An Interdisciplinary Conference
November 10-12, 2011


Plenary Speakers

Michael Burlingame

Michael_BurlingameMICHAEL BURLINGAME, holder of the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, was born in Washington DC and attended Phillips Academy, Andover. As a freshman at Princeton University, he took the Civil War course taught by the eminent Lincolnian David Herbert Donald, who took him under his wing and made him a research assistant. When Professor Donald moved on to Johns Hopkins University, Burlingame upon graduation from Princeton followed him to that institution. There he received his Ph.D. In 1968 he joined the History Department at Connecticut College in New London, where he taught until retiring in 2001 as the May Buckley Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus. He joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2009. 

Professor Burlingame is the author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2 vols.; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) and The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).  


In addition, he has edited the several volumes of Lincoln primary source materials: An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln: John G. Nicolay's Interviews and Essays (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1996); Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1997) — co-edited with John R. Turner Ettlinger; Lincoln Observed: Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998); Lincoln's Journalist: John Hay's Anonymous Writings for the Press, 1860–1864 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998): A Reporter's Lincoln by Walter B. Stevens (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998); With Lincoln in the White House: Letters, Memoranda, and Other Writings of John G. Nicolay, 1860–1865 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000); At Lincoln's Side: John Hay's Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000); Inside the White House in War Times: Memoirs and Reports of Lincoln's Secretary by William O. Stoddard (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000); Dispatches from Lincoln's White House: The Anonymous Civil War Journalism of Presidential Secretary William O. Stoddard (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002); The Real Lincoln: A Portrait by Jesse W. Weik (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002); "Lincoln's Humor" and Other Essays by Benjamin P. Thomas (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002); and Abraham Lincoln: The Observations of John G. Nicolay and John Hay (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2007).

He has received the Abraham Lincoln Association Book Prize (1996), the Lincoln Diploma of Honor from Lincoln Memorial University (1998), Honorable Mention for the Lincoln Prize, Gettsyburg College (2001), and was inducted into the Lincoln Academy of Illinois in 2009.

He currently lives in Springfield, where he is working on several Lincoln-related projects.


Elizabeth R. Varon, Ph.D.

VaronELIZABETH R. VARON is Professor of History at the University of Virginia. She received her MA from Swarthmore College and PhD from Yale, and has held teaching positions at Wellesley College and Temple University.  


A specialist in the Civil War era and 19th-century South, Varon is the author of We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), which won the Lerner-Scott Prize of the American Historical Association, and Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy (Oxford University Press, 2003), which won the Lillian Smith Prize of the Southern Regional Council; the People’s Choice Award of the Library of Virginia; and the Richard Slatten Biography Prize of the Virginia Historical Society. Her newest book is Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789–1859, volume I of the "Littlefield History of the Civil War Era" series (Littlefield Fund for Southern History and University of North Carolina Press, Fall 2008). Varon’s recent public presentations include book talks at the Lincoln Bicentennial in Springfield; on C-Span’s Book TV; and at Gettysburg’s Civil War Institute. She is also a featured speaker in the Organization of American Historians’ Distinguished Lectureship program. She has just begun a new book project on Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox in April of 1865, under contract with Oxford University Press.