Meet All the Historians at the Gilder Lehrman Teacher Symposium

Now is the time to enroll in courses for the Gilder Lehrman Teacher Symposium, being held Sunday, July 16 through Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Take your pick of courses, but meet all the historians at Symposium events.

Meet the 2023 Symposium Historians

David W. Blight, Yale UniversityDavid W. Blight is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University and the director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. He is the preeminent expert on Frederick Douglass. His Pulitzer and Lincoln Prize–winning biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, is currently in development at Netflix. His watershed book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001) received the Bancroft Prize, the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Book Prize.

Professor Blight leads The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass.

Brenda J. Child, University of MinnesotaBrenda J. Child (Red Lake Ojibwe) is an accomplished author and a Northrop Professor at the University of Minnesota. She has been a member of the board of trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian and president of the Native American & Indigenous Studies Association. She has won multiple awards for her books, including the American Indian Book Award. Her new book project, The Marriage Blanket: Love, Violence, and the Law in Indian Country, is a historical study of domestic violence, disenrollment, and changes in family life.

Professor Child leads American Indian History since 1890.

Gary W. Gallagher, University of VirginiaGary W. Gallagher is the John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War Emeritus at the University of Virginia. He is the author or editor of more than forty books, including The Enduring Civil War: Reflections on the Great American Crisis (2020), Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New National Loyalty (2013), and The Union War (2011). He won the University of Virginia’s highest teaching award and has appeared in many television documentaries.

Professor Gallagher leads The American Civil War, which has now been filled, but he will also deliver the opening remarks for all symposium participants.

Charles W. McKinney, Jr., Rhodes CollegeCharles W. McKinney, Jr., is the Neville Frierson Bryan Chair of Africana Studies and an associate professor of history at Rhodes College. His books include Greater Freedom: The Evolution of the Civil Rights Struggle in Wilson, North Carolina and An Unseen Light: Black Struggles for Freedom in Memphis, Tennessee, co-edited with Aram Goudsouzian. His writing has appeared in newspapers and information venues from USA Today to Vanity Fair, and he is a frequent commentator on radio programs around the world and on CNN.

Professor McKinney leads The Civil Rights Movement: Teaching beyond the Master Narrative.

Edna Greene Medford, Howard UniversityEdna Greene Medford, a professor of history emerita at Howard University, is an expert on slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Her books include Lincoln and Emancipation (2015) and The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (2006), co-authored with Harold Holzer and Frank J. Williams. She was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the state’s highest honor) by the governor of Illinois in 2009 as a Bicentennial Laureate.

Professor Medford leads Defining Freedom: Challenges and Triumphs in the Age of Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction.

Timothy Naftali, NYUTimothy Naftali was the founding director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, where he authored the library’s nationally acclaimed exhibition on Watergate. Now a professor at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, he writes on national security and intelligence policy, international history, and presidential history. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Atlantic, and Los Angeles Times. He was featured in CNN’s The 2000s, Presidents under Fire: The History of Impeachment and The Bush Years: Family, Duty, Power. He served as historical consultant to the CNN Original Series Tricky Dick and the ABC and Netflix series Designated Survivor.

Professor Naftali leads US Intelligence and the Making of the Modern World, 1940–2017.

Kathy Peiss, University of PennsylvaniaKathy Peiss is the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor Emerita of American History at the University of Pennsylvania. An authority on modern American women, gender, sexuality, and cultural history, she has published Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe (2020), Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style (2011), and Major Problems in the History of American Sexuality (2001). She has been a consultant to museums, archives, and public history and digital projects, and appeared in the documentary films New York and Miss America.

Professor Peiss leads Women in US History: Diverse Lives, Critical Debates, Social Change.

Register now for the Gilder Lehrman Teacher Symposium


  • Opening remarks by Gary Gallagher
  • Program-wide book talks with participating scholars
  • Networking opportunities with teachers from across the country
  • Access to the GLI Exhibition Hall, where teachers can learn about Gilder Lehrman programs, including the Gettysburg-Gilder Lehrman MA in American History
  • Special events that include a trivia night, scholar Q&As, and a field trip to the Gettysburg Battlefield


  • Lectures by prominent scholars
  • Up to 22 hours of PD credit and a certificate confirming completed hours/CEUs for the symposium
  • Pedagogy sessions led by a Gilder Lehrman Master Teacher
  • Recommended readings and resources from scholars
  • Gilder Lehrman classroom resources