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American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

2018 Schedule and Syllabus

Pre-institute reading

Pre-institute reading: Louis P. Masur, The Civil War: A Concise History (New York, 2011); Eric Foner and Joshua Brown, Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction (New York, 2005); James W. Cook, “Seeing the Visual in U.S. History,” Journal of American History 95:2 (September 2008); Michael L. Wilson, “Visual Culture: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis?,” in The Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture Reader, eds. Vanessa R. Schwartz and Jeannene M. Przyblyski (New York, 2004).

Week One

Monday, July 9 – Introductions / Visualizing Slavery and Anti-Slavery

Sessions at Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: Welcome, institute overview, scheduling of participant conferences with principal faculty, and orientation to GC facilities and resources. Principal faculty Brown, Burns, and Downs explain the institute’s curriculum and introduce their respective scholarly approaches to the study of the war and visual culture—institute participants introduce themselves and their projects.

Session with Maurie McInnis on the image of slavery and antislavery.
Reading: Maurie D. McInnis, “Representing the Slave Trade,” in Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade (Chicago, 2011), pp. 27-54.

Lunch conversation with Maurie McInnis.

Afternoon: Session with Matthew Fox-Amato on photography, slavery, and abolition.
Reading: Mary Niall Mitchell, "'Rosebloom and Pure White,' Or So It Seemed," American Quarterly 54:3 (September 2002); John Stauffer, Zoe Trodd, Celeste-Marie Bernier, Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated Biography of the Nineteenth Century’s Most Photographed American (New York, 2015), Introduction (pp. ix-xxviii).

Summer scholars get Graduate Center IDs and Internet accounts.

Evening dinner with all participants.

Tuesday, July 10 – Visualizing the Civil War Battlefront

Morning – Graduate Center, CUNY.
Afternoon – New York Public Library Map Room

Morning: “Setting the Stage”: Principal faculty Gregory Downs.
Suggested reading: David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (New York, 2015), pp. 193-255; W. Caleb McDaniel, “The Bonds and Boundaries of Antislavery,” The Journal of the Civil War Era 4:1 (March 2014); James Oakes, Scorpion’s Sting: Anti-Slavery and the Coming of the Civil War (New York, 2014), pp. 13-76.

Session with Keith Davis on Civil War photography.
Reading: Keith F. Davis, “‘A Terrible Distinctness’: Photography of the Civil War Era,” in Keith F. Davis, The Origins of American Photography, 1839-1885; From Daguerreotype to Dry-Plate (Kansas City, 2007), pp. 173-205.

Working lunch: Group discussion of pre-institute readings / Lunch conversation with Keith Davis.

Afternoon: Session with Susan Schulten on mapping the Civil War. (New York Public Library Map Room)
Reading: Susan Schulten, Mapping the Nation: History & Cartography in 19th Century America (Chicago, 2013), pp. 119-202; Susan Schulten, “The Civil War and the Origins of the Colorado Territory,” Western Historical Quarterly (2013).

Participant research time or conferences with institute faculty and guest lecturer Susan Shulten about projects (scheduled earlier).

Wednesday, July 11 – Visualizing the Civil War Home Front

Sessions at The New-York Historical Society.

Morning: Session with Lauren Hewes on women, pictorial ephemera, and the home front during the Civil War.
Reading: Adam Goodheart, “Forward – Picturing War,” and Sarah Burns and Daniel Greene, “The Home at War, the War at Home: the Art of the Northern Home Front,” in Home Front. Daily Life in the Civil War North (Chicago, 2013), pp. xv-xx and 1-14.

Alternating sessions:

Hands-on session in the New-York Historical Society Print Room with Lauren Hewes and Marilyn Kushner (Curator and Head, Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections) to view and discuss representative prints in the Society collection.

Session with Joshua Brown on the illustrated journalism and political cartoons of the Civil War.
Reading: Joshua Brown, Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life, and the Crisis of Gilded Age America (Berkeley, 2002), pp. 7-59; Alice Fahs, The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865 (Chapel Hill, 2001), pp. 195-224.

Working lunch: Group discussion of institute readings / Lunch conversation with Lauren Hewes.

Afternoon: Participant research time or conferences with institute faculty about projects (scheduled earlier).

Thursday, July 12 – The War in Oil, Bronze, and Plaster

Sessions at Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Morning: Session with Sarah Burns about Winslow Homer’s wartime and postwar paintings.           
Reading: Eleanor Jones Harvey, The Civil War and American Art (New Haven, 2012), “Introduction” (pp. 1-15) and “Aftermath” (pp. 225-41).

Lunch on own

Afternoon: Session with Metropolitan Museum curators on Civil War era works in the museum collection, including paintings, prints, sculpture, and photographs:

Sylvia Yount, Lawrence A. Fleischman Curator in Charge of the American Wing, will share two recent additions to the gallery by African American artists, and explore how these works expand and complicate the gallery’s art historical and cultural narratives.

Thayer Tolles, Marica F. Vilcek Curator Curator in the American Wing, will focus on John Quincy Adams Ward’s sculpture The Freedman on view in Gallery 765.

Elizabeth Kornhauser, Alice Pratt Brown Curator in the American Wing, will discuss the New York Metropolitan Sanitary Fair Art Gallery and it’s role in fueling the will of the northern public to support the Union cause.

