New Reconstruction Collection forthcoming from the After Slavery Project

Bruce Baker and Brian Kelly are in the final stages of bringing an edited collection of essays,  After Slavery: Race, Labor, and Citizenship in the Reconstruction South, to print. After a long prehistory the book should be available in August 2013.

AS Book Cover

This collection emerges from two events put together by the After Slavery Project. In October 2008, a dozen leading scholars of Reconstruction gathered at Queen’s University Belfast for the ninth Wiles Colloquium. Over three fairly intensive days, the group discussed pre-circulated papers, several of which appear in the book. Thomas C. Holt gave a brilliant keynote lecture at Belfast’s historic Linen Hall Library. We will be making available the video version of that keynote on this blog in the near future, and the print version now makes up the first chapter in the forthcoming collection. Crossing the Atlantic, in March 2010 we sponsored–alongside the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program, the SC African American Historical Alliance, The Citadel and others–the largest academic conference ever on the history of Reconstruction, gathering together several more outstanding papers for the volume. And to top it all off, the book includes an afterword by Eric Foner: those of you who heard his talk in Charleston recently, or who have read his prize-winning The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, will want to have a read.

Charleston Conf Poster
Poster from the March 2010 conference in Charleston

Here’s the tantalizing blurb from the back cover:

“Is there really anything new to say about Reconstruction? The excellent contributions to this volume make it clear that the answer is a resounding yes. Collectively these essays allow us to rethink the meanings of state and citizenship in the Reconstruction South, a deeply necessary task and a laudable advance on the existing historiography.”               –Alex Lichtenstein, Indiana University

The contributors to this volume range from the most senior scholars in the field—Thomas Holt and Eric Foner—to those who are at the start of their careers and will be shaping our understanding of Reconstruction for decades to come. Here is a list of the authors and their essays:

  • Introduction
    Bruce E. Baker and Brian Kelly
  • 1. Slave and Citizen in the Modern World: Rethinking Emancipation in the Twenty-first Century
    Thomas C. Holt
  • 2. “Erroneous and Incongruous Notions of Liberty”: Urban Unrest and the Origins of Radical Reconstruction in New Orleans, 1865-1868
    James Illingworth
  • 3. “Surrounded on All Sides by an Armed and Brutal Mob”: Newspapers, Politics, and Law in the Ogeechee Insurrection, 1868-1869
    Jonathan M. Bryant
  • 4. “It Looks Much Like Abandoned Land”: Property and the Politics of Loyalty in Reconstruction Mississippi
    Erik Mathisen
  • 5. Anarchy at the Circumference: Statelessness and the Reconstruction of Authority in Emancipation North Carolina
    Gregory P. Downs
  • 6. “The Negroes Are No Longer Slaves”: Free Black Families, Free Labor, and Racial Violence in Post-Emancipation Kentucky
    J. Michael Rhyne
  • 7. Ex-Slaveholders and the Ku Klux Klan: Exploring the Motivations of Terrorist Violence
    Michael W. Fitzgerald
  • 8. Drovers, Distillers, and Democrats: Economic and Political Change in Northern Greenville County, 1865-1878
    Bruce E. Baker
  • 9. Mapping Freedom’s Terrain: The Political and Productive Landscapes of Wilmington, North Carolina
    Susan Eva O’Donovan
  • 10. Class, Factionalism, and the Radical Retreat: Black Laborers and the Republican Party in South Carolina, 1865-1900
    Brian Kelly
  • Afterword by Eric Foner
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