With the new academic year off to a racing start, the Civil War Institute Fellows are back and ready to muster in. Veterans, Ryan Bilger ’19, Savannah Labbe ’19, Jonathan Tracey ’19, and Zachary Wesley ’20 will be joined by new recruits, James Goodman ’20, Elizabeth Hobbs ’21, Benjamin Hutchison ’21, Benjamin Roy ’21, Cameron Sauers ’21, and Isaac Shoop ’21. Everyone is eager to begin working on their new projects and sharing history with all of you.
This year will bring exciting changes to the Fellows program. Some of our Fellows will continue working on Killed At Gettysburg, a digital history project that traces the lives and final footsteps of soldiers who fought and died here at Gettysburg. These Fellows will produce the first profiles of Confederate soldiers to be featured on the KAG website. Other Fellows will be using rare, original Civil War photographs to curate an exhibit on photography at Gettysburg that will be featured at the CWI’s annual summer conference. This group of Fellows will also be researching and several filming short video clips interpreting different parts of the battlefield, the memorial landscape, and the experiences of various soldiers and civilians who bore witness to the 1863 battle. These videos will be posted throughout the fall on our Facebook page, so be sure to keep an eye out for them!
Here on the blog, we will be taking on a slightly different interpretive focus as we shift our research and writing toward the study of 19th-century material culture. Writers will choose Civil War era objects that interest them and reflect on the broader social, political, and cultural context of that object. This approach to material objects will allow writers and readers to explore the Civil War era in a new light by learning about how the the objects that 19th-century Americans interacted with shaped the way individuals understood, visualized, and lived their lives. Likewise, students will study how 19th-century Americans shaped and reshaped the meaning of the objects themselves in important ways throughout their daily lives. Blog writers will also continue to keep you informed about the latest lectures and special events both on campus and around Gettysburg, as well as about their personal reflections on the various projects with which they have been tasked.
I hope you will continue to support the Fellows by reading their posts, sharing and liking pieces, commenting, and asking any questions that these posts might provoke. We students are learning right alongside you and enjoy any opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussion about the topics at hand.
With that, I present our 2018-2019 CWI Fellows!
Olivia Ortman, Managing Editor