American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Bodies in Ruins

Published August 22, 2017

Megan Kate Nelson, Author of Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War 
CUNY Graduate Center, July 15, 2016

In this talk, Megan Kate Nelson discusses the proliferation of photographs that focus on ruins and war-torn bodies in 1864/1865, at the end of the civil war. Nelson looks at photos taken by union photographers and the narratives created with these photos. By examining the historical context of the photographs, Nelson argues that photography can be as ambiguous as other forms of wartime narratives. This talk took place on July 15, 2016, as part of ASHP’s Visual Culture of the Civil War Summer Institute, an NEH professional development program for college and university faculty.

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