Confederate Icons: History, Memory, and The Future of Our Past 

The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation’s 2018 Valley Conference will focus on the history of Confederate icons such as monuments and the battle flag, and how their use, meaning, and cultural acceptance have changed over the years.
The conference will be held Saturday, July 28, 2018, at the Festival Student and Conference Center at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, and will features speakers Christy S. Coleman, John M. Coski, Caroline E. Janney, James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., and Keven M. Walker.
Christy S. Coleman – When the Sacred and Profane Become One

Christy S. Coleman began her career as living history interpreter at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Over the course of a ten year career with CW, she had increasing levels of responsibility finally serving as Director of Historic Programs. In 1999 she was named President and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI. In 2008, Ms. Coleman was named President and CEO of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. In 2013 she helped orchestrate the merger of the Center at Tredegar with the Museum of the Confederacy to create the American Civil War Museum initially serving as Co-CEO. In May 2016 she was named sole CEO of the museum.

Ms. Coleman lectures extensively and consults with some of the nation’s leading museums. She’s written a number of scholarly and public history articles as well as served as screenwriter for several award winning educational television productions. She is a sought-after public historian for national and international media outlets. She has served on the boards of the American Alliance of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History and she continues to be engaged with these and other local and national organizations.
[For more about Ms. Coleman, see the full speaker bios here.]
John M. Coski – Battles Over the Battle Flag – and a Modest Peace Proposal 
John M. Coski is Historian at The Museum of the Confederacy (now part of The American Civil War Museum), where he has worked in various capacities since 1988.  He earned his B.A. from Mary Washington College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the College of William and Mary and worked summers at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Antietam National Battlefield, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He is the author of several books, most notably The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Emblem, (Harvard University Press, 2005) and Capital Navy: The Men, Ships, and Operations of the James River Squadron (Savas, 1996), and 150 published essays, articles, and reviews. He has delivered more than 250 public talks, conference papers, and panel discussion comments around the country on a wide range of topics, primarily about the Confederate flag, Civil War monuments, and the commemorative landscape of the Civil War.
Caroline E. Janney – The Civil War Generation’s Competing Memories of the War 

Beginning in August 2018, Caroline E. Janney will be the John L. Nau III Professor of the American Civil War and Director of the John L. Nau Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia. She was previously professor of history at Purdue University.

A specialist in the Civil War era, she is the author of Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008) and Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation, a volume in the Littlefield History of the Civil War Era Series (Littlefield Fund for Southern History and University of North Carolina Press, 2013), which has been selected for the History Book Club and Military Book Club and won the Charles S. Sydnor Award by the Southern Historical Association and the Jefferson Davis Award by the American Civil War Museum.
In addition to her monographs, Janney is the editor of Petersburg to Appomattox: The End of the War in Virginia and John Richard Dennett’s, The South As It Is, 1865-66. She is likewise co-editor with Gary W. Gallagher of Cold Harbor to the Crater: The End of the Overland Campaign. She is the author of essays about the Civil War and its aftermath that have appeared in the Journal of Southern History, Civil War History, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Crucible of the Civil War: Virginia from Secession to Commemoration, Virginia’s Civil War, the Journal of the Civil War Era and numerous other collections.
[For more about Ms. Janney, see the full speaker bios here.]
Dr. James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr. – The Monument War: History vs. Hypocrisy 
Bud Robertson
Dr. James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., is one of the most distinguished names in Civil War history. Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  He is the author or editor of more than 40 books that include such award-winning studies as Civil War! America Becomes One Nation, General A.P. Hill, Soldiers Blue and Gray, and Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend, which won eight national awards.  He has been hailed as ‘The Father of Virginia’s State Song’; the anthem ‘Our Great Virginia,’ with moving lyrics to the tune “Shenandoah,” was adopted as the state song in 2015.  His recent books include The Untold Civil War (National Geographic Society), After the Civil War (National Geographic Society), and Civil War Echoes: Voices from Virginia, 1859-1891 (Library of Virginia). He is currently working on an encyclopedic-dictionary of Robert E. Lee.
Keven M. Walker – Preservation vs. Politics: Our View of the Road Ahead

Keven M. Walker is the Chief Executive Officer of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF).  Keven came to the Foundation from Antietam National Battlefield, where he served for 11 years as a Ranger, a Cultural Resources Specialist, and the Acting Cultural Resource Program Manager.  During that time, Walker served as a member of the National Park Service’s national advisory team on cultural resources and historic preservation and was selected for the GOAL academy, the National Park Service’s highly competitive leadership program. Says Edwin C. Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, “Keven Walker’s work has been exemplary; ranking him with the best historic preservation professionals I have known since I began my career.”

Walker came to the Foundation in June of 2014. Since then, under Walker’s leadership, the Battlefields Foundation has tackled some of the largest preservation projects in its history; preserved over 600 acres of battlefield land; opened two visitor centers and a 600 acre full service battlefield park; more than tripled its youth development involvement; assumed management of the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum; started an annual National Conference; launched new initiatives such as the Shenandoah At War magazine; and strengthened the SVBF’s partnerships both in the Valley and nationwide.
[For more about Mr. Walker, see the full speaker bios here.]
9:00 am – Check-In Desk Opens
10:00 am – Keven M. Walker – Welcome and Opening Remarks

10:30 am – James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr.The Monument War: History vs. Hypocrisy         
11:30 am – Caroline E. JanneyThe Civil War Generation’s Competing Memories of the War
12:30 pm – Lunch
2:00 pm – Christy S. ColemanWhen the Sacred and Profane Become One
3:00 pm – John M. CoskiBattles Over the Battle Flag – and a Modest Peace Proposal
4:00 pm – Keven M. WalkerPreservation vs. Politics: Our View of the Road Ahead
For more information call, 540-740-4545. To register call 540-740-4545 or click here:

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