Civil Discourse explores the complex history of the long Civil War era by connecting academic and public audiences via engagement with both traditional and new scholarship regarding one of the most transformative eras in American history.

Despite enthusiastic public interest and decades of academic research and writing, American interaction with and understanding of the Civil War remains layered, and different groups view the war and its legacy quite differently.  Civil Discourse creates a venue for these differing conversations to come together; in particular, our blog seeks to bridge the gap between academic and popular interest in the war.  This is no easy task, nor is it one to be “solved,” but our hope is that we can widen our readers’ conceptions of the Civil War and its continuing legacy through today.

Through Civil Discourse’s blog, our authors strive to offer compelling, well-written stories that explore various facets—both old and new—of the long Civil War era from the early Republic through Reconstruction.  We embrace traditional military and political history, as well exciting scholarship in the fields of social, cultural, gender, racial, legal, economic, and memory history.  In simpler terms, Civil Discourse explores not only ever-popular topics like Grant and Lee, Shiloh and Gettysburg, but also sheds light on topics that have permeated academia for some time, yet struggled to penetrate Americans’ popular conceptions and memory of the war.  We want to explore race and gender, class and citizenship, violence and suffering, and memory and history-making. 

All of these historical expeditions brought to you in 3,000 words or less, hopefully in an enjoyable, easy-to-read manner.

You can find more about individual authors under the "Our Authors" tab; each author possesses a mix of academic and public history experience.  Collectively, Civil Discourse seeks to engage readers with new scholarship and new perspectives on the Civil War and its legacy; please feel free to join the conversation by commenting, critiquing, supporting, or sharing the posts and ideas you find here.