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Visual Culture of the Civil War Seminar

The American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at the City University of New York Graduate Center will host a two-week NEH Summer Institute for college and university teachers in July 2016 on the visual culture of the American Civil War and its aftermath.  Applications to participate will be accepted via mail, e-mail, and our online application system until March 1, 2016.

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 Institute¹s discussions and activities. And time will be provided to prepare individual projects, undertake research at local archives, and meet with the four principal institute faculty members as well as guest speakers.

The institute will meet from July 11 to July 22, 2016 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 New York Public Library. Faculty and visiting speakers include: Lynne Zacek Bassett, Joshua Brown, Sarah Burns, Keith Davis, Gregory Downs, Thavolia Glymph, Lauren Hewes, David Jaffee, Ari Kelman, Maurie McInnis, Megan Kate Nelson, Kirk Savage, Susan Shulten, Scott Manning Stevens, and Richard Samuel West.

While scholars and teachers specializing in U.S. history, American Studies, and art history will find the Institute especially attractive, we encourage applicants from any field who are interested in the Civil War era and its visual culture, regardless of your disciplinary interests.  Independent scholars, scholars engaged in museum work or full-time graduate studies are also urged to apply.  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.

Full details and application information are available on the ASHP/CML Institute website at http://ashp.cuny.edu/nehinstitute/.  For further information, please contact Institute Director Donna Thompson Ray at dthompson@gc.cuny.edu or 212-817-1963.

*Completed applications must be submitted via our online application system or e-mail or postal mail no later than March 1, 2016 (postal mail must be postmarked by March 1).*

Contact Info:

Donna Thompson Ray
ASHP/CML, The Graduate Center CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue, Room 7389
New York, NY 10016
Tele: 212-817-1963

Contact Email:

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