Andrew F. Lang
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 and constitutionalism, 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.
The Society of Civil War Historians presented his first book, In the Wake of War: Military Occupation, Emancipation, and Civil War America (2017), with the 2018 Tom Watson Brown Book Award. The $50,000 prize recognizes “the best book published on the causes, conduct, and effects, broadly defined, of the Civil War,” measured by original scholarship and literary style. More than 50 books competed for this annual award. The book reappraises scholarly assumptions on nineteenth-century republican military culture, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and the scope of Reconstruction. It reveals contested attitudes on state-sanctioned social and political change and the limits of state power in transitioning from war to peace. The prize committee extolled the book as “one of the very best examples of social-cultural history of the army to be done for the Civil War,” making “good use of cultural, social, and political history, as well as military theory.”
Prof. Lang serves on the Executive Council of the Society of Civil War Historians (SCWH), the field’s flagship professional organization. He also sits on advisory boards of the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History (University of Virginia); the American Civil War Museum (Richmond, Virginia); and the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library.
He is at present working on two book-length projects. The first is an intellectual biography of Abraham Lincoln’s concept of Union and philosophy of history. The project explores how Lincoln crafted a narrative of American nationalism amid a contentious contemporary dialogue on the nature of national life. The second is tentatively titled, “Lincoln’s Protégé: Ulysses S. Grant and the New Birth of Freedom,” which explores how Grant channeled Lincoln’s nationalist legacy during the Reconstruction era. The project is based on the keynote address that Prof. Lang delivered at the U. S. Grant Bicentennial Commemoration in March 2022.
- Ph.D. (2013); M.A. (2010): Rice University, (History).
- M.A. (2008); B.A. (2005): University of North Texas
In the Wake of War: Military Occupation, Emancipation, and Civil War America. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2017. (Series: Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War). http://lsupress.org/books/detail/in-the-wake-of-war/
Winner: Tom Watson Brown Book Award, Society of Civil War Historians (2018); and Finalist: Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award (2018)
A Contest of Civilizations: Exposing the Crisis of American Exceptionalism in the Civil War Era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2021. https://uncpress.org/book/9781469660073/a-contest-of-civilizations/.
Upon the Fields of Battle: Essays on the Military History of America’s Civil War, co-edited with Andrew S. Bledsoe. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2018. (Series: Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War)
Peer-Reviewed Articles and Essays
“Union Demobilization and the Boundaries of War and Peace,” Journal of the Civil War Era 9 (June 2019): 178-95. Edited acceptance speech for the 2018 Tom Watson Brown Book Award.
"“The Limits of American Exceptionalism: Military Occupation, Emancipation, and the Preservation of Union,” in Andrew S. Bledsoe and Andrew F. Lang, eds., Upon the Fields of Battle: Essays on the Military History of America’s Civil War (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2018), 183-204.
“Challenging the Union Citizen-Soldier Ideal: Guerrilla Violence and the Irregular War,” in Barton A. Myers and Brian D. McKnight, eds., The Guerrilla Hunters: Irregular Conflicts during the Civil War (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2017), 305-34.
"Republicanism, Race, and Reconstruction: The Ethos of Military Occupation in Civil War America," Journal of the Civil War Era, (December 2014): 559-89. (Invited to contribute to special issue on military history edited by Gary W. Gallagher and Kathryn Shively Meier.
"Soldiering on the Texas Coast and the Problem of Nationalism in the Confederate Experience," in Richard B. McCaslin, et al., eds., This Corner of Canaan: Essays on Texas in Honor of Randolph B. Campbell (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2013), 157-82.
- "Memory, the Texas Revolution, and Secession: The Birth of Confederate Nationalism in the Lone Star State," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 114 (July 2010): 21-36.
- "Upon the Altar of Our Country: Confederate Identity, Nationalism, and Morale in Harrison County, Texas," Civil War History 55 (June 2009): 278-306.
Scholarly Book Reviews/Notes In
- Wall Street Journal, Law and Liberty, American Historical Review, Civil War Times, Journal of the Civil War Era, Journal of Southern History, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Civil War Book Review, Journal of Military History, Civil War History, Western Historical Quarterly, H-War, Journal of Mississippi History and Military History of the West Essays in History
Public History Contributions:•
• “Anticipating Emancipation,” Ironclad: Magazine of the American Civil War Museum, forthcoming.
• “Abraham Lincoln and the Proposition of American Exceptionalism,” Lincoln Forum Bulletin 51 (Spring 2022): 13–14.
• “The Union Forever!” Civil War Monitor 11 (Fall 2021): 36–47, 66–67.
• “The Perils of Occupation,” Civil War Monitor 9 (Summer 2019): 57-65, 76-77.
- "Captivity in Black and White," (co-authored with W. Caleb McDaniel), New York Times, "Disunion," February 9, 2013, online at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/09/captivity-in-black-and-white "Want to Secede? Better Think Again." Houston Chronicle, April 21, 2009, http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Want-to-secede-Better-think-again-1661913.php
Academic Conference and Symposium Papers:
• “Lincoln’s Protégé: Ulysses S. Grant and the New Birth of Freedom,” Annual Langston Lincoln Lecture, York College of Pennsylvania, October 2023.
• “Abraham Lincoln and American Exceptionalism in the Civil War Era.” Gettysburg College Civil War Institute, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, June 2023
• “When Americans Could Not Escape History: Abraham Lincoln and the New Birth of Freedom.” Why the Civil War was Fought and How it Remade America. American Civil War Museum Annual Symposium, Richmond, Virginia, February 2023.