Jeff Rosenheim, Curator in Charge at The Met, will explore the museum’s vast collection of Civil War photographs

Participant research time or conferences with Met curators and/or institute faculty about projects (scheduled earlier).

Friday, July 13 – Visualizing 1865/The War in the West

Sessions at Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: “Setting the Stage”: Principal faculty Gregory Downs.
Suggested reading: Stephen V. Ash, Year in the South: 1865 (New York, 2004), pp. 127-182; Gregory P. Downs, After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War (Cambridge, 2015); Eric Foner, A Short History of Reconstruction, 1863-1877 (New York, 1990), pp. 124-179; Stacey Smith, Freedom’s Frontier: California and the Struggle over Unfree Labor, Emancipation and Reconstruction (Chapel Hill, 2013)..

Session with Megan Kate Nelson on the vision of total war.
Reading: Megan Kate Nelson, Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War (Athens, 2012), pp. 160-227.

Working lunch: Group discussion of institute readings / Lunch conversation with Megan Kate Nelson.

Afternoon: Session with Scott Manning Stevens on the visualization of the Native American Civil War.
Reading: Scott Manning Stevens, “Other Homes, Other Fronts: Native America during the Civil War,” in Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North (Chicago, 2013).

Participant research time or conferences with institute faculty and/or Scott Manning Stevens about projects (scheduled earlier).

Week Two

Monday, July 16 – Reconstruction

Sessions at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: Session reflecting on the first institute week with Joshua Brown, Sarah Burns, and Gregory Downs.
Reading: Stephen Best, “Neither Lost nor Found: Slavery and the Visual Archive,” Representations 113:1 (Winter 2011).

Session with Barbara Krauthamer on visualizing freedom.
Reading: Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer, Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery (Philadelphia, 2013), pp. 58-127.

Working lunch: Group discussion of pre-institute readings / Lunch conversation with Barbara Krauthamer.

Afternoon: Session with Donna Thompson Ray on images of African Americans and education in Reconstruction.

Participant research time or conferences with institute faculty about projects (scheduled earlier).

Tuesday, July 17 – Legacies/The Lost Cause/Memory

Sessions at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: “Setting the Stage”: Principal faculty Gregory Downs.
Suggested eading: Edward Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction (New York, 1992), pp. 132-59, 409-37; Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920 (Chapel Hill, 1996), pp. 91-146; Steven Hahn, Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom (Cambridge, 2009), pp. 1-114; Michele Mitchell, Righteous Propagation: African Americans and the Politics of Racial Destiny after Reconstruction (Chapel Hill, 2004), pp. 3-50.

Session with Lynne Zacek Bassett on textiles, Reconstruction, and memorymemory.
Reading: Madelyn Shaw and Lynne Bassett, Homefront & Battlefield: Civil War Quilts in Context (Lowell, 2012), pp. 2-11, 110-45.

Session with Kirk Savage on commemorative sculpture and monuments and the memory of the Civil War.
Reading: Al Brophy, “Confederate Monuments and Historical Interpretations,” Newsweek, May 9, 2017; Kirk Savage, “As Confederate Monuments Fall, Do Thet Epitomize America’s Illness?” Hyperallergic, December 26, 2017; David Montgomery/Jahi Chikwindlu, “After the Fall,” Washington Post, July 20, 2017.

Working lunch: Group discussion of institute readings / Lunch conversation with Lynne Bassett and Kirk Savage.

Afternoon: Participant research time or conferences with institute faculty about projects (scheduled earlier).

Wednesday, July 18 – Jim Crow and Public History / Summer Scholars Presentations

Sessions at Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: Session with Jermaine Archer and Amanda Frisken on Jim Crow and the African American Press.
Reading: Marvin D. Jeter and Mark Cervenka, “H. J. Lewis, Free man and Freeman Artist,” Common-place 7:3 (April 2007); Andrea N. Williams, “Cultivating Black Visuality: The Controversy over Cartoons in the Indianapolis Freeman,” American Periodicals 25:2 (2015).

Working lunch: Summer Scholar presentations of their research or teaching projects - 1.

Afternoon: Session with Amanda Bellows, Louise Bernard and Turkiya Lowe on recent and planned exhibitions, memorials, and museums addressing the history of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow.
Reading: William A. Blair, “Celebrating Freedom: The Problem of Emancipation in Public Commemoration,” in Lincoln’s Proclamation: Emancipation Reconsidered, eds. William A. Blair and Karen Fisher Younger (Chapel Hill, 2009).

Thursday, July 19 – Summer Scholar Presentations

Sessions at Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: Presentations by participants of their research or teaching projects - 2.

Working lunch: Presentations by participants of their research or teaching projects - 3.

Afternoon: Presentations by participants of their research or teaching projects - 4.

Friday, July 20 – Summing Up / Summer Scholar Presentations

Sessions at Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: Session with Joshua Brown, Sarah Burns, and Gregory Downs summing up the institute’s proceedings and focus.

Presentations by participants of their research or teaching projects – 5.

Working lunch: Final presentations by participants of their research or teaching projects, and discussion about future posting of completed projects online, conference papers, and other follow-up activities.
 

Illustration: Winslow Homer, “Letter for Home,” Campaign Sketches, lithograph (Louis Prang & Co., 1863). American Antiquarian Society.

Civil War Summer Institutes