Matt Gallman

Fall 2007

W 4:05-7:05

392-0272  x 231

CBD 216

Hours:  Tuesdays  2:30 – 4:30 and by appt




AMH 5930

Graduate Seminar:

Research in the Civil War Era





This seminar is organized as a fairly traditional “research seminar,” with an emphasis on the production of a substantial piece of scholarly writing.   Along the way you will also be working on a variety of related professional skills:  assessing and evaluating scholarly articles; preparing and delivering conference papers; commenting (both in writing an orally) on the work of your colleagues; preparing research and travel grants; and preparing undergraduate writing assignments.


As much as possible the individual writing assignments will be tailored to your specific needs.   I imagine that the mix of written work will include preliminary versions of:  dissertation chapters, nonthesis research papers, articles for publication, historiographic review essays; and perhaps a dissertation prospectus.   You will decide what you are working on in consultation with me.   In some cases you might actually end up working on more than one piece of writing.


Although each individual will have his or her own writing assignment, everyone will be following the same series of assignments and deadlines.


All of the reading assignments should be available on line.   But if you do not already own a copy you should purchase Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertation.  7th edition (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 2007).





You will have several sorts of assignments in this course:





(This includes leading the discussion of an

Article; your own oral presentation of your work;

and your formal comments on a classmates’ paper.)

(This grade includes all the intermediate steps as well as the final paper.)









1.      August 29                         Introductions



2.      September 5                     Paper Proposals

·      ASSIGNMENT #1:     Paper Proposals due in class


·      Reading:

·        Michael Thomas Smith, “The Most Desperate Scoundrels Unhung: Bounty Jumpers and Recruitment Fraud in the Civil War North,” American Nineteenth Century History, 6 (June 2005), 149–172.


·        Discussion questions:

·                    What is the main argument?

·                    What sorts of evidence does the author use?    Is the evidence effective?

·                    How is the essay organized?  Is the organization effective?

·                    How does the author address previous scholarship?   In the text?  In the notes?

·                    Why was this article published?



3.      September 12                   Dissecting Journal Articles – 1

·      ASSIGNMENT #2:     Lead a discussion of a scholarly article


·      Flook:

·        Brian R. Dirck, “Posterity's Blush: Civil Liberties, Property Rights, and Property Confiscation in the Confederacy,” CWH 48 (2002), 237-256.

·      Patterson

·        Julie Roy Jeffrey, "'Stranger, Buy… Lest Our Mission Fail:' The Complex Culture of Women's Abolitionist Fairs.American Nineteenth Century History 4 (Spring 2003), 1-24.

·      Seferian:

·           Jordan Ross, “Uncommon Union: Diversity and Motivation among Civil War Soldiers,” American Nineteenth Century History 3 (Spring 2002), 17-44.



4.      September 19                   Dissecting Journal Articles – 2

·      Blauvelt:

·        Andre Fleche, "’Shoulder to Shoulder as Comrades Tried’: Black and White Union Veterans and Civil War Memory,” CWH 51 (2005), 175-201.


·      Broomall:

·        Albert J. von Frank, “John Brown, James Redpath, and the Idea of Revolution, CWH   52 (2006), 142-160. 

·      Miller:

·        Susan-Mary Grant, “Patriot Graves: American national identity and the Civil War dead,” American Nineteenth Century History,  5 (Fall 2004), 74-100.

·       Zombek:

·        Lorien Foote, “Rich Man's War, Rich Man's Fight: Class, Ideology, and Discipline in the Union Army,” CWH  51 (2005), 269-287.



5.      September 26                   Project Updates  / Dissecting Journal Articles – 3

·      ASSIGNMENT #3:     Project Updates Due in Class          


·      Article Discussions

·        Diaz:

·                    Aaron Sheehan-Dean, “Everyman's War: Confederate Enlistment in Civil War Virginia,” CWH 50 (2004), 5-26.

·        Horn:

·                    Judith Ann Giesberg, "’To Forget and Forgive’: Reconstructing the Nation in the Post–Civil War Classroom,” CWH 52 (2006) 282-302

·        Huffard:

·                    Jonathan W. White, “Canvassing the Troops: The Federal Government and the Soldiers' Right to Vote,” CWH 50 (2004), 291-317.




6.      October   3                        Show Me The Money:  Research Grants

·      ASSIGNMENT #4:   Summarize a Research Grant Opportunity



7.      October  10                       Conference Presentations  -  1

·      ASSIGNMENT #5:   Prepare an Oral Presentation    

·      Students will present 15-20 minute versions of their research.

·      Details and additional readings TBA.



8.      October  17                       Conference Presentations  -  2

·      Students will present 15-20 minute versions of their research.

·      Details and additional readings TBA.



9.      October  24                       Conference Presentations  -   3

·      Students will present 15-20 minute versions of their research.


·      Details and additional readings TBA



October  31                 Southern Historical Association Meetings - Richmond

            No Class Meeting

            Work on papers



10.  November    7                   Teaching the Civil War Era  -  1

·      ASSIGNMENT #6:   Prepare a Writing Assignment for a Civil War course



11.  November  14                   Teaching the Civil War Era  -  2

·      ASSIGNMENT #7:   Draft of Final Paper

·        Penultimate drafts of the final papers are due.   Copies to me and to all your classmates.

