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William A. Blair

William A. Blair

Walter L. and Helen P. Ferree Professor of American History

Office Address: 113 Pond Laboratory
Mailing Address: 108 Weaver Building

University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-0151


  1. Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 1995
  2. M.A., The Pennsylvania State University, 1989
  3. B.A., The Pennsylvania State University, 1975


"I am a historian of the Civil War era, focusing primarily on the home front during the conflict and the political culture of the middle nineteenth century. My work has focused on the construction of Confederate identity during the war and the use of ceremonies such as Memorial Days and Emancipation Days after the war to reinforce and contest political identities. I am currently working on a book-length project that examines the uses and misuses of treason during and after the Civil War. As director of the Richards Civil War Era Center, I work with student interns, collaborate with public school teachers to interpret the struggle for freedom in the United States, and serve as the organizer for a biennial conference with the Society of Civil War Historians.  I also am the founding editor of The Journal of the Civil War Era, the journal for the field."