2017 Teachers Institute: Evolving Perspectives of the Civil War

Complement your classroom teaching with content and techniques from our annual Teachers Institute. The week-long program features expert content from historians and Museum staff, hands-on field trips, and lesson plans ready to customize for your students.

Applications for the 2017 Teachers Institutes are now closed. Contact us for information on upcoming Institutes or to join our email list for updates.

23rd Annual Teachers Institute | Evolving Perspectives of the Civil War | July 10 - 14, 2017


What do we know about the American Civil War and why?  How has the memory of individuals like Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln evolved over the years? What role did Mary Chesnut play in shaping the image of the American South?  Why were the stories of the United States Colored Troops all but forgotten? These questions and many more will be explored during the 2017 Teachers Institute as we examine the Evolving Perspectives of the American Civil War.

Through lectures, tours, and discussions, participants will acquire information that will enable them to go beyond the textbook.  Teachers will receive specially designed curriculum resources, utilizing copies of primary source documents that will make a hands-on approach to history possible.  Additionally, the Institute’s collaborative environment will encourage teachers to learn from each other as they work together to develop lessons for their classrooms.  Finally, attendees will receive a certificate of completion for 32 hours, which can be used toward recertification points in most school systems.

2017 Institute Highlights

Featured Speakers (in order of appearance)

Barton Myers, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Civil War History, Washington and Lee University) will delve into the various ways that Robert E. Lee has been remembered over the years, while examining the scope of his life.

Elisabeth Muhlenfeld Wollan Ph.D. (author of Mary Boykin Chesnut: A Biography, former Sweet Brier President and ACWM board member) will examine how Mary Chesnut carefully crafted her memoirs to create an indelible image of the Old South.

Jonathan W. White, PhD. (Associate Professor of American Studies and Senior Fellow, Center for American Studies, Christopher Newport University) will explore how Abraham Lincoln has been remembered by various groups of Americans over the past century and a half and examine how Lincoln’s legacy has been appropriated for certain social, cultural, and political purposes.

John W. Mountcastle, Ph.D. (Brigadier General, U.S. Army, Retired, Adjunct Faculty, University of Richmond) will discuss the critical role played by William Tecumseh Sherman and his army during the last year of the Civil War.  The enthusiasm of his soldiers, Confederate reactions to his practice of “hard war,” and the deep and abiding hatred felt by southerners for many years afterward all deserve our attention.  We will explore the character of this controversial commander, who felt a genuine affection for the South and its people, but was totally committed to preserving the Union.

Emmanuel Dabney (Curator, Petersburg National Battlefield) will bring to light the history of 186,097 black men who served in the Union army led by white.  Although many people ignored these men's stories because of the national acceptance of segregation from the late nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century, their demands to be treated fairly as Americans laid the groundwork for what many have seen as "radical" organizations like the NAACP and now Black Lives Matter.

Special Tours

Bus Tour: Fort Monroe and the Campus of Hampton University led by noted author and historian John Quarstein

Walking Tour: Civil War Richmond

Onsite tours: A behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s collection storage and flag vault, a guided tour of the White House of the Confederacy, tour of Tredegar Iron Works and Brown’s Island.

Institute Schedule

Download the 2017 Institute Schedule to see all of the sessions and tours we have planned. 

Download our flier to share with your colleagues.

For more information, please contact:

Kelly Hancock
804.649.1861, ext. 121

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