The University of North Carolina Press, in partnership with the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State, launched The Journal of the Civil War Era in March 2011, with William Blair, former Director of the Richards Center, serving as founding editor. Judith Giesberg (Villanova University), subsequently served as editor from 2016 through 2019. The editors are Kate Masur (Northwestern University) and Gregory Downs (University of California, Davis). They are joined by Luke Harlow (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), review essays editor; Kathryn Shively (Virginia Commonwealth University), book reviews editor; Hilary N. Green (University of Alabama), digital media editor; and Matthew Isham (Penn State), managing editor.
The journal is an exciting gathering place for scholars in various historical disciplines. It aims to create consistent dialogue and scholarly interactions among historians in disparate subfields in order to stimulate fresh, new scholarship and, in the words of UNC Press, “galvanize the larger field of nineteenth-century history intellectually and professionally.” It seeks to publish creative new work on the many issues raised by slavery, the sectional crisis, war, emancipation, Reconstruction, and memory of the country’s signal conflict, while bringing fresh understanding to the struggles that defined the period, and by extension, the course of American history in the nineteenth century and beyond.