HIST-685-01 Slavery, Civil War, and Emancipation in the U.S.
Spring for 2014-2015
Once regarded as something of an intellectual backwater, or at least the refuge of the amateur enthusiast, the field of Civil War history is currently in ferment, fostering new journals, new professional societies, and new questions, and influencing fields outside Civil War history in important new ways. Many reasons account for the resurgence, but one of the most important is wider recognition (both inside and outside the field) of Civil War history’s inextricability from the world histories of slavery and emancipation. We will focus on identifying the present state of key historiographical conversations: what do the driving questions seem to be right now, how did those questions grow from prior work and how do the answers change what we thought we knew about slavery, the Civil War and emancipation? Students will work toward the goal of gaining command over the current state of the field, which is to say gaining fluency in the central questions and themes occupying the field right now, and identifying important questions and directions that cry out for further investigation.
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