• “Lincoln and the Union.” Annual Meeting of the Lincoln Forum, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 2022.
• “‘War is the Remedy Our Enemies Have Chosen’: William T. Sherman and the Limitations of Just War,” Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History, Fort Worth, Texas, April 2022.
• “Lincoln’s Protégé: Ulysses S. Grant and the New Birth of Freedom.” Keynote address, Ulysses S. Grant Bicentennial, Mississippi State University, March 2022.
• “‘War is the Remedy Our Enemies Have Chosen’: William T. Sherman and the Limitations of Just War,” Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History, Washington, DC, May 2020. Conference cancelled due to COVID-19.
• "Occupation, Garrisoning, and the Problem of Military Citizenship: The United States Colored Troops’ Civil War,” Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2019.
• “The Eyes of the World Were Upon Them: Transitioning the Union from War to Peace.” Society of Civil War Historians Biennial Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 2018.
• “Internationalizing the Domestic: The 1871 Klan Uprising and the Problem of Standing Armies in the Post-Civil War Union.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History, Louisville, Kentucky, April 2018.
• "The Origins of 'Separate but Equal'? Emancipation, Military Citizenship, and the Boundaries of Inclusion in Union Armies." Annual conference of The Center for Civil War Research at the University of Mississippi, September 2017.
"The American Civil War and the World: The Quest to Wage a Limited War." Annual meeting of the Society for Military History, Jacksonville, Florida, April 2017 (paper presented in absentia).
“Military Occupation and the Linkages of War and Peace: The United States Colored Troops and the Long Civil War Era.” Waging Peace Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 2016. Hosted by the Dale Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Southern Mississippi.
“Military Occupation of the South.” Gettysburg College Civil War Institute: “Reconstruction and the Legacies of the War,” Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, June 2016.
“For Cause and Community: Black Military Occupation and the Fate of Emancipation.” Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians, Providence, Rhode Island, April 2016.
- “From Conservative Assumptions to Radical Change: Emancipation, African American Soldiers, and Military Occupation in Civil War America.” Mississippi Jubilee: From Slavery to Freedom Symposium on the 150th Anniversary of Emancipation, Mississippi Humanities Council, Jackson, Mississippi, April 2015 (Invited).
- "Union Soldiers, Military Occupation, and the Market Revolution: The Problem of Informal Economies in the Civil War South," Annual Meeting of the Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2014.
- "Occupying 'The Other': United States Soldiers, Military Occupation, and National Exceptionalism from the Mexican-American War through Reconstruction," Society of Civil War Historians Biennial Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, June 2014.
- "The Language of Emancipation: Lincoln's Proclamation, 'Garrisoning,' and African American Soldiers in the Union's War." As Others See Us: The British Perspective on 19th Century U.S. History, Annual Meeting of the Association of British American Nineteenth Century Historians, Houston, Texas, April 2014 (Invited).
- "A Perfect Season of Stagnation: Union Soldiers and the Civil War Era Military Occupation of New Orleans." Home Front, Battlefront: Louisiana and the Civil War: Nineteenth Annual Williams Research Center Symposium, Historic New Orleans Collection, January 2014 (Invited).
- "Spirits of Insubordination: John B. Magruder and Coastal Confederates in the Trans-Mississippi South." Annual Meeting of the Southern Historical Association, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2011.
- "Jefferson Davis and the Petticoated Confederacy: Reexamining Masculinity and the North's Civil War." Annual Bertoti Innovative Perspectives in History Conference, Virginia Tech University, April 2012.
- "'Mere Spectators of that Great Drama of the War': The Problem of National Identity among Galveston's Confederate Military Population." Annual Meeting of the Texas State Historical Association, Houston, Texas, March 2012.
- "Upon the Altar of our Country: Confederate Identity, Morale, and Defeat in Harrison County, Texas, 1860-1865." Annual Meeting of the Texas State Historical Association, Corpus Christi, Texas, March 2008.
- "Confederate Veterans in the Political Life of Collin County, Texas: 1876-1900." Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association, San Antonio, April 2006.
- Finalist, Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, 2022
- Beverly B. and Gordon W. Gulmon Deans Eminent Scholar in the Humanities, 2020-2023
- Tom Watson Brown Book Award, Society of Civil War Historians, 2018
- William E. Parrish Faculty Teaching Award, Mississippi State University, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022
- Nominee for Council of Graduate Schools International Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Humanities, 2013
- John W. Gardner Prize, Best Dissertation in Humanities and Social Sciences, Rice University, 2013
- Charles Septimus Longcope Award, Best Dissertation in History, Rice University, 2013
- Dunlevie Teaching Fellowship, Rice University, 2011-12
- Diane Woest Fellowship in the Arts and Humanities, Historic New Orleans Collection, 2011
- Caleb Loring, Jr., Fellowship in Civil War Studies, Boston Athenaeum, 2011 (declined)
- Jacob M. Price Visiting Research Fellowship, Clements Library, University of Michigan, 2011
- Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society, 2011-12
- James Scott Peterson Award for Distinguished Service, Rice University, 2010-11
- USC Scholarship for Continuing Students, University of North Texas, 2007-08
- Donald Chipman Professor Emeritus Scholarship, University of North Texas, 2007-08
- Toulouse School of Graduate Studies Fellowship, University of North Texas, 2006-07