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Published on May 10, 2019

Eastern History Students Attend Reconstruction Conference

Uriya Simeon and Allen Horn, along with Prof. Thomas BalcerskiTwo history majors, Uriya Simeon and Allen Horn, along with Prof. Thomas Balcerski, attended the 2019 Draper Conference at the University of Connecticut. This year’s conference was titled “The Greater Reconstruction: American Democracy after the Civil War.” With 32 distinguished historians from around the nation lined up as speakers, the aim of the conference was to defy conventional perceptions of Reconstruction. The keynote speech was delivered by renowned historian Eric Foner.

For the full program, see

Student Allen Horn reflected on his experience at the conference:

Going into the Greater Reconstruction Conference, I felt both nervous and excited. I was looking forward to learning from so many great nineteenth century historians over those two days, but also felt intimidated to be in the same room as big names like Eric Foner. However, once I made the big step of talking with some of the presenters, I felt much more at ease. Overall, I learned about many new aspects of Reconstruction history from placenta fires to the rationale behind the language of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments.”

Student Uriya Simeon also reflected about her conference experience:

One of my favorite panels featured Dr. Kendra Field from Tufts University. Having previously read her book Growing Up with the Country, it was exciting getting to hear her speak and meet her. Another historian and author whom I was excited to meet was Ari Kelman from UC Davis, whose graphic novel Battle Lines: A Graphic History of the Civil War I had read. I was able to meet him as well after hearing him speak. Overall, this conference was an amazing opportunity to network and grow my interests within history.

After the conference, Prof. Balcerski prepared a two-part post for Muster, the blog of the Journal of the Civil War Era. Check out the first post at

Written by Bradley Davis