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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: 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: Session with Maurie McInnis on the image of slavery and antislavery.
Reading: Phillip Lapansky, “Graphic Discord: Abolitionist and Antiabolitionist Images,” in The Abolitionist Sisterhood: Women’s Political Culture in Antebellum America, ed. Jean Fagan Yellin and John C. Van Horne (Ithaca, 1994), pp. 201-30; 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).

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; Sarah Burns and Daniel Greene, “The Home at War, the War at Home: The Visual Culture of the Northern Home Front,” in Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North (Chicago, 2013); Peter John Brownlee, “The Fabric of War: Cotton, Commodities, and Contrabands,” in Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North.

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

Evening dinner with all participants.

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: Alice Fahs, The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865 (Chapel Hill, 2001), pp. 93-149.

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: Alice Fahs, The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865 (Chapel Hill, 2001), pp. 195-224; William Fletcher Thompson, “Illustrating the Civil War,” Wisconsin Magazine of History 45 (Autumn, 1961); 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 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: Sarah Burns and John Davis, eds., American Art to 1900: A Documentary History (Berkeley, 2009), pp. 511-545; Christopher Kent Wilson, “Winslow Homer’s The Veteran in a New Field: A Study of the Harvest Metaphor and Popular Culture,” American Art (Autumn 1985).

Lunch on own

Afternoon: Session with Metropolitan Museum curators on Civil War era works in the museum collection, including paintings, prints, sculpture, and photographs.
Reading: Eleanor Jones Harvey, The Civil War and American Art (New Haven, 2012), Introduction (pp. 1-15).

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.

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); Martha Sandweiss, “Still Pictures, Moving Stories: Reconstruction Comes to Indian Country,” in Civil War Wests, eds. Adam Arenson and Andrew Graybill (Berkeley, 2015).

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.
Reading: Shawn Michelle Smith, “Photographing the American Negro,” in American Archives: Gender, Race, and Class in Visual Culture (Princeton, 1999), pp. 157-186.

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: Aleia Brown, “The Confederate Flag Doesn’t Belong in a Museum,” Slate (June 25, 2016); Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (Princeton, 1997), pp. 162-208; Kirk Savage, “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 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); Amanda K. Frisken, “‘A Song without Words’: Anti-lynching Imagery in the African American Press, 1889-1898,” Journal of African American History 97:3 (Summer 2012).

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); Dell Upton, “The Long Shadow of the Civil War,” in The Civil War in Art and Memory, ed. Kirk Savage (New Haven, 2016).

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