Professional Learning Events


Historical Memory: Myths and Monuments of the Civil War
July 22-26, 2019      9am-4pm each day

Join the African American Civil War Museum and Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in exploring how time has shaped public memory of the American Civil War and how it is displayed in monuments.

Taking an in-depth look at how the Civil War is remembered in public history and made visible through works of art like public monuments allows for deep discussion about the role of collective memory in our national story.   Participants will explore monuments and historic sites in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, meet with historians, artists, and other experts on collective memory, and the Civil War.

This seminar highlights the racial underpinnings of the Lost Cause and demonstrates effective history teaching strategies. Activities are designed to meet teachers' personal and professional enrichment needs.

This five-day workshop is planned in collaboration between the African American Civil War Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Essential Questions

  • What is memory and how is the American Civil War remembered? Why does it matter?

  • What stories do public memories include or exclude? Why do some symbols from the past provoke such strong feelings in individuals and communities?

  • How does a sense of place relate to memory?

  • What does a contested history mean?

  • How do our beliefs about the past influence our choices in the present? What is the impact of education on these beliefs?

By offering an opportunity to explore objects and have discussion in the African American Civil War Museum and Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the program aims to:

  • uncover popular cultural understandings about the Civil War and Reconstruction

  • discuss how personal and collective memory affects the telling of history

  • explain how views which uplift whiteness have impacted the historical narrative of the Civil War

  • provide accurate information about key moments in the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction

  • explore teaching strategies and techniques that will support classroom teachers in having discussions on memory, slavery, race/racism and history

Program Session
Monday, July 22– Friday, July 26, 2019

The seminar will be primarily held at the African American Civil War Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The workshop will accommodate 30 participants.

Participants should plan to attend the entire program, which takes place Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Target Audience
Educators of middle and high school level social studies, history, or humanities.  This workshop would also be beneficial for educators of English/Language Arts.

Program Fees and Resources
The fee is $200 per person (plus credit card handling fees) and goes to support program resources.  

Transportation and Housing
Participants will be responsible for their own transportation and housing.

This professional learning seminar is supported by generous gifts from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies.

Registration Process
Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose explaining why they would like to attend the Institute. The statement should include ways the applicant(s) will incorporate the subject matter in their classroom studies. In this statement, applicants will also outline a plan for how they intend to share the Institute experience with their students and colleagues upon completion of the program.

Statements must be submitted no later than 5:00pm EDT, Friday, March 29, 2019.

Educators of students in grades 8–12 and all subjects are eligible.

Participants will be notified of their acceptance on a rotating basis.  If accepted, participants will have until approximately May 1, 2019, to confirm their participation and pay the registration fee. Questions about this program should be directed to Responses will be sent via email, please provide your preferred summer email address.

Dates to Remember

February 20, 2019: Application Submittal Period opens

March 29, 2019: Application Period closes at 5:00pm EDT

Ongoing: Final Notification of Acceptance

May 1, 2019:  Last date to confirm registration and submit fees for Professional Learning Seminar

July 22-26, 2019: Historical Memory: Myths and Monuments of the Civil War Professional Learning Seminar