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Directory Page Title

Carol Sheriff

Professor, History

Office: Blair 314
Email: [[cxsher]]
Regional Areas of Research: United States
Thematic Areas of Research: Cultural/Intellectual, Social and Labor


Carol Sheriff specializes in nineteenth-century social and cultural history, with an emphasis on the period from 1815-1865, and she has an allied interest in early twentieth-century Civil War memory.  She received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. from Yale University.  Her first book, The Artificial River: The Erie Canal and the Paradox of Progress, 1817-1862 (Hill & Wang, 1996), won the Dixon Ryan Fox Prize from the New York State Historical Association.  With Scott Reynolds Nelson, she wrote A People at War: Civilians and Soldiers in America's Civil War, 1854-1877 (Oxford University Press, 2007).  She is currently working on a book tentatively entitled The Battle of the History Books: The Politics of Schoolbooks in the Former Confederacy, which examines controversies related to state-history textbooks and their portrayals of the Civil War and Reconstruction.  She began exploring these issues in “Virginia’s Embattled Textbooks: Lessons Learned (And Not) from the Centennial Era,” which appeared in Civil War History (March 2012) and which was awarded the John T. Hubbell Prize.  As a secondary project, Sheriff has begun exploring the early history of Fitzgerald, Georgia, established as a model town in the late nineteenth century to foster reconciliation between Confederate and Union veterans.  Meanwhile, Sheriff authors several chapters of Jane Kamensky, et al., A People and A Nation: A History of the United States, which will soon appear in its twelfth edition.