Elizabeth R. Varon
19th-Century U.S., Civil War and Reconstruction, Women
Elizabeth R. Varon is Professor of History and Associate Director of the Center for the Humanities at Temple. She received her MA from Swarthmore College and PhD from Yale. A specialist in the Civil War era and 19th-century South, she is the author of We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), which won the Lerner-Scott Prize of the American Historical Association, and Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy (Oxford University Press, 2003), which won the Lillian Smith Prize of the Southern Regional Council; the People’s Choice Award of the Library of Virginia; and the Richard Slatten Biography Prize of the Virginia Historical Society. Her newest book is Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859, volume I of the "Littlefield History of the Civil War Era" series (Littlefield Fund for Southern History and University of North Carolina Press, Fall 2008). Varon’s recent public presentations include book talks at the Lincoln Bicentennial in Springfield and on C-Span’s Book TV; she is also a featured speaker in the OAH’s Distinguished Lectureship program. At Temple, she is co-director of a faculty collective called “Civil War and Emancipation Studies,” which sponsors an annual “Black History Month” conference each February. She has just begun a new project on Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox in April of 1865.