Prof. Mark Grimsley
This syllabus will be updated periodically throughout the quarter.
Most recent revision: Thursday, September 22
1. preparation for the PhD general examination;
2. exploration of the issues involved in history written for the specialist and history written for the layperson;
3. a writing workshop in which to practice effective writing for a non-specialist audience.
An effective one-page query letter. [100 points]
An effective article introduction. [100 points]
Background Reading (Required):
The Confederate War
Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory
Wednesday, September 21. Organizational; administrative
Monday, September 26. The Professional Historian and Popular History
(Note: These readings will be distributed at our first class meeting.)
James M. McPherson, "What's the Matter with History?" in McPherson, Drawn with the Sword: Rleflections on the American Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 231-253.
Leon F. Litwack, "Telling the Story: The Historian, The Filmmaker, and the Civil War," in Robert Brent Toplin, ed. Ken Burns's The Civil War: Historians Respond (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 119-140.
Geoffrey C. Ward, "Refighting the Civil War," in Robert Brent Toplin, ed. Ken Burns's The Civil War: Historians Respond (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 141-152.
Supplemental: Mark Grimsley, "The Professional Historian and Popular History," in Herman Hattaway and Ethan S. Rafuse, eds. The Ongoing Civil War: New Versions of Old Stories (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004), 13-25.
Wednesday, September 28. The Origins of the Civil War - I.
Silbey, Storm Over Texas.
Monday, October 3. The Origins of the Civil War - II.
Stampp, America in 1857.
Wednesday, October 5. Colloquium; Cracking the Market
First Hour: Colloquium with Kevin Boyle, author of Arc of Justice, winner of the 2004 National Book Award for non-fiction.
Second Hour: "Before Your First Sale," "Popular Magazines," and "Query Letter Clinic," from Kathryn S. Brogan and Robert Lee Brewer, eds. Writer's Market 2005 (Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2004).
Monday, October 10. History and Biography
Clinton, Harriet Tubman.
Wednesday, October 12. Workshop: Reviewing Books for Academic and General Audiences
Monday, October 17. The Motivations of Civil War Soldiers
McPherson, For Cause and Comrades.
Supplemental: Mark Grimsley, "In Not So Dubious Battle: The Motivations of Civil War Soldiers", Journal of Military History 62, no. 1 (January 1998), 175-188. [You will need J-STOR to access this article online.]
Wednesday, October 19. Query Letters Due; Discussion of Query Letters
Monday, October 24. The Community Study
Ayers, In the Presence of Mine Enemies
Required browsing: Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the Civil War Era (web site)
Class participation assignment: Please bring to class a non-scholarly historical article you particularly admire. Bring enough photocopies for the class.
Wednesday, October 26. Book Reviews Due; Effective Article Introductions
Discussion of articles distributed in the previous class.
Monday, October 31. Explaining Victory and Defeat
Gallagher, The Confederate War.
Wednesday, November 2. No class.
Monday, November 7. A Destructive War
Royster, The Destructive War
(Note: Historian Michael Fellman will be a guest speaker at this meeting.)
Wednesday, November 9. Article Introductions Due; in-class critiques
Monday, November 14. The End of the Confederacy
Winik, April 1865
Wednesday, November 16. No class.
Monday, November 21. Remembering the War
Blight, Race and Reunion.
Wednesday, November 23. No class
Monday, November 28. Discussion of articles in progress
Wednesday, November 30. Discussion of articles in progress
Article Drafts Due, close of business on Wednesday, December 7
Graduate Reading List in Pre-1877 American History (Microsoft Word document)
WarHistorian.org 2005 - Mark Grimsley