Mersmann returns to deliver O’Brien Lecture

Purdue University doctoral candidate Molly Mersmann

Historian and Purdue University doctoral candidate Molly Mersmann ‘15 will return to campus Wednesday, March 16, to deliver Hanover College’s annual Cornelius and Anna Cook O’Brien Lecture.

Mersmann specializes in 19th-Century U.S. history, U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction and the history of women and gender. She is particularly focused on how Southern communities – both white and black – rebuilt their homes, businesses and lives following destruction during the Civil War.

Mersmann’s O’Brien Lecture address, “It was Yankee Freedom Now: The Tenuous Nature of African-Americans’ Freedom in the Wake of the American Civil War,” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Duggan Library. The lecture is open to the public, free of charge.

While at Hanover, Mersmann majored in history, worked three years as an archival assistant in the library’s archives and special collections and was a member of the History Club. She earned a master’s degree at Purdue in 2017 and completed doctoral requirements last month.