Understanding the history of the American Civil War brings its present-day legacies sharply into focus. With race and slavery at the center, this course explores the Civil War, Reconstruction, and their aftermath, proceeding from two premises: first, that race and slavery were central to the causes and consequences of the war; and second, that the war and its legacies remain central to modern U.S. history. Over the course of the semester, we will
follow multiple threads and trajectories, illuminating the experiences of northerners and southerners; African Americans, whites, and Native Americans; soldiers and civilians; men and women; rich, middling, and poor. In tandem with reading an array of scholarship, we will also reflect critically upon the ways in which the Civil War has been remembered and represented in popular culture.