The Civil War at the 2007 AHA

It’s good to be home after a week in Germany.  We enjoyed temperatures in the low 80′s so you can imagine how miserable I was upon stepping out of Dulles International and into the mid 90′s. 

Today I received the confirmation for my roundtable session at the January 2007 meeting of the American Historical Association in Atlanta.  I took part in last year’s meeting in Philadelphia and had a great time, although the offerings in the areas of the Civil War and Southern history are limited.  This will be my first roundtable format and I am really looking forward to it given my complaints about the traditional panel format.  All too often the panel format has turned out to be a disappointment.  You can’t count on an audience of sufficient size showing up and often the question and answer period fails to address the salient issues contained in the papers.  I like the idea of making papers available on-line before the start of a conference as this at least makes it more likely that attendees will take the time to read them before showing up for the session and thus making for a more fruitful exchange of ideas.

The panel that I will be taking part in is titled: "Soldiers, Citizens, and Sources: The Uses of Civil War Soldiers in Writing U.S. History."  All of the participants contributed an essay to the forthcoming book, The View From the Ground: The Experiences of Civil War Soldiers which is now set for release in December.  I was under the impression that it would be out in September, but I guess there were some delays.  Anyway, there are five participants and each of us will share a few remarks about our specific contribution to the volume and our approach to interpreting Civil War soldiers.  It’s a talented group of historians and the format will hopefully generate an interesting exchange with the audience.  I like the idea of not having to worry about presenting a long and boring paper that only a few in the audience will expend the energy to follow.  Here are the participants:

Aaron Sheehan-Dean (editor of the book and chair of the session)
Charles E. Brooks
Kent T Dollar
Kevin M. Levin
Chandra Miller Manning
Jason K. Phillips

The session is scheduled for Saturday, January 6: 2:30-4:49 p.m. 

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