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R. Blakeslee Gilpin, Assistant Professor of History, Tulane University


The American South produced some of the nation’s most distinctive and timeless literature that charted the mythology, psychology, and profound scars of both a region and nation. This writing spoke not only to the era when it was produced, but also to the history of the South and the role that history would play in the nation’s future. As William Faulkner explained: “the past is never dead, it’s not even past.” This seminar for teachers delves into three of the South’s most influential writers and the ways their fiction was informed by and informs our understanding of Southern history. From an 1831 slave rebellion to the violence of Reconstruction to the populist politics of the Louisiana of the 1930s, these fictional accounts of major Southern historical events continue to exert wide influence on our understanding of that living past. The seminar investigates Southern fiction to see how history is translated and understood in the popular mind. Over five days, participants will closely examine these texts, which, along with lectures, discussion and supplementary materials, will help us explore how fiction can enhance traditional teaching and underscore the power and problems that arise in the study of history.


Readings are sent by the Institute to seminar participants. Readings may include:

Dixon, Thomas. The Clansman. Electronic Edition. <>. New York: A Wessels, 1907.

Styron, William. The Confessions of Nat Turner. New York: Random House, 1967.

Warren, Robert Penn. All the Kings Men. New York: Harcourt, 1946.

Travel & Accommodations

Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, is located approximately 12 miles from Louis Armstrong International Airport and is easily reached by taxi, car, or shuttle. The university website provides a detailed transportation page that may help you plan your trip.

Workshop participants will be housed in an on-campus dormitory. Participants will have single bedrooms, but will share bathrooms and common space in a suite-style setting. Dormitories are air-conditioned. Wireless Internet service is provided. Several computer clusters and lounges are available in the complex; however, some participants choose to bring laptops.

The university provides pillows, blankets, sheets, and towels only. Please note that participants should plan to bring alarm clocks, hangers, irons, and hair dryers.


Meals will be served in a university cafeteria in space shared by other programs. All on-campus meals will be paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Travel Reimbursement

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar. Each seminar participant will receive reimbursement of travel expenses up to $400. Please read our complete travel reimbursement policy before applying.

Graduate Credit

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to announce its agreement with Adams State University to offer three hours of graduate credit in American history to participating seminar teachers. For more information, please click here.


Email the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

June 29th, 2014 5:00 PM   through   July 5th, 2014 9:00 AM
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA
United States

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Seminar Fee
Attending $50.00
Not Attending $0.00

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