·       Class will continue discussion of pedagogy.



12.  November  21                   Presentations and Comments   -   1

·      ASSIGNMENT #8:   Critique a Classmate’s Paper  (and Nov 28, Dec 5)

·      Discussions of three final papers

·        Author offers a brief overview

·        Student commentator offers critique and leads discussion



13.  November  28                   Presentations and Comments  -    2

·      Discussions of four final papers

·        Author offers a brief overview

·        Student commentator offers critique and leads discussion



14.  December     5                  Presentations and Comments  -    3

·      Discussions of three final papers

·        Author offers a brief overview

·        Student commentator offers critique and leads discussion



Monday December 10th

            ASSIGNMENT #9:  Final Papers dues in my office  (hard copies) by noon .



Specific Assignments

(subject to change as the semester progresses)




Assignment  #1


Paper Proposal


  September 5, 2007



Prepare a short (250-500 word) summary of your writing plans for the semester.   What sort of writing project do you intend to undertake.   (Article?  Nonthesis paper?  Prospectus?  Review Essay?)   What is the topic?   What are the main questions?   The specific paper and the level of specificity will vary from student to student.


You should consult with me in advance of class to discuss your proposal.


Please bring copies of your proposal for all of your classmates (11 copies in all).







Assignment  #2


Dissect an Article


September 12, 19, 26, 2007


In the first four weeks of the semester we will be reading 11 recently published scholarly articles from two journals specializing in 19th century U. S. history:  Civil War History and American Nineteenth Century History (all articles can be found on line).


We will be reading these articles with two broad goals in mind.   First, what does each tell us about the state of scholarship on the Civil War era?    Second, what can we learn about the art of writing and publishing articles by dissecting these particular articles?


Everyone should come to class prepared to discuss each article.   That means coming in with written notes on the article.   Each student is assigned to facilitate the discussion of one article.  That does not mean that the student must prepare a presentation on the article, although you will be asked to do some background work on the author.   You will simply be in charge of leading the discussion.


In that discussion we will consider these questions:






Assignment  #3


Project Updates


  September 26, 2007



This assignment is once again tailored to each individual.   The idea is to produce a formal written product reflecting your first month of work.


In most cases this should include a proposed outline for your oral presentation, slated for October 10th.


In some cases it might also include a bibliography for your final project.   In other cases it might include a rough draft (particularly if you are working from a preexisting document).


In nearly all cases I would like it to include a very clean first paragraph.


We will discuss the specific assignments as September 26th approaches.


These project updates are due in class.









Assignment  #4


Summarize a Research Grant Opportunity


October 3, 2007



This class will be devoted to discussing the fine art of identifying and winning research grants.   Your assignment is to bring to class (with copies for everyone) one example of a research grant opportunity available for graduate students in American history (any field) beyond UF.


This could include:

·      Grants to work in a particular archives.

·      Grants to travel, either in the US or abroad.

·      Predoctoral fellowships.

·      Any other grants to support your research and writing.


You can bring in material directly from an on-line source or you can write up a summary.   But be prepared to offer thoughts on strategies for winning this grant.


If you have already applied for a grant, please bring in copies of your proposal.





Assignment  #5


Prepare an Oral Presentation

Comment on a Classmate’s Presentation


October 10, 2007


For three weeks in October you will take turns delivering oral presentations based on your ongoing research.   These should be very formal presentations, presented like a conference paper at a scholarly conference.    Your presentations should be roughly 15 to 20 pages, or roughly 8-10 typed pages.


Our discussions will focus on both the content and the quality of the presentations themselves.


Classmates will be assigned to comment on these papers.






Assignment  #6


Teaching the Civil War


November 7, 2007



We will two spend portions of two sessions discussing undergraduate writing assignments.   As preparation for these discussions, Assignment #6 asks you to prepare a paper assignment aimed at an undergraduate course on the Civil War and Reconstruction.


Assignment:  Prepare a writing assignment for undergraduates in an upper level class on the Civil War and Reconstruction.   Assume that this course has 3 short paper assignments.   Your assignment should be for an essay of roughly 5 to 7 pages.


In preparing your assignment, think about:


You should connect this assignment to a particular web page or a set of related pages.   This might involve some web browsing in search of useful on line primary sources.


Your assignment might be organized around a particular place or event, or it might be built upon a broader body of materials.

You should prepare copies of your assignment for each of your classmates.





Assignment  #7


Draft of Final Paper


November 14, 2007



Penultimate drafts of final paper due in class.   This should be a clean draft that you are prepared to discuss and defend.   Prose should be clean.  The notes should be sufficient to convey the sources (although you might want to expand them for the final draft).


Copies should go to everyone in the seminar.





Assignment  #8


Critique a Classmate’s Paper


November 21, 28, December 5, 2007



We will devote three class periods to discussing the rough drafts submitted on November 14th.    Everyone is expected to read and comment on every paper, but you will have a principle responsibility for commenting on one paper.


These critiques should be both in a formal written comment and in an oral comment delivered to the class.  






Assignment  #9


Final Paper


December 10, 2007


Final Paper due in my office by noon on December 10th.   Please submit both a hard copy and an electronic version.