AHG 680 3HL: The Civil War in American History and Literature

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 that diverse aspects 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.



Lucas E. Morel (Washington & Lee University) and Kathleen Pfeiffer (Oakland University)


Course Materials:

Syllabus and course readings can be found on Blackboard 



  • Audit (25 in-service hours): $578
  • Graduate credit (2 semester hours): $1,156


Room & Board:

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

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July 7, 2019 -
July 12, 2019
12:00 AM
11:59 PM
Ashland University
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