American Civil War Museum Historian Advisory Council
Scholars and leaders for the next generation of historians
The American Civil War Museum Historian Advisory Council consists of scholars from across the United States who are recognized authorities in their field. With expertise that spans the full range of topics within Civil War history, their work has shaped current scholarship of that era.
The Council is a standing body that helps to ensure that the ACWM is a leading resource for the American Civil War and its legacies. Advising on initiatives and Museum projects, the Historian Advisory Council keeps us apprised of trends in scholarship and connects the ACWM with the academic community.
Current Members 2022-2023
Caroline Janney, UVA John L Nau, III, Professor in History of American Civil War, Director, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History
Education Ph.D. History, University of Virginia B.A. Government, University of Virginia
Caroline Janney is the John L. Nau III Professor of the American Civil War and Director of the John L. Nau Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia (UVA). A graduate of UVA, she worked as a historian for the National Park Service and taught at Purdue University before returning to UVA in 2018. An active public lecturer, she has given presentations at locations across the globe. She is the past president of the Society of Civil War Historians and a series editor for the University of North Carolina Press’s Civil War America series. She has published seven books, including “Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation” (2013) and “Buying and Selling Civil War Memory in Gilded Age America” (2021).
Aaron Sheehan-Dean, LSU Fred C. Frey Professor, History Department Chair
Education B.A., Northwestern University, 1992 M.A., University of Virginia, 1999 Ph.D., University of Virginia, 2003
Aaron Sheehan-Dean is the Fred C. Frey Professor of Southern Studies and chairman of the History Department at Louisiana State University. He teaches courses on nineteenth-century U.S. history, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and Southern History. He is the author of the award-winning The Calculus of Violence: How Americans Fought the Civil War, Why Confederates Fought: Family and Nation in Civil War Virginia, and most recently Reckoning with Rebellion: War and Sovereignty in the Nineteenth Century.
Kidada Williams, Wayne State Associate Professor
Education Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2005 M.A., Central Michigan University, 1998 B.S., Central Michigan University, 1996
Kidada E. Williams researches African Americans’ experiences of racist violence. At Wayne State, she teaches courses on African American and American history and historical research methods. She started this work as a graduate student researching the Underground Railroad in Washtenaw County, Michigan, and co-creating a bus tour. She has given talks at a variety of public institutions including the Charles H. Wright Museum, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Henry Ford Museum, and America’s Civil War Museum. She regularly contributes to NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes, which help K-12 teachers broaden their understandings of U.S. history and develop new strategies for teaching challenging subject matter. She has appeared on PBS’s award-winning series, Reconstruction: America after the Civil War, NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “On Point,” WDET’s “Detroit Today,” and “BackStory with the American History Guys.” Her writing has appeared in The New York Times,DAME, Slate, and Bridge Magazine. She was the host and co-producer of Seizing Freedom, a podcast docudrama that covered the epic story of African Americans’ fight for freedom during the Civil War and beyond.
Manisha Sinha, UCONN James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in American History
Ph.D., Columbia University, 1994 M.Phil., Columbia University, 1988 M.A., State University of New York, Stony Brook, 1986 B.A., Delhi University, India, History Honors, 1984
Manisha Sinha is the Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut and a 2022 Guggenheim fellow. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University where her dissertation was nominated for the Bancroft prize. She taught at the University of Massachusetts for over twenty years where she was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed on faculty. She is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina, featured in the 1619 Project, and The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, which won the Frederick Douglass, Avery Craven, James Rawley, SHEAR Best Book prizes, was long-listed for the National Book Award for Non-Fiction. She is the Eighth recipient of the James W.C. Pennington Award for 2021 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In 2018, she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris, Diderot, and was elected to the Society of American Historians. She has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN, among other news outlets. Her latest book, The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: A Long History of Reconstruction is forthcoming from Liveright.
kate masur, University of Michigan Professor of History, Board of Visitors Professor
Education Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2001
Kate Masur is the Board of Visitors Professor of History at Northwestern University. She specializes in the history of race, politics, and law in the nineteenth-century United States. She is the author of Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction, which was published in 2021 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history and winner of the John Nau Book Prize from the University of Virginia and other prizes. She has consulted extensively with museums and arts organizations including the National Constitution Center and the Newberry Library and has helped developed numerous public history projects about the history of Reconstruction. With her students, she recently created a web exhibit entitled Black Organizing in Pre-Civil War Illinois: Creating Community, Demanding Justice, which is part of the larger Colored Conventions Project. Masur is co-editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era. She also regularly works with K-12 teachers and speaks with the media on topics including the Civil War and Reconstruction, Lincoln, and monuments and public memory.
