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The Civil War in American History and Literature

July 7, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - July 12, 2019 @ 3:30 pm

$578 – $1631

Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio

Team-taught by a historian and a literary scholar, this course examines the literature and political thought of the American Civil War to understand how different representations of the War and its causes informed national identity, not only in the time of conflict, but also in its subsequent legacy. Key political figures, activists, and writers of the time include Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, John C. Calhoun, and Abraham Lincoln. In the years since the War, important literary and political reconsiderations of the conflict were undertaken in the work of Charles Chesnutt and Joel Chandler Harris. Students will explore a variety of speeches, essays, and literature, as well as reflect upon different forms of literary expression, in order to learn how Americans navigated the challenges posed by slavery, war, emancipation, and reconciliation. Throughout, the course will consider the role of identity in America, such as race and sex, play in the political, historical, and literary conversation around the Civil War. A take-home open-book essay exam will address key topics from the entire course.

Instructors: Lucas Morel (Washington & Lee University) and Kathleen Pfeiffer (Oakland University)

Seminar Materials: forthcoming


  • Audit (25 in-service hours): $578
  • Graduate credit (2 semester hours): $1156

Room & Board:

  • Double-occupancy air-conditioned room and all meals: $475

Participants should plan to check in at the Ashland University campus between 12:00 noon and 4:00 pm on Sunday, July 7th.  The opening seminar session will begin promptly at 4:30 pm, followed by dinner.

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July 7, 2019 @ 3:00 pm
July 12, 2019 @ 3:30 pm
$578 – $1631
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Ashland University