The Woodward News

August 18, 2013

Library planning Civil War discussion program

Rachael Van Horn
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Northwestern Oklahoma State University Professor, Karen Ansley wants to help others understand the Civil War better.

That is why she has joined four other northwest Oklahoma professors in a Woodward Library program known as "Let's Talk About It, Oklahoma".

This fall's program known as " Making Sense of the Civil War" will span a little more than two months and will include five public discussion sessions, Ansley said

Each discussion session will be headed by one of five history professors from this region to help answer questions, Ansley said.

The discussion sessions will take place at Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Woodward Campus and each will begin at 7 p.m.

The books and reading material are all available right now at the Woodward Library, Ansley said. While it is not required for those who wish to participate to read ahead of time, it is advisable so each person can participate fully with good questions, she said.

"The timing of this particular series is because we are in the 150th year of the Civil War," Ansley said. "One of the discussion series includes an anthology specially created for the program. Some of the writings in that anthology are from that time period, some looking back and some from even now."

The goal of the program is for each person to discover, through reading historic writings of those who were a part of the Civil War, what it was really all about, Ansley said.

I think this is a great opportunity to learn about what this war was about," Ansley said. "We are still pretty conflicted about this war."

Some of the writings to be discussed during each one of the five separate sessions include writings from Abraham Lincoln, excerpts from the memoirs of Ulysses Grant and some private letters of Robert E. Lee, among many other writings, Ansley said.

The Schedule for the discussion sessions follows:

Session 1

September 12,-Imagining War

For this session, readers should check out "March" by Geraldine Brooks and "America's War" Louisa May Alcott, excerpt from Journal Kept at the Hospital Georgetown, D.C.

Professor Joanne Prewett, of Northwestern Oklahoma State University will lead the discussion group.

Session 2

September 19, 2013-The Shape of War

For this session, some of the materials, such as, "Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam" By James M. McPherson and Gary W. Gallagher, excerpt from "The Net Result of the Campaign Was in Our Favor" and "Confederate Reaction to the Maryland Campaign", would be a good idea to check out at the Woodward Library.

Dr. Aaron Mason of Northwestern Oklahoma State University will lead the discussion group.

Session 3

September 26, 2013-Choosing Sides

There is an anthology with multiple writings compiled just for this program, Ansley said. The reading list for this session is available in a packet being handed out to program participants at the library, Ansley said.

It includes writings from Fredrick Douglas, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"

Others include Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address and writings from Mark Twain, "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed."

Dr. Joyce Bender of Panhandle State University will be the scholar on hand to lead the discussion group.

Session 4

October 10, 2013-Making Sense of War

Writing by Ambrose Bierce, "What I Say of Shiloh" as well as excerpts from the private Memoirs of Ulysses Grant are included in the reading preparation for this discussion group, Ansley said.

Dr. Sara Richter of Panhandle State University will lead this discussion group.

Session 5

October 24-War and Freedom

Readings for this session include Abraham Lincoln's address on colonization, John M. Washington's "Memory of the Past" and Frederick Douglas', "Men of Color, To Arms".

Professor Karen Ansley of Northwestern Oklahoma Sate University will lead this discussion group.

According to Ansley, each session will last about an hour and a half and will include about 20 to 30 minutes of light lecture from the scholars.

"Then it will be an open discussion," Ansley said. "And the scholars might even participate in the discussion if they are asked to."

For more information about the program, a full reading list or to register for the sessions, contact the Woodward Library.