David W. Blight
|David W. Blight|
|Born||David William Blight
March 21, 1949
David William Blight (born 1949) is a professor of American History at Yale University and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. Previously, Blight was a professor of History at Amherst College, where he taught for 13 years. He has won major historical awards for his books, including the Bancroft Prize and the Frederick Douglass Prize.
Early life and education
David Blight grew up in Flint, Michigan (the name Blight is of Cornish origin). After getting his undergraduate degree, Blight taught in a public high school for seven years. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1985 with a thesis titled Keeping Faith in Jubilee: Frederick Douglass and the Meaning of the Civil War.
After teaching at Harvard and North Central College, he taught at Amherst College from 1990 to 2003. In 2001 he published Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. It received numerous major historical awards, as it
"presented a new way of understanding the nation's collective response to the war, arguing that, in the interest of reunification, the country ignored the racist underpinnings of the war, leaving a legacy of racial conflict."
It has been a seminal work in the enlarging field of memory studies.
After being hired by Yale in 2003 and teaching as a full professor, in 2006 Blight was selected to direct the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University. His primary focus is on the American Civil War and its aftermath.
Blight is chiefly concerned with studying the ways American society grappled with the war in its aftermath. His work, A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation (2007), provides context for newly discovered first-person accounts by two African-American slaves who escaped during the Civil War and emancipated themselves.
- 2001 Frederick Douglass Prize for Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory.
- 2002 Bancroft Prize; co-winner, James A. Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians; 2002 Ellis W. Hawley Prize, Organization of American Historians; Merle Curti Award; and Lincoln Prize for Race and Reunion
- 2008 Connecticut Book Prize for A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation
- 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Prize for American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era
- David W. Blight (1991). Frederick Douglass' Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee. LSU Press. ISBN 978-0-8071-1724-8.
- Frederick Douglass (1993). Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Introduction David W. Blight. Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press.
- David W. BLIGHT (2001). Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-00819-9.
- David W. Blight (2002). Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory & the American Civil War. University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 978-1-55849-361-2.
- David W. Blight (2007). A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-15-101232-9.
- David W. Blight (2011). American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era. Belknap Press. ISBN 978-0-67-404855-3.
- "Cornish Family Names"
- "David W. Blight", History Dept., Yale University, 2007, accessed 27 April 2012
- Race and Reunion and prizes, Harvard University Press, accessed 27 April 2012
- "David W. Blight Receives 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize", The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, Yale University, accessed 27 April 2012
- Chat Transcript (14 November 2007). "Historian David Blight on two newly published slave narratives". Court TV.
- Yale History Faculty: David W. Blight
- "Historian David Blight to Direct the Gilder-Lehrman Center at Yale", Yale, 6 April 2009
- The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, Yale University
- Online Videos: David W. Blight, The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877, Open Yale Courses, 27 lectures, recorded Spring 2008, Yale University. Available free of charge via iTunes U.