Wednesday, 14 December, 2022
The Civil Warriors Civil War Round Table will hold its last meeting of 2022 at 7:00PM PST on Wednesday, December 14, via Zoom. We will host a talk by Professor Brian Jordan who will present "Counterfactuals, Contingency, and Civil War History: The Great What Ifs of the Civil War."
Counterfactual questions ("what if...") are a currency of popular Civil War audiences and armchair generals. In this talk, Prof. Jordan argues that counterfactual questions, when posed carefully, can be a useful tool for recovering knowledge about the past. For one, they can help restore to view the range of choices, lost alternatives, and possibilities that confronted Civil War Americans in the moment. For another, Civil War Americans--annexed by fear, living in contingent moments--posed counterfactual questions themselves throughout the war. Finally, though professional historians purport to disdain them, they have relied on counterfactual thinking to animate their scholarship for generations. This talk explores the relationship between the past and present, history and myth.
Dr. Brian Matthew Jordan is Associate Professor of U.S. Civil War History and Chair of the Department of History at Sam Houston State University, where he has taught since 2015. Dr. Jordan earned his graduate degrees in history at Yale, where his doctoral dissertation earned several of Yale's highest academic honors. He is the author or editor of six highly regarded books on the Civil War and its era, including Final Resting Places: Reflections on the Meaning of Civil War Graves, to be published next year. His 150-plus reviews, articles, and essays have appeared in scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers. He has contributed to more than a dozen edited volumes and scholarly anthologies. Dr. Jordan has made frequent appearances on C-SPAN and was on the HISTORY Channel's mini-series, "Grant." Since 2014, Brian has served as the Book Review Editor for The Civil War Monitor. He has addressed Civil War roundtables in twenty-five states. He is currently at work on a major interpretive synthesis of the War and its era, Crucible of the Republic: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Civil War, to be published in 2025.
We will be meeting via the Zoom meeting app. We will send out the meeting on-line connection information shortly before our meeting day (12/12/22). Please plan on beginning your hookup a few minutes before the 7:00PM Pacific meeting time. If you are a first time visitor to the Civil Warriors, please contact us at email@example.com for info regarding the hookup. Guests, new members and returning members are always welcome to join us for this and future meetings! If you can’t make this meeting, please consider one of our exciting upcoming meetings noted in our Future Presentations section.