Gettysburg College’s distinctive Civil War Era Studies (CWES) minor, housed in the Civil War Institute, draws on the college’s unique historical location to integrate classroom experiences and experiential learning with the power of place. Minors have access to a wide range of courses, fellowship experiences, internship opportunities, and scholarly networks to enhance their understanding of the Civil War era and its continued resonance in contemporary American society.

At Gettysburg, the battlefield itself serves as an outdoor classroom for the study of the Civil War – but that study extends far beyond the field itself to encompass the social, cultural, artistic, economic, literary, and political dimensions of the conflict itself and the years that preceded and followed it. Students also have many opportunities to explore how the events and unresolved questions of the Civil War and Reconstruction period continue to affect American society in the 21st century and how historical memory of the era has been constructed and deployed over time.

Recent Graduates Are Employed By:

  • National Park Service
  • Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
  • Sam Houston State University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries
  • Thomas Jefferson Foundation
  • Four Score Consulting, LLC
  • Cardinal Education
  • Pamplin Historical Park
  • City of Columbia, SC
  • SAE International
  • Old Dominion University

Requirements for the Civil War Era Studies Minor

  • CWES 205 (Introduction to Civil War Era Studies)
  • 2 courses in the American Civil War Era
  • 1 course in War & Society
  • 1 elective course
  • 1 additional course from any of the categories below

American Civil War Era Courses (Students Take Two)

  • CWES 210: Civil War Memory: Race, Politics, and Commemoration
  • CWES 212: Narratives of Illness
  • CWES 225: Cameras, Canvas & Cannon: Visual Culture of the Civil War
  • CWES 237:  From Reconstruction to Black Lives Matter
  • CWES 240/AFS 240: Race & Slavery in the American South
  • CWES 245: Gettysburg to Charlottesville: Race in the American Imagination
  • CWES 246/HIST 246: Life and Times of Abraham Lincoln
  • CWES 250:  Topics in Civil War Studies
  • CWES 285/IDS 285: Interpreting and Preserving Civil War Artifacts
  • CWES 340: Mark Twain's Civil War
  • HIST 247: Gettysburg in History & Memory
  • HIST 339: From Slavery to Segregation
  • HIST 343: The Early Republic
  • HIST 345: The Civil War
  • HIST 346: Slavery, Rebellion, and Emancipation in the Atlantic World
  • HIST 351: Social Protest in the Nineteenth Century

War and Society Courses (Students Take One)

  • *ANTH 304: Violence and Conflict (open to CWES minors w/o prerequisite)
  • CWES 215/IDS 216: Introduction to War Studies
  • CWES/HIST 305: Global Epidemics: From Subjugation to Science
  • CWES 310: War in the 19th Century
  • CWES 320:  Aftermath: The Experience of War and “Modern” Memory
  • CWES 352/HIST 352: Gender & Sexuality During the American Civil War
  • HIST 244: American Military History
  • IDS 315: The Muse of Fire: War Stories & Culture

Elective Courses (Students Take One)

  • ARTH 225: History and Theory of Photography
  • AFS-130: Introduction to African-American Studies (sections offered by Hancock and Melton)
  • ANTH 212: Archaeology of Pennsylvania
  • FYS 121-3: Soldiers' Tales
  • FYS 133-3: Structures of Memory: Why We Build and Topple Monuments
  • FYS 183: Investigate the Battlefield of Gettysburg
  • FYS 183-4: Blood on the Moon: Literature of the Civil War
  • FYS 184-4: Remembering Slavery & the Civil War from 1865 to the Age of Black Lives Matter
  • ENG 237: American Realism and Naturalism
  • ENG 243: Riot, Rebellion, Revolution: The Tradition of Protest in Nineteenth-Century US Literature
  • ENG 258: African American Women Writers
  • ENG 341: American Gothic
  • HIST 201: :Introduction to Public History
  • IDS 217: The American Civil War on Film
  • ITAL 285: Wartime Italy: Cinema and Novel
  • *PHIL 219: Philosophy of Peace and Nonviolence
  • *PHIL 226 Philosophy of Resistance
  • *POL 253:  Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict
  • *POL 303: Topics – Civil Wars and Political Violence
  • *POL 347: Global Conflict Management
  • *POL 351 The Political Economy of Armed Conflict

*Course has a prerequisite.

Final Requirement

  • Students must select a second course from any of the lists above.