Presenter Information

Emily BeattyFollow

Document Type

Panel Presentation

Keywords

American Civil War, Harper's Weekly publication, public perception, photography, illustrations

Biography

Originally from the Northern Panhandle, I am a senior at Marshall University. My majors are History, International Affairs, and French.

Major

History, French, International Affairs

Advisor for this project

Laura Michele Diener

Start Date

19-4-2019 2:00 PM

End Date

19-4-2019 3:15 PM

Abstract

For my project, I analyzed the Harper’s Weekly illustrations and reproductions of photographs during the years of the American Civil War. By comparing illustrations of the same event or battle, I argue that the public perceptions of the war were skewed as a result of the illustrations, which were quite different in their depictions of events in the same publication. Photographic technology of the time was not advanced enough to depict the violence in the battles, so the photographer often documented the aftermath using staged bodies, weapons, equipment, and other props. The publication often left the artists anonymous, which questions the authenticity of the illustrations.

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Apr 19th, 2:00 PM Apr 19th, 3:15 PM

DEPICTIONS OF WAR: A GLIMPSE INTO THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR AS TOLD BY THE HARPER’S WEEKLY

For my project, I analyzed the Harper’s Weekly illustrations and reproductions of photographs during the years of the American Civil War. By comparing illustrations of the same event or battle, I argue that the public perceptions of the war were skewed as a result of the illustrations, which were quite different in their depictions of events in the same publication. Photographic technology of the time was not advanced enough to depict the violence in the battles, so the photographer often documented the aftermath using staged bodies, weapons, equipment, and other props. The publication often left the artists anonymous, which questions the authenticity of the illustrations.