Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression, Nov. 3-5, 2022

deadline for submissions: 
August 26, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
West Chair of Excellence in Communication and Public Affairs, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
contact email: 

The steering committee of the thirtieth annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression solicits papers dealing with US 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, sensationalism and crime in 19th century newspapers, and the antebellum press and the causes of the Civil War.

Selected papers will be presented during the conference, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 3–5, 2022. The top three papers and the top three student papers will be honored accordingly.

The Symposium will be conducted via ZOOM (for both speakers and participants). If possible, it will also be conducted in person offering a hybrid format that allows attendance in Chattanooga or the opportunity to join remotely.

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 and panel presentations on the Civil War and the press, presidents and the 19th century press, news reports of 19th century epidemics, coverage of immigrants, African Americans, and Native Americans, and 19th century spiritualism and ghost stories. Since 2000, the Symposium has produced eight distinctly different books of readings: The Civil War and the Press (2000); 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); Seeking a Voice: Images of Race and Gender in the 19th Century Press (2009); Sensationalism: Murder, Mayhem, Mudslinging, Scandals, and Disasters in 19th-Century Reporting (2013); A Press Divided: Newspaper Coverage of the Civil War (2014); After the War: The Press in a Changing America, 1865–1900 (2017); and The Antebellum Press: Setting the Stage for Civil War (2019). The panel presentations from the 2020 Symposium were recorded and aired on C-SPAN.

Graduate students are invited to submit their work in the areas of journalism history, media studies, and mass communication.

Panel proposals of 3-5 related papers are also welcome.

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 Department, 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 10–15 pages long. Please send your paper (including a 200–300 word abstract) as a Word attachment to by August 26, 2022.

Please contact with additional questions.