Academic Programs

Gettysburg College’s distinctive Civil War Era Studies (CWES) minor draws on the college’s unique historical location and the diverse lenses provided by literature, anthropology, visual art, political science, and history to provide students an interdisciplinary understanding of the Civil War Era. Minors are provided access to a wide range of courses, fellowship experiences, and internship opportunities that enhance their understanding of the Civil War era and its continued resonance in contemporary American society.

Students studying

The Public History minor serves students with an interest in museums, historic sites, archives and library work, historic preservation, archaeology, and digital history. Drawing on perspectives and frames of reference from across academic divisions, it provides an innovative approach to the study and practice of applied history and cultural heritage, integrating classroom study with hands-on projects and field experiences in museums, archives, historical agencies, etc.

CWI works collaboratively with partners across campus to provide meaningful experiences for students both inside and outside the classroom, including by providing specially-tailored battlefield programming for courses in a wide range of departments. The long-term partnership between CWI and Musselman Library’s Special Collections & College Archives not only supports internships but has also enhanced the collections available for both student and outside research, particularly in important but less well documented aspects of Civil War history.

Students posing for a picture
The new Civil War Commemoration, Interpretation, and Battlefield Preservation Collection includes an array of photographs and artifacts documenting 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle of Gettysburg in July 2013, as well as a range of oral history interviews about the Gettysburg Foundation, No Casino Gettysburg, and the preservation efforts of Civil War battlefield sites. Partnerships with Schmucker Art Gallery have helped to support a range of gallery talks and student opportunities for curatorial work; most recently, Director Peter Carmichael is working closely with student curators on an exhibition of Ansel Adams photographs. Through the Center for Public Service’s Community Based Learning Program, Associate Director Jill Ogline Titus’s public history classes have partnered with the Adams County Historical Society on hands-on projects.And finally, a new partnership between CWI and the Eisenhower Institute will enhance the Inside Civil Rights Study tour in future years, and create internship opportunities for students interested in both history and public policy.

Students researching

Faculty scholarship produced within CWI is broad-based and innovative. Director Peter Carmichael has published extensively on the cultural history of soldiering in Civil War armies, and is currently at work on a narrative history of the Gettysburg campaign. Associate Director Jill Ogline Titus’s work centers around civil rights history and historical commemoration, including books on the Cold War Civil Rights context of the Gettysburg Centennial and massive resistance to school desegregation. Assistant Director Ashley Whitehead Luskey’s scholarly work applies the lenses of cultural history and gender history to the Civil War Era, examining elite women’s attempts to maintain their social & political authority amidst the chaos of civil war.