2023 Symposium Events

Symposium Speaker Highlight: Manisha Sinha


Dr. Manisha Sinha

JAMES L. AND SHIRLEY A. DRAPER
CHAIR IN AMERICAN HISTORY,
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

Manisha Sinha is the Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut and a 2022 Guggenheim fellow. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University where her dissertation was nominated for the Bancroft prize. She taught at the University of Massachusetts for over twenty years where she was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed on faculty. She is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina, featured in the 1619 Project, and The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, which won the Frederick Douglass, Avery Craven, James Rawley, SHEAR Best Book prizes, was long-listed for the National Book Award for Non-Fiction. She is the Eighth recipient of the James W.C. Pennington Award for 2021 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In 2018, she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris, Diderot, and was elected to the Society of American Historians. She has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN, among other news outlets. Her latest book, The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: A Long History of Reconstruction is forthcoming from Liveright.


Symposium Topic:

“THE ABOLITIONIST ORIGINS OF CIVIL WAR CONSTITUTIONALISM”

The Civil War remade the United States Constitution leading many historians to call it the Second American Revolution or the Second Founding. However, few Americans are aware that this process of constitutional change began with the abolitionist debate over the nature of the Constitution and its relationship to slavery. This talk will recapitulate that debate and trace the roots of the transformation of the Constitution with emancipation and the institution of black citizenship.