Society of Civil War Historians


Additional details will be posted as they become available.

2016 Program Committee:

Nicole Etcheson, Ball State University
Barton Myers, Washington and Lee University
Ethan Rafuse, U.S. Army Command & General Staff College
Aaron Sheehan-Dean (chair) Louisiana State University
Rachel Shelden, University of Oklahoma

Call for Papers (pdf file)

The deadline for receipt of proposals is September 11, 2015. Please complete a submission form (panel proposal:; single paper proposal: and upload a single PDF file. Proposals should include a title and abstract for the papers (approximately 250-300 words) and a short curriculum vitae from each participant. Panel submissions should have an overall title and statement about the thrust of the session.


Please contact the Richards Center if you have any corrections to the program.


The Chattanoogan Hotel, 1201 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402. Single/double guestroom rate is $129.00/night plus state and local taxes.

Conference registration form

Print and mail registration form to Penn State, 108 Weaver Building, University Park, PA 16802

Academic Press Tables registration form

Print and mail registration form to Penn State, 108 Weaver Building, University Park, PA 16802

Credit Card Preregistration Secure Website (under eStore - George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center)

Membership to The Society of Civil War Historians.


2014 Biennial Meeting

The SCWH held its biennial conference at the Sheraton Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, on June 12-14, 2014. Two hundred-thirty people registered for the conference, approximately the same number that registered for the previous conference in Lexington, Kentucky. The Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore graciously offered free admission to its museum and library for all Society conference attendees.

The conference opened Thursday with a plenary session titled Dwelling in the Archives. The panel discussed the nature of archival research and the opportunities and challenges presented by the ongoing digitization of archival materials. Stephen Berry, University of Georgia, moderated the session, which included Jennifer Morgan, New York University; Seth Rockman, Brown University; Jim Downs, Connecticut College; and Yael Sternhell, Tel Aviv University.

On Friday, Megan Kate Nelson, Brown University, chaired a discussion of the depictions of slavery in cinema, particularly recent films like Twelve Years a Slave and Django Unchained. The panel featured Catherine Clinton, Queen’s University Belfast; John Inscoe, University of Georgia; and Brenda E. Stevenson, University of California, Los Angeles. A crew from CSPAN filmed the session for later broadcast on their American History TV program. Also on Friday, the Society of Military Historians sponsored a roundtable discussion, Teaching the New Military History. The panel was presided over by Susannah J. Ural, University of Southern Mississippi, and included Aaron Astor, Maryville College; Judith Giesberg, Villanova University; SCWH president-elect Daniel Sutherland, University of Arkansas; and Amy Murrell Taylor, University of Kentucky.

The conference’s sessions closed Saturday afternoon with Waging Peace, a roundtable that assessed the state and future of Reconstruction scholarship. Participants included Edward L. Ayers, University of Richmond; Joseph G. Dawson, III, Texas A & M University; Sarah E. Gardner, Mercer University; Margaret M. Storey, DePaul University, Frank J. Wetta, Kean University; and George Rable, University of Alabama, who presided over the panel. The society hosted a reception at the conclusion of the panel. During the reception, Megan Kate Nelson thanked outgoing president Anne Rubin for her service and efforts in helping to organize a successful conference.

Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award

The Society sponsored a graduate student luncheon on Friday with a panel, Early Years in the Profession: A Forum on the Untenured Life. Panelists included Brian Craig Miller, Emporia State University; Megan Kate Nelson, Brown University; and Rachel Shelden, University of Oklahoma. David Thomson, University of Georgia, and chair of the Graduate Student Connection Committee, presided.

During lunch, Rachel presented the Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award to Patrick Doyle, University of Manchester, for his paper “‘Replacement Rebels: Confederate Substitution and the Issue of Citizenship.” The paper explored how the problematic nature of citizenship in the Civil War era shaped the way in which Confederates interpreted their government’s policy of substitution. The $500 award is sponsored by the Society of Civil War Historians.

Patrick Doyle public history award

Patrick Doyle and Rachel Shelden

David LaCrone, Jason Roe, Anne Rubin

Excellence in Public History Award

Society president Anne Rubin presented the Excellence in Public History Award to Jason Roe and David LaCrone of The Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, MO. The $5,000 award was given in recognition of the Library’s project: Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865, which has approximately 6,000 pages of digitized primary sources from 25 Missouri and Kansas archives. Students, scholars, and Civil War enthusiasts alike can access these sources. The accompanying website ( combines encyclopedia entries, scholarly essays, timelines, and images, all of which are easy to navigate. The library also offered an extensive line-up of scholars and other speakers that explored topics related to the Border War and beyond and resulted in a collection of essays published by the University of Kansas Press. The Excellence in Public History Award was funded by the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, The Pennsylvania State University.