Symposium of the 19th Century Press

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s twenty-eighth annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression will be held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 12–14, 2020. The purpose of the conference is to share current research and to develop a series of monographs on the 19th century press, the Civil War and the press, and 19th century concepts of free expression. Papers from the first five conferences were published by Transaction Publishers in 2000 as a book of readings called The Civil War and the Press. Purdue University Press published papers from past conferences in three distinctly different books titled Memory and Myth: The Civil War in Fiction and Film from Uncle Tom's Cabin to Cold Mountain (2007), Words at War: The Civil War and American Journalism (2008), and Seeking a Voice: Images of Race and Gender in the 19th Century Press (2009). In 2013, Transaction published Sensationalism: Murder, Mayhem, Mudslinging, Scandals, and Disasters in 19th-Century Reporting, and in 2014, it published A Press Divided: Newspaper Coverage of the Civil War. In 2017, Transaction (now Routledge/Taylor & Francis) published After the War: The Press in a Changing America, 1865–1900, and our latest book, The Antebellum Press: Setting the Stage for Civil War, was published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis last year.

We would like to invite you to attend the symposium, which will be held via ZOOM. The sessions will begin Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time and continue all day Friday. The symposium will conclude Saturday at 1:15 p.m. If you would like to register for the conference, please email us at with your name, affiliation, email, cell phone number, and the identification name on your ZOOM account. Please also indicate which days you would like to attend. We will email the conference link to all registered attendees 30 minutes before the first session on each day. You will be admitted to a waiting room until your ID has been confirmed. All sessions are free and open to the public, so please feel free to invite colleagues, students, and friends. All attendees must register.

The symposium is sponsored by the George R. West, Jr. Chair of Excellence in Communication and Public Affairs, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Communication Department, the Walter and Leona Schmitt Family Foundation Research Fund, and the Hazel Dicken-Garcia Fund for the Symposium. 

Please send your paper submission (including a 200–300 word abstract) as a Word attachment to by August 27, 2020.

Papers should be able to be presented within 20 minutes, at least 10–15 pages long. Please send your paper (including a 200–300 word abstract) as a Word attachment.

Download the 2020 Symposium Program