Professor of Social Sciences and Education Randy Hanson was chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to participate in a special American history seminar on “The Civil War in American Memory.” The seminar for faculty members in history, political science and related fields is especially important for those who may be called upon as resources and experts when questions arise over what should be done with controversial historical statues and markers on their campuses and in their communities. From a pool of 51 nominations, 25 faculty members were selected to participate in the seminar, which will be held June 23–27 at Yale University.

“I am excited about this workshop because the issues of race in American history and today are a key theme of many of the courses I teach,” Professor Hanson said. “In my course ‘American Rebels,’ for example, we look at the Confederates and the people who defend the symbols of the Confederacy today. In ‘American Nightmares and Dreams,’ we look at racism and white supremacy as continuing obstacles to everyone in the U.S. having a fair and equality to work for the American Dream.”

In announcing the selection of participants, CIC President Richard Ekman said, “Strengthening the teaching of American history at colleges and universities is of critical importance to maintaining informed citizen participation in a democracy. The Civil War has been used—and misused—to bolster contemporary arguments about conflict resolution, race, and the role of America in the world. The seminar will provide participating faculty members with unusual insight into the selective public memory through the years about American’s defining event, the Civil War. Participants in the seminar will be better prepared to teach a new generation of students how to understand major social and political issues of today in light of history, the different perspectives in different eras, and recent debates over Civil War monuments and symbols. We believe that Randy will play a strong role in the seminar.”

Professor Hanson, who joined the college in 1996, is an historian with a special focus on Latin American affairs and U.S. diplomatic relations with Latin America. Professor Hanson was recognized with the Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999, the CASE/Carnegie Professor of the Year for New Hampshire award in 2003, and with a nomination for a New Hampshire Excellence in Education Award (EDies). In addition to his teaching and leadership roles, Professor Hanson is engaged in research and scholarship both in liberal arts education and the history of Mexico. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University and B.A. from Washington University. Prior to his Colby-Sawyer appointment, he served as an associate professor at the Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Mexico, from 1992 to 1996.

“Our students will benefit from an intensive study and discussion of The Civil War in American Memory, as issues of race in American history and today are key themes in many of the courses Dr. Hanson teaches,” Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty Laura Sykes said.

The seminar is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For more information, visit