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American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Tentative Schedule and Syllabus

*Please note: Readings may change prior to the institute.

• 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

Day 1 – Introductions / Visualizing Slavery and Anti-Slavery

Sessions at Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: Summer scholars get Graduate Center IDs and Internet accounts—then gather for welcome, introductions, 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.

Working lunch: Institute participants introduce themselves and their projects.

Afternoon: “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 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.

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).

Evening dinner with all participants.

Day 2 – 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

  • Suggested Reading: Steven Conn and Andrew Walker, “The History in the Art: Painting the Civil War,” in “Terrain of Freedom: American Art and the Civil War,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 27 (2001); 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; Marcy J. Dinius, The Camera and the Press: American Visual and Print Culture in the Age of the Daguerreotype (Philadelphia, 2012); William Frassanito, Gettysburg: A Journey in Time (New York, 1975); Lucretia Hoover Giese, “‘Harvesting’ the Civil War: Art in Wartime New York,” in Redefining American History Painting, eds. Patricia Burnham and Lucretia Giese (Cambridge, 1995); Charmaine Nelson, The Color of Stone: Sculpting the Black Female Subject in Nineteenth-Century America (Minneapolis, 2007), Chapter 5; Jeff L. Rosenheim, Photography and the American Civil War (New York, 2013); Kirk Savage, “Molding Emancipation: John Quincy Adams Ward’s The Freedman and the Meaning of the Civil War,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 27:1 (2001), pp.  26-39.

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

Day 3 – Visualizing the Civil War Battlefront

Sessions at New York Public Library.

Session with Joshua Brown on the illustrated journalism of the Civil War.

  • Reading: William Fletcher Thompson, “Illustrating the Civil War,” Wisconsin Magazine of History 45 (Autumn, 1961); Niki Lefebvre, “‘The Rebels’ Last Device’: Theodore R. Davis and Faithful Representations of Black Soldiers during the Civil War,” in So Conceived and So Dedicated: Intellectual Life in the Civil War Era North, eds. Loren Foote and Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai (New York, 2015).

Lunch on own.

Afternoon: Session with Susan Schulten on mapping the Civil War.

  • 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).

Day 4 – Visualizing the Civil War Home Front

Sessions at New-York Historical Society.

Morning: Session with Georgia Barnhill 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 activity with representative prints in the New-York Historical Society collection.

Session with Joshua Brown on the political cartoons of the Civil War.

  • Reading: Alice Fahs, The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865 (Chapel Hill, 2001), pp. 195-224; Richard Samuel West, “Collecting Lincoln in Caricature” The Rail Splitter 1:3 (December 1995), pp. 15-17.

Working lunch: Group discussion of institute readings / Lunch conversation with Georgia Barnhill.

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

Day 5 – 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 Amanda Brickell Bellows on the visualization of emancipation in the U.S. and Russia.

  • Reading: Peter Kolchin, “Comparative Perspectives on Emancipation in the U.S. South: Reconstruction, Radicalism, and Russia,” Journal of the Civil War Era 2:2 (June 2012): 203-32. 

Working lunch: Group discussion of institute readings / Lunch conversation with Amanda Brickell Bellows.

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

Day 6Reconstruction

Sessions location TBA.

Morning: Session reflecting on the first institute week with Joshua Brown, Sarah Burns, and Gregory Downs.

“Setting the Stage”: Principal faculty Gregory Downs.

  • Suggested reading: 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 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 Sarah Burns and Joshua Brown on the visual culture of Reconstruction and shared and distinctive approaches in art history and history.

  • Reading: Patricia Hills, “Cultural Racism: Resistance and Accommodation in the Civil War Art of Eastman Johnson and Thomas Nast,” in Patricia Johnston, ed. Seeing High and Low: Representing Social Conflict in American Visual Culture (Berkeley, 2006), pp. 103-123.

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

Day 7 – From Reconstruction to Jim Crow

Sessions at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: Session with Jermaine Archer and Amanda Frisken on the Gilded Age 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).

Walking tour of New York City Civil War public sculpture with Michele Bogart.

  • Suggested reading: Sarah Beetham, “‘An Army of Bronze Simulacra’: The Copied Soldier Monument and the American Civil War,” Nierika: : Revista de Estudios de Arte 4:7 (January-June 2015); Michele Bogart, “Enrichment, Affirmation, Order,” in Sculpture in Gotham: Art and Urban Renewal in New York City (London, 2018), pp. 157-223; Leigh Fought, “Afterlife,” in Women in the World of Frederick Douglass (New York, 2017), pp. 291-304; Richard Wightman Fox, Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History (New York, 2015); Kirk Savage, “History, Memory, and Monuments: An Overview of the Scholarly Literature on Commemoration,” National Park Service History E-Library (2006); Joan Waugh, U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth (Chapel Hill, 2009).

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

Day 8 – Monuments and Memory / Summer Scholars Presentations

Sessions at Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: Session with Dell Upton on monuments, the Lost Cause, and the memory of the Civil War.

  • Reading: “The Unknownable Dead: The Civil War and the Origins of Modern Commemoration,” in The Civil War in Art and Memory, ed. Kirk Savage (New Haven, 2016).

Working lunch: Group discussion of pre-institute readings / Lunch conversation with guest speaker.

Afternoon: Final participant research time or conferences with institute faculty (scheduled earlier).

Day 9 – History and the Public / Summer Scholars Presentations

Sessions at Graduate Center, CUNY.

Morning: Session with Louise Bernard, Turkiya Lowe, and Dominique Jean-Louis 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.

Presentations by participants of their research or teaching projects - 1.

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

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

Day 10 – 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 – 4.

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.