Role of Women in Civil War Commemoration topic in Huntersville

The West Virginia Humanities Council established its Sesquicentennial Speakers Bureau in 2011 to help organizations strengthen their programs related to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and birth of the Mountain State. Since then the bureau has presented more than 50 lectures in all corners of the state.

A Sesquicentennial Sp-eakers Bureau program will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, June 20, at the old Huntersville Schoolhouse in Huntersville.

The featured speaker is West Virginia Wesleyan College history professor Dr. Katharine Antolini who will give a talk titled, “Mothers of Martyrs: Women and Civil War Commemoration.” A community picnic at 5 p.m. will begin the evening, and will be followed by the presentation.

Huntersville Historical Traditions will host the program and may be contacted at 304-799-6468 for more information about the free event.

West Virginia Wesleyan College history professor Katharine Antolini asserts that the story of the Civil War is more than the tales of men made heroes or martyrs on the battlefield. She maintains it is also the story of women left behind to honor, mourn and persevere.

“Mothers of Martyrs” explores the role that women played in healing the physical and psychological wounds left by the American Civil War through their symbolic acts of commemoration. The talk highlights the origins of Memorial Day and Mother’s Day through the work of southern women who strived to rebuild their communities in the wake of war.

Dr. Antolini holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in History from West Virginia University, an M.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University, and a B.A. in History and Sociology from West Virginia Wesleyan College. She has published and spoken widely on the topics of motherhood and women’s history. Her new book, Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Struggle for Control of Mother’s Day, is due to be published by West Virginia University Press in the fall of 2014. Professor Antolini is a member of the Organization of American Historians and she serves as historian and a trustee for the International Mother’s Day Shrine in Grafton.

Groups interested in scheduling a Sesquicentennial Speaker should contact West Virginia Humanities Council program officer Mark Payne at 304-346-8500 or payne@wvhumani

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