Second Virginia Forum at the Library of Virginia
The second Virginia Forum, an annual conference on Virginia history, took place at the Library of Virginia, in Richmond, on Friday and Saturday, April 13–14, 2007. More than 200 people participated in 22 sessions devoted to such diverse topics as Virginia Indians, historical literature on the Jamestown settlement, ecology, religion, archival records, relations between the genders and races, and historical memory.
The Virginia Forum brought together teachers, curators, archaeologists, anthropologists, antiquarians, environmentalists, geographers, demographers, students, journalists, editors, librarians, archivists, and folklorists from as far away as Arizona and Nova Scotia.
The conference opened with a panel discussion by four Virginia Indians on the role of Virginia's Indians in the state's history. Other presentations treated Nat Turner's Rebellion of 1831, the Grace Sherwood witchcraft episode of 1706, African American funerary art, Virginians and global economic change, and civilians in the Civil War, to mention but a few of the many topics discussed.
The second Virginia Forum was the occasion for the publication of the first two scholarly histories of Virginia ever printed. The University of Virginia Press issued Old Dominion, New Commonwealth: A History of Virginia, 1607–2007, by Ronald L. Heinemann, John G. Kolp, Anthony S. Parent, Jr., and William G. Shade. The University Press of Kansas issued Cradle of America: Four Centuries of Virginia History, by Peter Wallenstein. The authors discussed their writing of their histories in the final session of the Forum.
The first Virginia Forum was held under the sponsorship of Shenandoah University at Winchester in April 2006, and the third will be held at the University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg, on April 11–12, 2008.