28th Annual Lincoln Harmon Lecture to feature Caroline Janney

Sophia Oswald Washburn Review

Washburn University’s Lincoln Harmon Lecture has been taking place for almost three decades. The 28th annual Lincoln Harmon Lecture is being held Wednesday Feb. 3. The lecture will start at 7 p.m. in the Washburn Room in Memorial Union. The topic this year is titled “What They Thought It All Meant: The Civil War Generation Remembers.” The speaker is author and Civil War expert, Caroline Janney. This event is free and everyone is welcome. 

“Washburn’s connection to Lincoln goes all of the way back to the first name of our school,” said Bruce Mactavish, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Janney knows a lot about the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln and what happened during that era.

“I study the Civil War and how both the war generation and subsequent generations have understood its cause and meaning,” Janney said. “I grew up in Virginia surrounded by Civil War battlefields and monuments to Confederates. It was part of the fabric of my community.”

She alway enjoyed reading and learning about the Civil War in elementary school but really got into it in college.

“I think it’s important to study not just why the Civil War occurred and what happened during it, but also to try to understand the way we as individuals, groups and societies attach meanings to events in the past as a way of claiming social, cultural and political power today,” Janney said.

“She’s a very dynamic speaker and we are really excited to have her come to campus,” Mactavish said.

Janney will also be on campus going to leadership classes. “I’m excited about this lecture because I enjoy hearing how other communities – be they universities, towns, or cities – understand and think about the Civil War,” Janney said. “I’m also very excited to visit Washburn. I’ve never been to Topeka and I’m looking forward to meeting the faculty and students there.”

The annual Lincoln Harmon Lectures allow students, faculty and other members of the community to learn about and remember the history of the Civil War era.