“Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War” series of discussions starts March 1


Harford Community College and the Hays-Heighe House are hosting a discussion series to commemorate the  150th anniversary of the Civil War and emancipation starting March 1. Here are the details:


Harford Community College hosts free reading and discussion series


Bel Air, Md., January 19, 2012  —  Harford Community College Library and the Hays-Heighe House will host a free, five-part reading and discussion series called “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War” beginning March 1.


The National Endowment for the Humanities and American Library Association have provided grants to 65 public libraries nationwide to hold the series in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and emancipation. Harford Community College is partnering with Harford County Public Library, the Historical Society of Harford County and the Spirits of Tudor Hall to offer the book discussion series and related programming.


The discussion series is based on three books:  “March” by Geraldine Brooks; “Crossroads of Freedom:  Antietam” by James McPherson; and “America’s War:  Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150th Anniversaries,” edited by Edward L. Ayers. James Karmel, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Harford Community College, will lead the discussion at each session.


The book discussions will be held on Thursdays throughout the spring semester:  March 1, March 15,  March 29,  April 19 and May 3. Each discussion will be held twice—first at 12:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m.—to make participation convenient. The discussions will be held at the Hays-Heighe House.


In addition, a tour of Tudor Hall will be available for participants in the discussion series on Thursday, April 12, at 12:30 p.m.


“We are delighted to have been chosen to host this unique series that will allow the College community and the local community a chance to discuss the legacy of the Civil War with the help of a well-qualified scholar,” said Carol Allen, director of the library at Harford Community College.


Participation in the reading and discussion series is free of charge, but advance registration is required to obtain copies of each book and other program materials. To register, contact Ann Persson, Hays-Heighe House coordinator, at 443-412-2495 or by email apersson@harford.edu.


In addition to the book discussion series, three additional lectures are planned. They are open to the public and free of charge:


  • “In a Stranger Place: Louisa May Alcott and Other Concordians Respond to the Civil War” will be given by Colleen Webster, professor of English at Harford Community College, on Tuesday, March 6, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the HCC Student Center, Room 243.


  • “Marching Through Maryland: Lee’s Campaign of 1862” will be given by Thomas Clemens, Ph.D., professor of history at Hagerstown Community College, on Thursday, March 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bel Air Branch of the Harford County Public Library. This lecture is sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council.


  • “Harford County and the Fugitive Slave” will be given by Jim Chrismer, a prominent researcher on the Civil War and retired history teacher at The John Carroll School, on Thursday, April 26. Christine Tolbert, co-author of “A Journey Through Berkley, Maryland:  A Tapestry of Black and White Lives Woven Together Over 200 Years at a Rural Crossroads,” and Stephen Whitman, Ph.D., the author of two books on slavery, will comment on Mr. Chrismer’s presentation. The lecture and discussion will be held from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the HCC Student Center, Room 243, and again from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in HCC’s Edgewood Hall, Room 132.


For more information, contact Ann Persson at 443-412-2495 or email apersson@harford.edu or Carol Allen at 443-412-2144 or email caallen@harford.edu.


“Let’s Talk About It:  Making Sense of the American Civil War,” a reading and discussion series, has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. For more information, visit www.harford.edu.