Virginia professor to present Civil War lecture Oct. 13 at WKU

On April 9, 1865, the Civil War ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate army to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, general in chief of the Union army. Most Americans are familiar with this significant historical event, but after the surrender Appomattox produced several different legacies, including vast differences between how Northerners and Southerners have understood its deeper and long-lasting meanings.

oct13lectureAt 7 p.m. Oct. 13 in WKU’s Gary A. Ransdell Hall Auditorium, Elizabeth R. Varon will discuss the great impact of Appomattox on the Civil War generation and subsequent generations of Americans. Her lecture is titled “Legacies of Appomattox: Lee’s Surrender in History and Memory.” It is based on her popular and award-winning book, Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War, published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

Professor Varon is the Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History and the Associate Director of the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia (UVA). She has written three other noteworthy books on the Civil War era: We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (1998), Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy (2003), and Disunion!: The Coming of the Civil War, 1789-1859 (2008). She has also written numerous articles and essays on the Civil War, including two published by the New York Times in its opinion pages. She has also lectured to scholarly and public audiences around the country.

She earned her B.A. degree at Swarthmore College in 1995 and her Ph.D. at Yale University in 1985. She joined the faculty at UVA in 2010.

Her Appomattox lecture at WKU—part of an annual lecture program on the Civil War—is sponsored by the Institute for Civil War Studies and the History Department. Admission is free. For WKU students, the lecture will be a “swipeable” event. After the lecture, Professor Varon will autograph her books, which will be on sale by the WKU Store.

Contact: Glenn W. LaFantasie, Richard Frockt Family Professor of Civil War History and Director of the Institute for Civil War Studies, (270) 745-4950 or


Filed under: Awards and honors, Research, Student life, Upcoming events, WKU News

Posted with permission from WKU News