The 25th annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression takes place in Chattanooga this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Here’s WUTC’s Will Davis talking with David Sachsman about this year’s program.
FROM THE EVENT'S WEB SITE: The steering committee of the twenty-fifth annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression solicits papers dealing with U.S. mass media of the 19th century, the Civil War in fiction and history, freedom of expression in the 19th century, presidents and the 19th century press, images of race and gender in the 19th century press, sensationalism and crime in 19th century newspapers, the press in the Gilded Age, and in particular, the antebellum press and the causes of the Civil War. Selected papers will be presented during the three-day conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 2-4, 2017. The top three papers and the top three student papers will be honored accordingly. Due to the generosity of the Walter and Leona Schmitt Family Foundation Research Fund, the winners of the student awards will receive $250 honoraria for delivering their papers at the conference.
The purpose of the November conference is to share current research and to develop a series of monographs. This year the steering committee will pay special attention to papers on such antebellum topics as press coverage of the Nullification Crisis of 1832, Bloody Kansas, the presidential election of 1856, the Dred Scott decision, and the presidential election of 1860. 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.