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Re-Imagining the Civil War: Gender Roles and the Ethics of History

Drawing upon first-hand accounts, diaries, and letters, Karen Abbott’s Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy re-writes the stories of four incredible, real-life women, exploring their active participation during the Civil War from both Union and Confederate perspectives.  In this roundtable discussion, three invited panelists will use Abbott’s book as a touchstone for a broader discussion about the responsibilities of history, the investigation of female participation in a changing cultural, wartime landscape, and its intersections with literary fact and fiction. Following their opening statements, the panelists will invite questions from the audience.

Featured Panelists:

Elizabeth Young, Carl M. and Elsie A. Small Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College.  Young is the author of Disarming the Nation: Women’s Writing and the American Civil War and Black Frankenstein: The Making of an American Metaphor. In addition to her work in nineteenth-century American literature, her research draws from feminist theory and visual culture and analyzes the intersections of gender, race and sexuality.

Amy Greenberg, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University. Greenberg is the author of four books on antebellum American history, including, most recently, A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico. Her work focuses on the transformation of gender roles, as well as partisan politics and the growth of American empire before the Civil War.

Craig Warren, Associate Professor of English and Professional Writing at Penn State–Behrend. Warren has published two books on the Civil War Era, The Rebel Yell: A Cultural History and Scars to Prove It: The Civil War Soldier and American Fiction. He also founded and edits the Ambrose Bierce Project, a digital humanities project and electronic journal.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Mann Assebmly Pattee-Paterno Library


Faculty, Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students


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