Astor receives Collins Award from Kentucky Historical Society

Nov. 26, 2013
Contact: Chelsea Morgan ‘13, Communications Assistant

Maryville College Associate Professor of History Dr. Aaron Astor has been recognized as this year’s recipient of the Richard H. Collins Award, presented by the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS).

Astor accepted the award during the KHS Annual Meeting and Kentucky History Celebration at the Old State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., on Nov. 8.

The award, initiated in 1978 and made possible by the Kentucky Historical Society Foundation, is a part of the Kentucky History Awards program, which recognizes outstanding achievement by historians, public history professionals, volunteers, business and civic leaders, communities and historical organizations throughout the commonwealth.

According to Dr. Barbara Wells, vice president and dean of the College, Astor’s contributions to Civil War scholarship are held in esteem throughout the academic community and have been valued gifts of learning at the College.

“I am delighted to hear that Aaron Astor is the recipient of the Kentucky Historical Society’s Collins Award,” Wells said. “Dr. Astor is distinguishing himself as a significant contributor to the ongoing conversation about the meaning of the Civil War.

“Dr. Astor also brings distinction to Maryville College in this accomplishment,” Wells added.

The award is conferred by a panel of leading scholars to recognize the author of the best article published in the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society over the course of the year.

Astor’s winning entry, “The Crouching Lion’s Fate: Slave Politics and Conservatism Unionism in Kentucky,” appeared in a special issue devoted to the Civil War (Vol. 110, Summer/Autumn 2012).

Astor, a Civil War scholar who recently authored Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation, and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri, holds master’s and doctoral degrees in American history from Northwestern University.

He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times’ online series “Disunion” and co-chairs Maryville College’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, which was formed in 2011 to put together programming that explores how the Civil War affected multiple populations in East Tennessee, addresses traditional narratives and myths of the war, and examines the war’s lasting legacy in the region.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.