Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression, Nov. 2-4, 2023 (at Augusta University)

deadline for submissions: 
August 21, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Society of Nineteenth Century Historians
contact email: 

The Society of Nineteenth Century Historians, in partnership with the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Augusta University, presents the 31st annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression. The Society invites submissions dealing with any aspect of the US mass media of the 19th century, including the Civil War in fiction and history, freedom of expression in the 19th century, presidents and the 19th century press, the African American and immigrant press, sensationalism and crime in 19th century newspapers, and coverage of 19th century spiritualism and ghost stories. 

Since 2000, the Symposium, formerly hosted at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga by the West Chair of Excellence in Communications and Public Affairs, the late Dr. David Sachsman, has produced nine different books of readings covering a broad range of subjects. These include: 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); The Antebellum Press: Setting the Stage for Civil War (2019), and The Civil War Soldier and the Press (due for publication in 2023). Panel presentations from the 2020 Symposium were recorded and aired on C-SPAN.


Selected papers and panels will be presented during the conference Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 2-4, 2023. Papers should be able to be presented within 20 minutes and at least 10–15 pages long. The top three papers and the top three student papers will be honored accordingly.

The 31st annual conference is returning to an in-person format with exciting opportunities for graduate students and young scholars to gain valuable experience and feedback, not to mention networking and camaraderie, with in-person attendance. A Zoom option is available upon request.

It is not necessary to be a member of the Society to submit a paper or panel for consideration.


Please send your paper (including a 200–300-word abstract) as a Word attachment to by August 21, 2023.


For more information, please contact