Publication Date

December 21, 2011


African American

“Few historians have written about the American past with more profound insight and impact than James M. McPherson,” states the abstract of session 198, James M. McPherson: A Life in American History, scheduled to take place Sunday at the AHA’s upcoming 126th annual meeting.

A panel of distinguished scholars will come together in this session to discuss historian James McPherson’s varied and influential career in the history profession, including his work in African American history, Civil War history, and scholarship on Abraham Lincoln. At the conclusion of the session, McPherson will add his own remarks.

Learn more about this session below:

James M. McPherson: A Life in American History
AHA Session 198
Date: Sunday, January 8, 2012, 8:30–10:30 a.m.
Location: Sheraton Ballroom V (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers)

Chair: Vernon Burton, Clemson University

Catherine Clinton, Queen’s University Belfast
J. Matthew Gallman, University of Florida
Joseph T. Glatthaar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Thavolia Glymph, Duke University
James Oakes, City University of New York, Graduate Center
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University

Comment: James M. McPherson, Princeton University

Session Abstract: Few historians have written about the American past with more profound insight and impact than James M. McPherson. This panel will evaluate McPherson’s lifetime of scholarship and contributions to the historical profession. Topics will include his pioneering work in AfricanAmerican history; his part in reintroducing the study of the South into the national historical conversation; his groundbreaking reinterpretation of abolitionism and its legacy; his work on education; his new synthesis of Civil War history which defined the conflict as a Second American Revolution; and his reappraisal of Abraham Lincoln and his role in bringing that revolution to pass. The panelists will also discuss McPherson’s influence upon the writing of history through his invigoration of the narrative form and integration of traditional and “new” historical approaches, as well as his call for academic historians to reach general audiences and participate actively in the public market of ideas. The panel will conclude with remarks by James McPherson.

Also, check out other these other sessions of the week:

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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