Jane Censer gives presidential address to Southern Historical Association

Prof. Jane Censer delivered her presidential address to the Southern Historical Association on November 9, 2018 at the organization’s annual conference, held in Birmingham, Alabama. Founded in 1934, the Southern Historical Association is one of the nation’s oldest and largest historical organizations. Entitled “The Southern Lady and the Northern Publishers: A Tumultuous Relationship,” Censer’s talk discussed the life of Amelie Rives, a talented Virginia woman who sought literary fame through fictional accounts of the late-nineteenth century South. Censer’s talk signals the end of her year-long term as the Association’s president and is published in the February 2019 issue of the Journal of Southern History.

In December 2018, Censer retired from her faculty position at GMU, having served in the department for twenty-nine years. During that time, Censer was an admired and respected teacher, mentor, department citizen, and graduate and undergraduate advisor. She has published two acclaimed books, North Carolina Planters and their Children (1990) and The Reconstruction of White Southern Womanhood (2003). She also edited two volumes of the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers and Like Unto Like, Sherwood Bonner’s 1878 southern feminist novel. The author of many scholarly articles, she is the recipient of several highly competitive fellowships, including awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Humanities Center. Her election to the presidency of the Southern Historical Association capped a career of outstanding contributions to the field of southern history.