Lowery to lecture Wednesday on Civil War, slavery, remembrance

History Prof. J. Vincent Lowery of UW-Green Bay’s Humanistic Studies faculty is featured speaker from 6:30 to 8 p.m. this Wednesday (July 27) as part of the Neville Public Museum’s free Civil War Lecture Series. His topic will be “Johnny Reb, Billy Yank and Barack Obama: Race and Remembrance in Arlington National Cemetery.”

He’ll address the controversy surrounding the presidential tradition (started by Woodrow Wilson) of sending a wreath to the Confederate Monument in Arlington National Cemetery. In 2009 a group of prominent scholars petitioned Obama to cease the practice, but their appeal was unsuccessful. Lowery says the issue raises important questions about the extent to which the nation has resolved the meaning of the Civil War and the central role of slavery in the conflict. By concentrating on this symbol of reunion, Lowery will explore the white Southerners’ determination to remember the Confederacy after its death, the terms of national reunion that required white Northerners to forget, and the consequent struggle by African Americans to be recognized in national memory.  The lecture series runs in association with the Neville exhibit “Badger Boys” on Northeast Wisconsin and the Civil War.

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