In about a week I will submit a completed manuscript to Rowman & Littlefield for my edited collection, Interpreting the Civil War at Museums and Historic Sites, which will appear in their Interpreting History series. I am relieved to finally be bringing this project to a close, but it is one that was made very easy owing to the commitment and hard work of my authors.
Here is the table of contents to wet your appetite:
- Preface: “From Centennial to Sesquicentennial” by Kevin M. Levin
- Chapter 1: “Among the Ruins: Creating and Interpreting the American Civil War in Richmond” by Christy S. Coleman [Explores the history of the Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar, their recent merger, and the challenges of interpreting the Civil War in Richmond.]
- Chapter 2: “Billy Yank, not Johnny Reb: Focusing Civil War Exhibits on the Union in Virginia” by Mark Benbow [Explores the challenges of interpreting Unionism and Union occupation in Virginia at a small museum in Arlington.]
- Chapter 3: “A Civil War Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin?” by Daniel Joyce, Douglas Dammann, and Jennifer Edginton [Explores how a relatively new museum went about interpreting the war in a region not associated with the conflict.]
- Chapter 4: “From Tokenism to True Partnership: The National Park Service’s Shifting Interpretation at the Civil War’s Sesquicentennial” by John M. Rudy [Assesses NPS programming during the sesquicentennial and where interpretation needs to go in the coming years.]
- Chapter 5: “New Wine in Old Bottles: Using Historical Markers to Reshape Public Memory of the Civil War” by W. Todd Groce [Assesses the Georgia Historical Society’s markers program as a form of public history engagement.]
- Chapter 6: “Commemoration, Conflict, and Constraints: The Saga of the Confederate Flag at the South Carolina State House” by Eric Emerson [Explores the history of the Confederate flag in SC as well as the challenges associated with proper interpretation in a museum setting.]
- Chapter 7: “Getting to the Heart: The Intersections of Confederate Iconography, Race Relations, and Public History in America” by Nicole Moore and Dina Bailey [Offers advice to public historians interested in engaging their communities around issues related to the current debate about Confederate iconography.]
- Chapter 8: “Civil War Public History for the Next Generation” by James Percoco [Offers advice to staffs at museums and historic sites on setting up internship opportunities for high school students.]
As you might imagine I am very excited about these essays. They offer a nice balance between assessment of recent interpretive efforts and advice on future challenges and opportunities. The manuscript will go out for review once it is submitted. I will keep you apprised on its progress as well as its final publication date.