Center for Civil War Research


The Center for Civil War Research is designed to promote a more thorough understanding of the American Civil War, its history and its scholarship, among the various constituencies of the University and the broader community. Our programing includes a biannual Conference on the Civil War, the Wiley-Silver Prize for Best First Book in Civil War History, the annual Burnham Lecture in Civil War History, and research funding for graduate students.

What we do

The Center for Civil War Research hosts a wide array of programming. Highlights include a biannual conference, a yearly lecture by a Civil War scholar, and a prestigious book prize.
man in audience talks to person off frame.
Woman behind podium giving lecture. Sign on podium reads "The Center for Civil War Research"

Conference on the Civil War

Every two years, the center hosts a slate of emerging and established scholars of the Civil War era

Conference information
Audience members focus intently in auditorium.
Audience members focus intently in auditorium.

Burnham Lecture

An annual lecture by a leading scholar of the Civil War era

Lecture series details
Stack of books. Text reads: "The Abolitionist Civil War, Immediatists and the Struggle to Transform the Union, Frank J. Cirillo

Wiley-Silver Prize

An annual prize for best first book in Civil War history

More on our book prize

Featured News & Events

Cirillo Abolitionist Civil War

Frank J. Cirillo's The Abolitionist Civil War Wins 2024 Wiley-Silver Prize

The prize committee praised Cirillo's The Abolitionist Civil War: Immediatists and the Struggle to Transform the Union as an "extraordinarily nuanced and well-written analysis" that "contributes significantly to understanding the United States’ failure to make emancipation more meaningful despite the realization of immediatists' decades-long dedication to the slave's cause." The Wiley-Silver Prize is awarded annually to the best first book in Civil War history. 


Colby book

Robert Colby, Associate Director, Publishes New Book on the Slave Trade and the Civil War

Professor Colby's book, An Unholy Traffic: Slave Trading in the Civil War South was published by Oxford University Press in April 2024. Read an interview with Colby in The Guardian.


Caroline Janney

Caroline Janney Delivers Lecture on "The Long Journey Home: Lee's Army in the Wake of Appomattox"

In spring 2024, the Center hosted two distinguished speakers, Jospeh Glatthaar (UNC), who delivered the Burnham Lecture, and Caroline Janney, John L Nau, III, Professor in History of American Civil War at the University of Virginia. Janney's lecture, held on April 25, 2024, was made possible with the support of the University Lecture Series. Both speakers met over lunch with graduate students from the History Department.

Center for Civil War Research logo. Features a distressed illustration of side view of a civil war era cannon.