ASHP/CML Hosts an NEH Summer Institute on the Visual Culture of the Civil War

2012 January 3

The American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning is now accepting applications for a two-week NEH Summer Institute for college and university teachers on the visual culture of the American Civil War.

Southern Illustrated News, November 8, 1862.

The Institute will focus on the era’s array of visual media−including the fine arts, ephemera, and photography−to examine how information and opinion about the war were recorded and disseminated, and the ways visual media expressed and shaped Americans’ understanding on both sides of the conflict. Guided by a team of four faculty that represents the range of work in the field, Institute participants will hear daily lectures and presentations by noted historians, art historians, and archivists; take part in hands-on sessions in significant museums and collections; and attend new media lab workshops. These Institute activities will introduce participants to the rich body of scholarship that addresses or incorporates Civil War era visual culture, encourage them to explore avenues for further research in the field, and assist them in developing their own research and/or teaching projects. Reading assignments preceding and during the Institute will prepare participants for full engagement in the Institute’s discussions and activities. And ample time will be provided to prepare individual projects, undertake research at local archives, and meet with the four principal institute faculty members.

The institute will meet from July 9 to July 20, 2012 at the CUNY Graduate Center (34th Street and Fifth Avenue) and other archival and museum sites around the city, including the New-York Historical Society and the Newark Museum. Faculty and visiting speakers include: Jeanie Attie, Georgia Barnhill, Joshua Brown, Sarah Burns, Gregory Downs, Alice Fahs, Harold Holzer, David Jaffee, Anthony Lee, Bruce Levine, Louis P. Masur, Cynthia Mills, Michael Sappol, Richard Samuel West, Deborah Willis, and Peter H. Wood.

Independent scholars, scholars engaged in museum work or full-time graduate studies are urged to apply. While scholars and teachers specializing in U.S. history, American Studies, and art history might find the Institute especially attractive, we encourage applicants from any field who are interested in the Civil War and its visual culture, regardless of your disciplinary interests. You need not have extensive prior knowledge of the Civil War or visual culture or have previously incorporated their study in any of your courses or research. However, your application essay should identify concrete ways in which two weeks of concentration on the topics will enhance your teaching and/or research. In addition, please describe a research or teaching project you will develop during the institute. The ideal institute participant will bring to the group a fresh understanding of the relevance of the topic to their teaching and research.

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, May 17, 1862.

Full details and application information are available on the ASHP/CML NEH Institute website. For further information, please contact Institute Director Donna Thompson Ray. Completed applications must be submitted via our online application system or e-mail or postal mail no later than March 1, 2012 (postal mail must be postmarked by March 1).

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