“If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.” – William Tecumseh Sherman

civil-war-lecture-2015-rubin-anneWith an August 29th submission deadline, the 24th annual Symposium’s steering committee is currently seeking papers to be presented at their three day conference on November 10-12 in Chattanooga, TN.

This year’s committee will pay special attention to papers on the Civil War and the press, presidents and the 19th century press, and 19th century concepts of free speech. Other topics of interest to be solicited include:

  • U.S. mass media of the 19th century
  • The Civil War in fiction and history
  • Images of race and gender in the 19th century press
  • Sensationalism and crime in the 19th century
  • The press in the Gilded Age

The top three papers and the top three student papers will be honored and recognized including a $250 award for student winners thanks to the generosity of the Walter and Leona Schmitt Fund.

Papers from the first five conferences were published by Transaction Publishers in 2000 as a book of readings called The Civil War and the Press. Purdue University Press published papers from past conferences in three distinctly different books titled Memory and Myth: The Civil War in Fiction and Film from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Cold Mountain (2007), Words at War: The Civil War and American Journalism (2008), and Seeking a Voice: Images of Race and Gender in the 19th Century Press (2009). In 2013, Transaction published Sensationalism: Murder, Mayhem, Mudslinging, Scandals, and Disasters in 19th-Century Reporting, and in 2014, it published A Press Divided: Newspaper Coverage of the Civil War.

The Symposium is sponsored by the George R. West, Jr. Chair of Excellence in Communication and Public Affairs, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga communication and history departments, the Walter and Leona Schmitt Family Foundation Research Fund, and the Hazel Dicken-Garcia Fund for the Symposium, and because of this sponsorship, no registration fee will be charged.

Papers should be able to be presented within 20 minutes, at least 10 to 15 pages long. Send your paper (including a 200-300 word abstract) as an MS Word e-mail attachment to West-Chair-Office@utc.edu or mail four copies of your paper and abstract to:

David B. Sachsman, Ph.D.
George R. West, Jr. Chair of Excellence in Communication and Public Affairs and Professor of Communication
210 Frist Hall  Dept. 3003
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37403


Media Relations Contacts: Email Shawn Ryan or call (423) 425-4363.
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