Summary: Post Civil War Southern and Black American Nationalism
Post Civil War Southern and Black American Nationalism Supervisor- Dr Simon Hall.
My doctoral research explores how two groups white U.S. Southerners and black Americans engaged with constructions of American identity and nationalism in the years following the Civil War. My research thus far has provided insight into the complex interplay of sectionalism and nationalism in the development of America and Americanism, tracing the antebellum development of, broadly speaking, two competing versions (Northern and Southern) of what America should be. The Civil War and the ensuing period of Reconstruction was the culmination of this struggle; my thesis is that the Confederacy forged a distinct national identity over the course of the war, and at its conclusion was left with a national identity but no nation. Subsequent decades saw an ongoing struggle over the definition of American citizenship, as white Southerners and newly freed black Americans sought to find their place within a nation that neither group quite fit into.
I am approaching the project through a focus on specific case studies; one of which is the American Centennial of 1876. Coming only 11 years after the war, with sectional reconciliation one of its major themes, the Centennial offers great scope for analysis of Southern and black engagement with Americanism. There is relatively little historiography on the subject; a gap that this project would hope to help fill.
After a career in retail bookselling, I came to Leeds in 2005 and completed a BA in History & Philosophy at Leeds in 2009. I then went straight into a taught MA in Race and Resistance, also at Leeds, before beginning my PhD here in autumn 2010.
I taught the first year module 'The Modern World' (HIST 1210) in 2011-12. In 2012/13 I am teaching the same module again as well as the second year HIST2351, 'The American Century.'
In 2012 I recieved a World University Network Research Mobility fellowship to spend time at Penn State University in Pennsylvania.
In 2013 I was a recipient of a University of Leeds School of History Extraordinary Fund award.
The South and the Centennial of 1876
Postgraduate Colloquium, University of Leeds, 12 June 2012.
Richards Civil War Era Center, Penn State University, 18 September 2012.