HL90CE: The Civil War in the American Imagination





Instructor: Erin Pearson
Meeting time: Wednesday, 10-12

This course asks how Americans have made sense of the Civil War.  It begins by investigating texts that reflect the escalating sectional tensions in the decades preceding the war, particularly in regard to slavery.  Moving from secession to Lincoln’s assassination, the heart of the course considers how people grappled with the war in a variety of formats, from speeches and newspaper editorials to diaries, poetry, and photography.  We conclude by examining how the war has continued to shape American culture, in fiction and film as well as in current practices of Civil War reenactment and debates over the Confederate flag.