public speaker, tour guide & adviser

Talk in Gettysburg on the Battle of the Crater in History and Memory

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job as an educator and public historian is the opportunity to share my love of history with a wide range of audiences. Over the past fifteen years I have delivered talks at academic conferences, Civil War round tables, history education workshops, schools and a host of other settings throughout much of the country.

I do my best to ensure that my presentations and workshops are as entertaining and as educational as possible.

A few of the organizations that I have worked with over the years include…

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Current Keynote Talks

  • The History and Memory of the Confederate Battle Flag
    Perfect for schools and other institutions that are dealing with this divisive subject as well as the general public. This talk explores the history of the Confederate flag and how different groups of Americans have interpreted its meaning over the past 150 years. It is highly interactive and offers the audience the opportunity to share their thoughts in a way that promotes open communication.
  • Confronting Confederate Monuments in the Wake of Charlottesville
    Communities across the country have removed or are considering the removal of their Confederate monuments. This talk explores the history of these monuments, including when they were erected, by whom, and why they are now controversial. This presentation is ideal for student groups.
Talking With and Listening to Students at Ashley Hall School Discuss the Confederate Monument Controversy in Charleston

Selected Speaking Topics

  • Do You Really Want to Use That Website For Your History Essay?
  • Teaching Reconstruction with Primary Sources
  • Boston’s Civil War
  • The Battle of the Crater in History and Memory
  • The Myth of the Black Confederate Soldier
  • The Civil War Centennial and Sesquicentennial
  • Using Hollywood to Teach History (fact and fiction)

Looking for something else? Let’s work together to customize a talk that works for your audience.

2017-18 Speaking Engagments

  • June 21, 2017: NEH/Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, GA.
  • July 23-28, 2017: Ford’s Theatre Teacher Workshop on Reconstruction, Washington, D.C.
  • December 5, 2017: “Monuments & Historical Memory,” Teacher Workshop, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA.
  • January 16, 2018: “Understanding Confederate Monuments in the Wake of Charlottesville,” Rhode Island Civil War Round Table, Cranston, RI.
  • January 19, 2018: Skype discussion with Marquette University High School, Milwaukee, WI.
  • February 1, 2018: “Understanding Confederate Monuments in the Wake of Charlottesville,” New Trier Public School, Chicago Ill.
  • February 28, 2018: Webinar, “Contested Monuments and Contested Civic Spaces in the United States, 1865 to the 21st Century,” National Humanities Center, w/Prof. W. Fitzhugh Brundage.
  • March 9, 2018: “Understanding Confederate Monuments in the Wake of Charlottesville,” General Lander Civil War Round Table, Lynn, MA.
  • March 12, 2018, “Contested Memories of the Civil War,” (student workshop), St. Ann’s School, Brooklyn, NY.
  • March 15, 2018, Skype discussion with interpretive staff at the Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, GA.
  • March 17, 2018: “Monuments & Historical Memory,” Teacher Workshop, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA.
  • March 26-27: Interpreting Freedom and Slavery in New England Workshop, Providence, RI.
  • April 19, 2018: Keynote Address, National Council of History Education, San Antonio, TX.
  • April 21, 2018: Teaching Reconstruction and Historical Memory w/Ford’s Theatre Staff at National Council for History Education, San Antonio, TX.
  • May 30-31: Workshop with students at Walpole High School on Confederate Iconography, Walpole, MA.
  • June 2, 2018: “Frederick Douglass and the Fight for Civil War Memory,” Teacher Workshop, Lynn, MA.
  • June 6: Walking tour of Boston, Saul Ewing, LLP.
  • June 11: Teacher Workshop in Charlottesville, Virginia on teaching Confederate monuments.
  • July 11: “The Contested Landscape of Confederate Monuments, Teacher Workshop, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA.
  • July 22-27, 2018: Teacher Workshop on Reconstruction and historical memory at Ford’s Theatre, Washington, D.C.
  • October 2: Social Media and the Black Confederate Myth, University of Virginia, Nau Center for Civil War Studies, Charlottesville, VA.


  • February 2: “Searching for Black Confederate Soldiers,” General Lander Civil War Round Table, Lynn, MA.
  • February 20: “Searching for Black Confederate Soldiers,” Rhode Island Civil War Round Table, Cranston, RI.
  • February 27: Guest lecture on public history and Confederate monuments, Northeastern University, Boston, MA.
  • April 24: “Searching for Black Confederate Soldiers,” Civil War Round Table of Central Massachusetts, Holden, MA.
  • August 7-9: Teacher Workshop on Reconstruction, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA.

Calling All History Teachers: An easy way to connect me with your students is through Skype. Over the past few years I have talked with students at the St. Anne’s – Belfield School, Columbia University, Marquette University High School, Lynchburg College, Indiana University, University of Virginia at Wise, and Skidmore College.

What People Are Saying

“Kevin is a veteran member of the Civil War Institute summer conference faculty, and is one of the most versatile speakers in our bullpen. Over the past few years, he’s led breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics, participated in panel discussions on the main stage, and facilitated small-group investigations of primary source materials. He’s also worked closely with our high school student scholarship program, leading intensive discussions on historical memory and history and new media. Kevin’s programs are extremely popular with our attendees.”Jill Titus, Assistant Director, Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College

“Excellent! I have been involved with studying U.S. History since the 4th grade, taught it for two decades, and was a History Department chair for nearly ten years. With all of that, I sat there enraptured and completely enveloped in your presentation. Thanks for giving all of us much to think about.”Ralph Van Inwagen, Assistant Head of School, Gann Academy

I’m being entirely truthful when I say that yours was the most enthralled audience I’ve ever witnessed here. I was sitting way in back, so I could literally see everyone, and no one squirmed, no watches were checked, not a single yawn! Instead, heads were nodding, people turned to each other to corroborate your remarks, they chuckled at your humor. You’re a good teacher!Gracelaw Simmons, Royall House & Slave Quarters

Tour Guide

Leading a tour at Petersburg National Battlefield

There is no better opportunity for students and the general public to connect with the the past than when on site with a guide who can share what took place and encourage thoughtful reflection. I have led students to some of the most important historical sites of the civil rights movement in Atlanta, Montgomery, Jackson, and Memphis. I also regularly guide students and teachers to Civil War sites in Richmond, Washington, D.C. as well as popular battlefields in Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Petersburg, and Sharpsburg.

Here in Boston I offer tours of the city’s Civil War monuments to the general public as well as history educators and students.

Have questions or want to check my availability? Contact me here.