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"Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War  

A guide to the "Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War" discussion series at Hunt Memorial Library, Fort Valley State University.
Last Updated: Oct 2, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Upcoming Events

Click on any of the events below for detailed information about the reading for each particular discussion.  A registration form is provided.


About The Discussion Series

Hunt Memorial Library is the recipient of a $3000 grant from the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The grant sponsors the “Let’s Talk About It” discussion series around the theme of “Making Sense of the Civil War.”

The grant assists the library in sponsoring a series of five book discussions centered on pre-selected text readings.  As a part of the grant, the library has been provided with complimentary copies of the texts, which include:

  1. March by Geraldine Brooks
  2. Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam by James McPherson, and
  3. America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150th Anniversaries, edited by Edward L. Ayers
For information about the readings and the reading schedule, please visit the Readings tab above.



About the Project Scholar

Dr. Dawn Herd-Clark will serve as the local project scholar for the Hunt Memorial Library’s Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War project.  Dawn Herd-Clark earned her Ph.D. in United States History, with an emphasis in African American History, from Florida State University in 1999.  At the undergraduate level she has taught United States History to 1865 and United States History Since 1865, both of which examine the American Civil War by exploring race, class, and gender.  Dr. Herd-Clark also has experience educating graduate students; her courses, Interpretations of Nineteenth Century United States History and Nineteenth Century African American History Graduate Readings, examine the Civil War from a variety of perspectives including that of southerners and northerners, as well as African Americans and women.

In addition to teaching students in the traditional classroom setting, Dr. Herd-Clark also has experience educating students of all ages through her various outreach educational collaborations.  Last year Dr. Herd-Clark worked with the Hunt Memorial Library during our The Varieties of Women’s Experience symposium, based on the book   The Varieties of Women’s Experiences : Portraits of Southern Women in the Post-Civil War Century, edited by edited by Larry Eugene Rivers & Canter Brown Jr. ; she led a discussion over “Elizabeth Benton Moore: Education and Community Activism at Georgia’s Dorchester Academy,” which she also authored.  The students, faculty, and staff who attended her sessions found it very enlightening and engaging.  Most recently Dr. Herd-Clark worked with the Georgia Humanities Council and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site and presented “Jim Crow in the South: A Case Study of African Americans in Rural Georgia.”  This presentation provided the historical context for and discussion for former President Jimmy Carter’s biography, An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood.

Dr. Herd-Clark’s vast subject matter knowledge and prior teaching experience make her an ideal candidate to serve as the local project scholar for Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War project.   


Let's Talk About It

The American Library Association (ALA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) present Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War, a scholar-led reading and discussion program for public audiences.

The program is part of the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War.  Participants will probe meanings of the Civil War that are “hidden in plain sight” behind the key questions and main characters so familiar to us. Program participants may be surprised to encounter in the readings such a large cast of characters, so broad a range of perspectives, and so dense a web of circumstances. After considering the vast sweep and profound breadth of Civil War experience, readers will understand that the American Civil War was not a single thing, or a simple thing. And yet they will also see emancipation—the end of the most powerful system of slavery in the modern world—take its place as the central story of the war.


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