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Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust to Commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial at the Library of Congress

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Drew Gilpin Faust by Rose Lincoln

On February 27, 2013 (12:00-1:30 p.m.) Drew Gilpin Faust, the 28th President of Harvard University and Lincoln Professor of History in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in a conversation with Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns. This keynote event is presented in conjunction with the landmark Library of Congress exhibition The Civil War in America, which runs through June 1, 2013. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a former Harvard Law School professor, will introduce Death and the Civil War.

This special commemoration will explore how death in the Civil War permanently transformed the character of American Society. It will feature clips from the PBS documentary Death and the Civil War, which was produced by Burns and based upon Faust’s book This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (2008), winner of the Bancroft Prize in 2009 and a finalist for both a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. Faust will sign copies of her books immediately following the presentation.

In addition to her work as president of Harvard, Faust is one of the foremost historians of the Civil War and the American South. She was the founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and served on the history faculty at the University of Pennsylvania for 25 years. Faust is author of six books, including Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (1996). She was elected to the Society of American Historians in 1993, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994 and the American Philosophical Society in 2004.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ric Burns has been writing, directing and producing historical documentaries for nearly 20 years. His documentaries Eugene O’Neill (2006) and Andy Warhol (2006) received Emmy Awards for outstanding writing for non-fiction programming. He is best known for his eight-part series New York: A Documentary Film (1999). He co-produced the PBS series The Civil War (1990), along with his brother Ken Burns.

Death and the Civil War

The exhibition The Civil War in America reveals the complexity of the Civil War through those who experienced it firsthand, including items in the Library’s collections never before on public view that offer a human perspective on the war and shed new light on the many ways that this terrible conflict helped shape the American people and the nation. Admission is free and the exhibition is open to the public, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, in the Southwest Exhibition Gallery of the Thomas Jefferson Building, located at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the James Madison Council. Additional funding is provided by Union Pacific Corporation, the Liljenquist family and AARP.

This event presented in the historic Coolidge Auditorium by the Library’s Music Division and Concerts from the Library of Congress, a series of performances, lectures and special events made possible through the generous support of endowments given to the Library by private donors. The series is presented free of charge to the public. Additional programs presented in conjunction with The Civil War in America include “Battle Hymns and Bugle Calls”, a lecture with Robin Rausch of the Music Division (March 5, 2013, 12:00 p.m.), and “African American Spirituals of the Civil War”, featuring the Howard University Chorale (March 30, 1:00 p.m.). Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Event Poster

Event Listing
Death and the Civil War: Drew Gilpin Faust and Ric Burns
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
12:00-1:30 p.m. | Coolidge Auditorium

Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University
Ric Burns, Peabody Award-Winning Filmmaker
Introduction by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Book & DVD-signing to follow
Free & open to the public, no tickets required

The Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20540

Visit or call 202-707-8437 for more information.



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