Programs > Academic Programs > CHAViC > 2012 CHAViC Summer Seminar

2012 CHAVIC Summer Seminar Syllabus

Seeing the American Civil War:
How Visual Culture Recorded, Interpreted, and Remembered the Conflict

June 17-22, 2012
Worcester, Massachusetts

The American Antiquarian Society would like to acknowledge the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities through its Challenge Grant Program for this seminar. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this seminar do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Schedule and Readings

Sunday, June 17

4:00-6:00 Session I. Welcome and Introductions, Antiquarian Hall, 185 Salisbury Street (AH) Joshua Brown and Georgia Barnhill
6:00Dinner and reception at the Goddard Daniels House, 190 Salisbury Street (GDH)

Note: During the seminar, some sessions (GDH) will be devoted to presentations and discussions of themes and readings; the Council Room sessions in Antiquarian Hall (AH) will be hands-on sessions with library materials. There will be breaks in the mornings and afternoons between sessions at the Goddard Daniels House. Please read the articles on this syllabus. You will see that some are general background while others more specifically address various themes addressed by the faculty.

General Background Reading:

Louis P. Masur, The Civil War: A Concise History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011

James M. McPherson, "What's the Matter with History," in Drawn in the Sword: Reflections on the American Civil War (New York, 1997).

James W. Cook, "Seeing the Visual in U.S. History," Journal of American History 95 (September 2008): 432-441.


Monday, June 18

9:00-9:45 Session II: Orienting the Week—Visualizing the War
Josh Brown (GDH)


10:15-11:15 Session III: Photographing the War—Technology and Processes
Lauren Hewes (AH)


Keith F. Davis, "'A Terrible Distinctness': Photography of the Civil War Era," in Photography in Nineteenth Century America, 1839-1900, ed. Martha Sandweiss (New York, 1991).


11:30-1:00 Session IV: Photography of the War—Reception
David Jaffee, Bard Graduate Center (AH)


Anthony W. Lee, "The Image of War," in Anthony W. Lee and Elizabeth Young, On Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War (Berkeley: University of Cailfornia Press, 2007), 8-51.

1:00-1:45Lunch (GDH)
1:45-3:15 Session V: What they Wore: Textiles and The War
Lynne Z. Bassett, curator and textile historian (GDH)


Madelyn Shaw & Lynne Bassett, Homefront & Battlefield: Civil War Quilts in Context (Lowell, Mass.: American Textile History Musuem), 2012.

3:30-5:00 Session VI: Introduction to AAS Online Resources, Curator, and the Reading Room
Elizabeth Pope, Lauren Hewes, Thomas Knoles, Vincent Golden, and Laura Wasowicz (GDH)


Tuesday, June 19

9:00-9:30Session VII: Reflections and Discussion on the previous day/Context for day's session, Josh Brown (GDH)
9:30-11:00 Session VIII: Slavery/Anti-slavery
Josh Brown (GDH)


Maurie D. McInnis, Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade (Chicago, 2011), 27-54.

11:15-12:45 Session IX: Pictorial Press
Josh Brown (GDH)


William Fletcher Thompson, "Illustrating the Civil War," Wisconsin Magazine of History 45 (Autumn 1961).

Jan Zita Glover, "The First Living-Room War: The Civil War in the Illustrated Press," Afterimage (February 1984).

The Becker Collection: Drawings of the American Civil War Era

12:45-1:45Lunch (GDH)
1:45-3:15 Session X: Mapping the War
Debra Block, Norman B. Levanthal Map Center, Boston Public Library (GDH)

3:00-5:00 Research in collections or accessing maps through websites


Wednesday, June 20

9:00-9:30Session XI: Reflections and Discussion on the previous day/Context for day's session


9:30-11:00Session XII: Political Cartoons of the Civil War: Lithographed Prints
Richard West, Historian (GDH)


11:15-12:45Session XIII: Political Cartoons of the Civil War: Pictorial and Comic Press
Richard West, Historian (AH)

Rufus Wilson, Lincoln in Caricature (Horizon Press, 1953), Introduction.

Gary Bunker, From Rail-Splitter to Icon (Kent State, 2001), Chapter 2: "The Development of Lincoln's in Periodicals."

Richard Samuel West, "Collecting Lincoln in Caricature" The Rail Splitter, Vol. 1, No. 3 (December 1995), 15-17.


12:45-1:45Lunch (GDH)
1:45-3:15 Session XIV: Discussion assessing readings and interdisciplinary approaches
3:30-8:00 Research in library


Thursday, June 21

9:00-9:30Session XV: Reflections and Discussion on the previous day/Context for day's session


9:30-11:00 a.m.Session XVI: Ephemera of the War
Georgia Barnhill and Josh Brown (AH)


Alice Fahs, The Imagine Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South (Chapel Hill, 2001), 195-224.

Mark E. Neely Jr. and Harold Holzer, The Union Image (University of Norht Carolina Press, 2000), Chapter 3: "The Domestic Blockade"


11:15-12:45Session XVI Continued
12:45-1:45Lunch (GDH)
1:45-3:15 Session XVII: Painting the Civil War
Patricia Hills, professor of art history, Boston University (GDH)

Steven Conn and Andrew Walker, "The History in the Art: Painting the Civil War," Art Institute of Chicago Musuem Studies, vol. 27, no 1, Terrain of Freedom: American Art and the Civil War (2001), 60-81, 102-103.

Patricia Hills, "Cultural Racism: Resistance and accommodation in the Civil War Art of Eastman Johnson and Thomas Nast," Seeing High & Low: Representing Social Conflict in American Visual Culture, (2006), 103-123.


3:30-5:00Visit to the Worcester Art Museum or Teaching with Images or Research in the Library
Georgia Barnhill/Josh Brown


Friday, June 22

9:00-10:30 a.m.Session XIX: Emancipation Imagery
Josh Brown (AH)


Harold Holzer, "Picturing Freedom: The Emancipation Proclamation in Art, Iconography, and Memory," in Harold Holzer, Edna Greene Medford, Frank J. Williams, The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006), pp. 83-136


11:00-12:00 Session XX: Memory and Prints
Josh Brown and Georgia Barnhill (AH)


Kirk Savage, "History, Memory, and Monuments: An Overview of the Scholarly Literature on Commemoration," National Park Service History E-Library (2006)

Gregory M. Pfitzer, Picturing the Past: Illustrated Histories and the American Imagination (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002), "Eyewitness to History"


12:00-2:00Lunch, Discussion and Concluding Comments (GDH)

Faculty: Joshua Brown, Executive Director of the American Social History Project and Professor of History at The Graduate Center, City University of New York with assistance rom Lauren B. Hewes and Georgia B. Barnhill (AAS), David Jaffee, Lynne Z. Bassett, Richard West, Debra Block, and Patricia Hills