MSU workshop to help educators navigate teaching the Civil War

Contact: Tyler Powell

TARKVILLE, Miss. – A Mississippi State assistant professor of history will lead secondary teachers in exploring new ways to teach the Civil War using today’s political climate as a conversation catalyst.

Andrew “Andy” Lang will present “Teaching the Civil War: How to navigate history, heritage, and identity in the classroom” on April 21 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Starkville campus.  Lunch will be provided.

Sponsored by MSU’s Institute for the Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences and open to all secondary teachers, the workshop is free, but registration is required. Those interested in participating should register online at by April 15. They will be notified of the exact campus location closer to the event date.

“My main goal is to emphasize the need for treating the Civil War in its own time and context, which I consider the most effective way of engaging the problems of the present-day related to Confederate monuments, etc.,” said Lang. 

Lang will discuss how to read primary sources from the Civil War era and explore central questions from the era—What caused the Civil War? Why did the U.S. and Confederacy wage war? How and why did emancipation come?

“I envision this workshop engaging important discussions that transcend the Civil War’s complicated past to facilitate better understanding of our equally complex present,” said Lang, whose book, “In the Wake of War: Military Occupation, Emancipation, and Civil War America,” was released by LSU Press in December 2017.

In addition to sharing his experiences teaching the Civil War at the university level, Lang will provide resources such as lesson plans and accurate websites available to assist teachers.

Participants will have opportunities to ask questions, clarify ideas and plan lessons in a group setting for classroom use.

Director Julia Osman said she wants the Institute for the Humanities to be a resource for secondary education and that she “is interested in hearing from and receiving feedback from teachers.”

Osman may be contacted at   

The College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,200 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 25 academic majors offered in 14 departments. Complete details about MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences or Institute for the Humanities may be found online at or  

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at