2023 Symposium

Speaker Highlights: Kate Masur

Dr. Kate Masur

Professor of History,
Board of Visitors Professor
Northwestern University

Kate Masur is the Board of Visitors Professor of History at Northwestern University. She specializes in the history of race, politics, and law in the nineteenth-century United States. She is the author of Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction, which was published in 2021 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history and winner of the John Nau Book Prize from the University of Virginia and other prizes. She has consulted extensively with museums and arts organizations including the National Constitution Center and the Newberry Library and has helped developed numerous public history projects about the history of Reconstruction. With her students, she recently created a web exhibit entitled Black Organizing in Pre-Civil War Illinois: Creating Community, Demanding Justice, which is part of the larger Colored Conventions Project. Masur is co-editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era. She also regularly works with K-12 teachers and speaks with the media on topics including the Civil War and Reconstruction, Lincoln, and monuments and public memory.

Symposium Topic:


The conventional narrative is that Reconstruction ended in 1877, but recent scholarship suggests that the period continued to the end of the 1890s. Why are people talking about this issue, and what is gained and lost in the new vision of a “long” Reconstruction? Kate Masur will continue the discussion of how the Civil War remade America by exploring how we think about Reconstruction and its endpoints.