecture McCardell's lecture was offered in conjunction with the college's ongoing art museum exhibition titled, "Confronting History: Contemporary Artists Envision the Past".
Organized around the gift to the art museum of "Harper's Illustrated History of the Civil War", a portfolio of 15 offset lithographs and silk screen prints, donated by Richard and Kathy Fuld, the exhibition features artists who used the print medium to revisit and reinterpret historical conflicts.
The works on view, all based on printed sources that the artists readily acknowledge, demonstrate a rich mix of contemporary printmaking strategies and techniques. Many address themselves to the issue of race, and the exhibition explores that general topic in historical perspective, ranging from the Age of Enlightenment to the present day.
McCardell's April 2 talk examined how historical memory, a process of both inclusion and exclusion, has formed and reformed our understanding of the Civil War over the past 150 years. McCardell is author of the 1979 book "The Idea of a Southern Nation" and of numerous articles and book reviews in academic journals.
The ongoing Civil War exhibit is located at the Middlebury College Museum of Art, located in the Mahaney Center for the Arts on Route 30 on the southern edge of campus.