FYS-183 Blood on the Moon: Literature and the American Civil War

Instructor: Adjunct Professor Kent Lawrence Gramm
Department: English

Course Description:
Students read and analyze great poems, novels, short stories, and other literature of the American Civil War, and develop understandings of the myth of the Lost Cause, slavery and race, the concept of “hallowed ground,” and apply these to present day economic and political issues. Literature, songs, and movies about the war give us the feeling of what it was like to be in America (and on this ground at Gettysburg) in the 1860’s, and show us how the war came to be seen afterward and how we are “still Rebels, still Yankees.” Was Lincoln a racist and does he still matter? Are the movies GETTYSBURG and GODS AND GENERALS accurate and fair? Is the Old South a lovely civilization gone with the wind? Why are there red and blue states now? Did the war resolve whether a nation “so conceived and so dedicated” as ours “may long endure?” What ghosts still haunt the campus, the nation, and our own sense of who we are?