2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

Teaching the Civil War: A Critical Examination of High School Textbooks Used between 1880-1980
Kayleen M. Green
Dr. Mark Hanley and Dr. David Robinson, Faculty Mentors

Changing interpretations of the past in history textbooks has long been a hot-button issue. Revisionist histories such as Lies My Teacher Told Me and America Revised have contributed to the ongoing historiographical debate concerning the level of exclusion that African Americans continued to face, thus presenting students with whitewashed versions of history. The Civil Rights Movement has received credit for calling attention to residual racism within textbooks, but some historians argued that earlier attempts to do this were also effective. Broken into four eras-- Progressive, Consensus, Revisionist, and Post-Revisionist-- I will assess the differing language and attitudes used in textbooks concerning African Americans during the Civil War and Reconstruction. These interpretations will be examined in the context of educational trends that were influencing the publishing industry. This research will bring a better understanding of when textbooks began to provide a more encompassing presentation of race during the Civil War Era.

Keywords: race in history , high-school history , textbooks, revisionist history , Civil War era

Topic(s):History Senior Seminar

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -1
Location: MG 2090
Time: 9:30

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