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Library News
March 1, 2019

Originally published at by James Carskadon


STARKVILLE, Miss.—Caroline E. Janney, a historian who specializes in American Civil War memory, is the featured speaker for Mississippi State’s 17th annual John F. and Jeanne A. Marszalek Speaker Series.

The free event will take place at 2 p.m. on March 7 in the John Grisham Room of MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library. Janney will give a lecture on “Enduring Civil War Battles: How the War Generation Hoped We'd Remember the War.” Christy Davenport, an MSU history doctoral student, also will give a presentation titled “Murky Memory: Changing Perceptions of Enslaved Resistance Communities.” The lecture series is sponsored by MSU Libraries in honor of the Marszaleks.

Janney is the John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia. Previously, she was a professor of history at Purdue University. A leading scholar of Civil War memory, her books include “Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation,” published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2013, and “Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause,” published by UNC Press in 2008. Her upcoming work, “Beyond Appomattox: Disbanding the Army of Northern Virginia and the Ends of the War,” will focus on how soldiers adjusted to the end of military conflict and resumed their civilian lives.

Davenport focuses on 19th Century U.S. Southern history in her doctoral work at MSU, with an emphasis on the culture of enslaved individuals. She has spoken about the perceptions and survival of maroon communities, or communities of formerly enslaved individuals that escaped slavery, at several conferences and symposiums, including the Southern Historical Association’s annual meeting in 2018. She also has published pamphlets for Black History Month celebrations for the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, as well as multiple book reviews on monographs associated with American enslavement and early African American histories.

John F. Marszalek is an MSU Giles Distinguished Professor emeritus of history and the executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association and the Grant Presidential Library. He and his wife, Jeanne, have long been supporters of MSU Libraries. The lecture series began 17 years ago when the Marszaleks approached Frances Coleman, dean of MSU Libraries, with the proposal of creating a fund to purchase primary source materials for the library’s collections each year. Coleman suggested that, in addition to purchasing materials, the library also should host a nationally renowned speaker each year and, with the aid of the MSU Department of History, give graduate students an opportunity to present their work.

For more information on MSU Libraries, the Marszalek Lecture Series and the upcoming lecture, visit

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