The Future of Civil War History



What is the future of Civil War history?

That’s the topic of a special June 2016 issue of the academic journal Civil War History. Published by Kent State University Press, the journal features highlights from a 2013 conference sponsored by Gettysburg College, the Gettysburg Foundation, and Gettysburg National Military Park.

At Emerging Civil War, we’ve been intrigued by the question.

So intrigued, in fact, that we’ve posed the question our historians and have asked them to offer their own thoughts on the topic.

We’ve encouraged them to interpret the question as broadly as they like and then riff on it. This is not intended as a reaction to the journal itself or the original conference; rather, as a group that has a lot of “emerging” voices in the field, we thought we’d have a few things of our own to say on the topic.

We have some folks part of the older “establishment,” too, so our series will include some of their thoughts. Plus, we have a few guest posts from other professionals in the field, such as SavasBeatie publisher Ted Savas and Civil War Times editor-in-chief Dana Shoaf.

We’ll kick things off tomorrow with the first part of an exclusive interview with Dr. James Broomall, one of the editors of the Civil War History volume. Jim is also a member of the editorial board for ECW’s “Engaging the Civil War” Series with Southern Illinois University Press. Our extended interview will talk about the journal and the conference it sprang from, Jim’s own work with the next generation of Civil War scholars at Shepherd University, and his thoughts on the future of Civil War history.

With the Sesquicentennial behind us, the looming question has been “Now what?” Without that convenient organizing framework, the future of Civil War history faces some interesting unknowns, challenges, and opportunities. Look for a spirited series of ideas over the next few weeks, and be ready to jump into the discussion with your own thoughts.

Join us all month long for a look at the future of Civil War history!

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!