NEH Summer Institute on the Visual Culture of the Civil War and Its Aftermath

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The American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at the City University of New York Graduate Center will host a National Endowment for the Humanities institute in Summer 2021 for 25 college and university teachers to study the visual culture of the American Civil War and its aftermath. Postponed in 2020 due to Covid-19, this fifth iteration of the institute will focus on the era’s array of visual media—including the fine arts, ephemera, photography, cartoons, maps, and monuments—to examine how information and opinion about the war and its impact were recorded and disseminated, and the ways visual media expressed and shaped views on both sides of and before and after the conflict. Because of continuing restrictions regarding face-to-face meetings, this will be a remote institute in which participants will view lectures by and interact with noted historians, art historians, and archivists. In addition, they will participate in new “behind the scenes” virtual sessions with curators and staff in major museums and archives. A team of three institute faculty that represents the range of work in the field will introduce participants to the rich body of new scholarship that addresses or incorporates Civil War and postwar visual culture, prompt them via individual remote conferences to do further research, and help them to use visual evidence to enhance their scholarship and teaching. The 2021 institute faculty includes: Jermaine Archer, Amanda Bellows, Louise Bernard, Joshua Brown, Sarah Burns, Gregory Downs, Matthew Fox-Amato, Amanda Frisken, Lauren Hewes, Dominique Jean-Louis, Barbara Krauthamer, Allison Lange, Turkiya Lowe, Maurie McInnis, Susan Schulten, Scott Manning Stevens, and Dell Upton. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2021. Information about applying as well as the institute’s program of activities is available at:


Joshua Brown

Professor of History Emeritus, The Graduate Center, CUNY