Saturday, December 10, 2016

Kevin Levin's "innocent" Civil War Round Tables. How he enables banal white nationalism

Kevin Levin has this recent posting on his blog.

In discussing how the Civil War Round Table avoided the issues of race and gender he states:
"An innocence about the past that was nurtured and even protected at Civil War Round Tables has been irretrievably lost. 
I am not sure that this is necessarily something that should be lamented."

Was it is an "innocence?" Did the Civil War Round Tables not know?  Many scholars at the time when these Round Tables started were aware that the Civil War was about race and slavery.

The Civil War Round Tables were created by people who chose a "romance of reunion" interpretation  of the Civil War and rejected the idea of the Civil War being about race and slavery and did consciously avoid the issues of race and gender. There was nothing "innocent" about it.

Note the term "lost" instead of "rejected." Then his half-hearted rejection of lamenting for this lost. He couches it in terms of "not sure"

What is really regrettable, is that Levin is an editor of a book on understanding Confederate monuments. This really is an indictment of the history profession that he would be selected as an editor of a publication by an academic society.

A couple of use are going to periscope the Robert E. Lee statue in Dallas, Texas on Dec. 31st. We will have our own interpretation.  There is a wider academic world outside the Civil War history profession.

Kevin Levin might consider that he and his colleagues might come to be thought of as the Eugene Genovese's of the future.

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