On March 23, 2010, Paul Harvey posted a call for papers for a conference at Rice University on "Millennialism and Providentialism in the Era of the American Civil War." The papers presented at the conference that October formed the basis for an anthology titled Apocalypse and the Millennium in the American Civil War Era, set to be published this November by LSU Press.
I'd imagine that this collection will be of great interest to many RiAH readers. The roster of contributors is fantastic (names below), and not just because it includes the ubiquitous Ed Blum. There are a wide range of subjects through which the themes of apocalypse and millennium are analyzed, ranging from African American Baptists to Spiritualists to James Fenimore Cooper's The Crater to the aftermath of the U.S.-Dakota War. As Mark Noll writes in the foreword, the essays are especially helpful in illustrating "the wide scope of providential belief and the great diversity in applying that belief," during the Civil War Era. According to Noll, this is a work that both benefits from the recent surge in religious studies of the Civil War and also "propels that advance with its own substantial contribution."
In case Noll's endorsement and the mere presence of Blum do not convince you to check out the volume, I asked the editors (Ben Wright and Zach Dresser) to briefly discuss the book. Both Wright and Dresser were doctoral students at Rice when they organized the project. Dresser received his PhD earlier this year, and is now a visiting assistant professor at Virginia Tech. Wright is wrapping up his dissertation this fall, but not before he ensures that his CV makes all other graduate student CVs wholly inadequate in comparison. More on that below.
Read the rest here