Tamika nunley, Cornell Associate Professor of History
Education Ph.D., History, University of Virginia, 2015 M.A., History, University of Virginia, 2012 M.A., African American studies, Columbia University, 2008 B.A., African American studies, history, Miami University, Ohio, 2007
Tamika Nunley is an Associate Professor of History with courses and research focused on the history of slavery, African American women’s and gender history, the early Republic, and the American Civil War. Her first book, At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, and Shifting Identities in Washington, D.C. (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) reveals how African American women—enslaved, fugitive, and free—imagined new identities and lives beyond the oppressive restrictions intended to prevent them from experiencing liberty, self-respect, and power. Consulting nineteenth-century newspapers, government documents, letters, abolitionist records, legislation, and memoirs, Nunley traces how black women navigated social and legal proscriptions to develop their own ideas about liberty as they escaped from slavery, initiated freedom suits, created entrepreneurial economies, pursued education, and participated in political work. In addition to being a lifetime member of the Association of Black Women Historians, she serves on the editorial board of Civil War History, The Journal of Southern History, and the Journal of the Civil War Era. She has served on committees for the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the Society of Civil War Historians, and the Southern Historical Association.
Andrew Lang, Mississippi state Associate Professor of History
Education PH.D., Rice University (History), 2013 M.A., University of North Texas (History), 2008 B.A., University of North Texas (History), 2005
Andrew F. Lang specializes in the history of nineteenth-century America, using the era of the American Civil War as a lens through which to investigate the century’s dynamic setting. His most recent book, A Contest of Civilizations: Exposing the Crisis of American Exceptionalism in the Civil War Era (2021), is published in University of North Carolina Press’s landmark series, Littlefield History of the Civil War Era. From a field of more than 90 submissions, the book ranked as one of seven finalists for the 2022 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, which stands among the foremost awards in American historical scholarship. The book features diverse casts of nineteenth-century Americans who regarded the United States as the modern world’s pinnacle nation. But the commanding place of slavery within a republic of liberty imposed irreconcilable understandings of American nationhood, informing the causes, conduct, and consequences of the Civil War. Taking seriously how and why nineteenth-century Americans considered their Union as the zenith of modern political enterprises, the book interrogates the complex reasons why Americans waged a civil war over the very existence and meaning of their nation.
David Blight, yale/gli Sterling Professor of History, of African American Studies, and of American Studies
Education Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, American History,1985 M.A., Michigan State University, American History, 1976 B.A., Michigan State University, History, 1971
David W. Blight is Sterling Professor of American History at Yale University, joining that faculty in January 2003. He previously taught at Amherst College for thirteen years. As of June, 2004, he is Director, succeeding David Brion Davis, of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale. In 2013-14 he was the William Pitt Professor of American History at Cambridge University, UK, and in 2010-11, Blight was the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th-century American History at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. During the 2006-07 academic year he was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, New York Public Library. He is currently writing a new, full biography of Frederick Douglass that will be published by Simon and Schuster in 2015. Blight works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards of museums and historical societies, and as a member of a small team of advisors to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum team of curators. For that institution he wrote the recently published essay, “Will It Rise: September 11 in American Memory.” In 2012, Blight was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and delivered an induction address, “The Pleasure and Pain of History.”
Joan waugh, UCLA Professor emeritus, history department
Education University of California at Los Angeles, Ph.D., 1992, M.A., 1982 University of California at Los Angeles, B.A., 1980
Professor Waugh researches and writes about nineteenth-century America, specializing in the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Gilded Age eras. Waugh has published numerous essays and books on Civil War topics, both single authored and edited, including The American War: A History of the Civil War Era (Flip Learning, 2015; 2nd edition, 2019), co-written with Gary W. Gallagher, and her prize-winning U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth (University of North Carolina Press, 2009). The recipient of Huntington Library, NEH and Gilder-Lehrman fellowships, she has been interviewed for many documentaries, including the PBS series, “American Experience” on Ulysses S. Grant. Waugh has also published a number of op-eds on current controversies regarding Civil War issues for media outlets. In addition to serving on numerous advisory boards and editorial boards, Professor Waugh is President-elect of the Society of Civil War Historians. She has been honored with four teaching prizes, including UCLA’s most prestigious teaching honor, the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Kathryn shively, vcu associate professor of history
Education Ph.D., 2010, University of Virginia
Kathryn Shively is an environmental and military historian of the American Civil War. Their research and teaching interests involve the evolution of America’s armed forces from the 1600s through the late nineteenth century, with a particular focus on the interactions of soldiers with their “natural” environments and soldiers’ mental and physical health. To this end, their first book, Nature’s Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia, winner of the 2014 Wiley-Silver Prize for best first book on the Civil War, explores how enlisted soldiers adapted to the mental and physical challenges of their wartime environments by adopting self-care techniques, from eradicating mosquitoes to boiling water, and by creating informal networks of health care, including African Americans, women, and each other. Prof. Shively is currently working on a biography of Confederate general Jubal A. Early and his problematic influence on the modern historical profession.
Wayne Hsieh, u.s. naval academy associate professor of history
Education Ph.D., 2004, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, History M.A., 2002, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. History. B. A., 2000, Yale University, History.
Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh teaches military history at the United States Naval Academy, whose faculty he joined in 2005. He also served as a State Department political officer in Iraq between July 2008 and June 2009, where he managed civilian US Government efforts in Tuz. He is one of the co-authors of A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War and the author of West Pointers and the Civil War: The Old Army in War and Peace, along with numerous academic articles.