Call for Contributors to Collection of essays on American identity/historical memory in American Civil War Era-themed video games

James Hill "Trae" Welborn III's picture
Call for Papers
April 1, 2020
Georgia, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Library and Information Science, Literature, Popular Culture Studies


Original contributions invited to be considered for inclusion in edited volume of essays, tentatively entitled Playing at War: Identity & Memory in American Civil War Era Video Games, analyzing issues of American identity and historical memory as depicted in American Civil War Era-themed video games



Dr. Patrick A. Lewis (Scholar in Residence, Filson Historical Society)

Dr. James “Trae” Welborn (Assistant Professor of History, Georgia College & State University)


Scope of the Volume:

This book will analyze the varied ways in which American Civil War Era-themed video games depict conceptions of American identity and historical memory. The essays will collectively examine Civil War games from different chronological and technological eras in order to contextualize the creation, reception, and evolution of those games and their content in relation to prevailing and competing historical memories of the Civil War Era and the often martial identities inherent in the adoption and adaptation of these memories by individuals and collective groups within twentieth and twenty-first century American society and culture.


Multidisciplinary scholars from History, American Studies, Archives & Information Science, Digital Humanities, and other fields are encouraged to propose creative methodological approaches to questions such as (but not limited to):

  • Who have Civil War Era video games been for, and what does broadening that audience do to the games that are produced?
  • Which narratives and interpretations have Civil War Era video games advanced, and which have they ignored?
  • In what ways is the medium of video gaming a unique vector for historiography and historical memory? What does that mean for the particularly volatile subject matter of the Civil War Era?
  • Beyond the players’ experience, what research methods did the game development teams use? In what ways did transparency about those methods – a holdover from tabletop gaming – encourage players to conduct original research?
  • What is the role of modding among user communities? What can we learn about reception, research, and popular memory from those small but dedicated groups?
  • How have variations in gaming platforms shaped the types of stories that can be told in games? 
  • What recent historiographical trends lend themselves to be electronically gamified? Is that desirable or ethical?
  • Scholars who grew up with Civil War Era video gaming are now in critical research, teaching, and public history positions. In what unexpected ways have those early gaming experiences shaped their professional work?



Louisiana State University Press: New series exploring American wars in history, memory, film, and pop culture


Current Contributors:

  • Dr. Patrick A. Lewis (Scholar in Residence, Filson Historical Society): focusing on Sid Meir’s Gettysburg! and Antietam! (for Windows 95)
  • Dr. James “Trae” Welborn (Assistant Professor of History, Georgia College & State University): focusing on North & South (for Nintendo Entertainment Systems)
  • Dr. Katherine Brackett Fialka (Assistant Research Professor, Middle Tennessee State University): focusing on textual analysis of game manuals
  • Mr. Jonathan S. Jones (PhD candidate in history, Binghamton University): focusing on Red Dead Redemption 2


Provisional Timeline:

Abstract submission: April 1, 2020

Notification of contributors: May 1, 2020

First submission of manuscripts: November 2020

Response/Feedback to first manuscripts: January 2021

Final manuscript submission: February 2021



Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words and a current CV (or link to profile online) to both editors below:


Contact Info: 

Dr. Patrick A. Lewis (Scholar in Residence, Filson Historical Society),

Dr. James “Trae” Welborn (Assistant Professor of History, Georgia College & State University),