David Anderson graduated from the University of Dundee in 2001 with a First Class MA (Hons) degree in American Studies and History. He was awarded his AHRB-funded PhD in 2005, also from the University of Dundee, and taught in the Department of History. David joined Swansea University as a lecturer in 2008. In September 2015 David achieved professional recognition as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

David’s teaching and research focuses on the socio-political history and culture of the American South. David is completing a research monograph on the Lost Cause and American Civil War memory and has published a number of book chapters and articles in a wide range of academic journals, including the Journal of Southern History and Civil War History. He has presented conference papers across the UK and U.S. and has written for BBC History Magazine.

David is engaged in research projects relating to the history and culture of the American South, including a book-length project on postbellum plantation memoirs. Based on extensive state and local archival research across the American South, this important study will restore almost forgotten writers to the history of the Lost Cause. David has published an article on the deployment of the plantation Christmas in the memoirs and reminiscences of elite white southerners, demonstrating not only that these nostalgic depictions provided an important frame of reference to formulations of the Lost Cause, but that such representations had a historically specific dimension to them.

Another area of interest is the American Civil War, with a particular focus on the internal lives of Union and Confederate soldiers. Funded by the British Association for American Studies and the Wellcome Trust, David’s research on clinical nostalgia – or homesickness – has involved research in the United States and collaboration with colleagues across several American universities.

Areas of Expertise

  • American Civil War; American South; Memory and Nostalgia

Publications

  1. (2017). Cooking up the Past: Food Nostalgia in Postbellum Plantation Life Writing . (Applied Food Science Journal No. 1).
  2. Senses and Sensibility: The Civil War as Lived Experience. Journal of American Studies 51(November)
  3. Consuming Memories: Food and Childhood in Postbellum Plantation Memoirs and Reminiscences. Food, Culture and Society, 1-19.
  4. Slave Narratives Review Article. Reviews in History
  5. (2015). Reading Between the Lines: Exploring Postbellum Plantation Memoirists through Digitized Newspaper Collections. (Readex Report No. 10).

See more...

Teaching

  • AM-218 Re-Thinking the South: Southern Culture and History, 1865-1955

    What is the `South¿? Where is the `South¿? What makes someone a `southerner¿? Can the South ever be regarded as a single cultural or historical entity, or are there many `Souths¿? Does the `South¿ exist any longer? Much ink has been spilled over these questions amongst both historians and professional ¿South watchers.¿ Over the years, many ¿central themes¿ have been used to define and label the region: food, climate, folkways, music, popular culture, slavery, race relations, geography and even history itself. Questions of regional identity ¿ how southerners perceive themselves and their region (how others perceive both) and how this sense of regional identity has been molded by mythical interpretations of the past ¿ are some of the key themes in this interdisciplinary module. This module shall explore the history and culture of the American South from the end of the Civil War in 1865 through to the mid-1950s and the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement. The module shall consider the emergence of the ¿New¿ South; late C19th southern politics; the `Lost Cause;¿ the rise of `Jim Crow¿ and racial segregation; lynching; the Ku Klux Klan; the Scopes Trial; the South and the New Deal; the South and World War II; and the Brown Decision. We will also have opportunity examine aspects of southern literature and the representation of the South in film.

  • AM-219 Re-Thinking the South: Southern Culture and History, 1865-1955

    What is the `South¿? Where is the `South¿? What makes someone a `southerner¿? Can the South ever be regarded as a single cultural or historical entity, or are there many `Souths¿? Does the `South¿ exist any longer? Much ink has been spilled over these questions among both historians and professional ¿South watchers.¿ Over the years, many ¿central themes¿ have been used to define and label the region: food, climate, folkways, music, popular culture, slavery, race relations, geography and even history itself. Questions of regional identity ¿ how southerners perceive themselves and their region (how others perceive both) and how this sense of regional identity has been molded by mythical interpretations of the past ¿ is one of the key themes in this interdisciplinary module. This module, then, shall explore the history and culture of the American South from the end of the Civil War in 1865 through to the mid-1950s. The module shall consider the emergence of the ¿New¿ South, late C19th southern politics, the `Lost Cause,¿ the rise of `Jim Crow¿ and racial segregation, lynching, the Ku Klux Klan, the Scopes Trial, the South and the New Deal, the South and World War II, and the Brown Decision. We will also have opportunity examine aspects of southern literature and the representation of the South in film.

  • AM-335 The American Civil War in History and Memory

    This interdisciplinary module shall examine some of the key issues and incidents pertinent to the singular event in American history that continues, some 150 years after its momentous conclusion, to hold considerable appeal for scholars and the general public alike: namely, the American Civil War. The armies of the Union and the Confederacy, formidable political statesmen such as Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, and the redoubtable military figures of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee shall be examined alongside other issues that are on the vanguard of recent research in Civil War studies. Through an examination of material from a wide variety of sources ¿ soldiers¿ diaries, letters, speeches, newspaper accounts, magazines, post-Civil War memoirs and reminiscences, novels, documentaries, and film ¿ this course will showcase social, political, economic, racial, gender and military history in ways that shall encourage students to draw their own conclusions as to the true legacy of the conflict and the vast human cost of war. Moreover, a suitably broad range of secondary interpretations on the subject from leading Civil War scholars shall also be examined in lectures and seminars to highlight changing interpretations of the conflict in the years following Lee¿s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865.

  • AM-336 American Studies Dissertation

    The American Studies dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module for American Studies students only, which runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching on the American Studies degree. The topic must fall within staff research and teaching interests.

  • HUAM09 Ghosts of the Confederacy: The Politics of Memory in the Post-Civil War American South

    After the fall of the Confederacy in 1865 and through the final decades of the nineteenth century, one can see materialize the beginnings and locate the eventual maturation of white southern memory that would ultimately dictate the South¿s understanding of its past well into the twentieth century. For black southerners, Confederate defeat meant the end of slavery and the celebration of freedom and citizenship, encouraged black uplift and racial advancement, and provided an opportunity to evolve alternative interpretations of plantation slavery, the Civil War, and the legacy of Emancipation in appropriate commemorative observances. Conversely, those southern whites who faced the immediacy of the wars¿ conclusion possessed a strong sense of what was past and what was lost. The vigor behind the assertion of white southern identity after the Civil War found expression in the Lost Cause, at once an explanation for Confederate defeat propagated in the years following the conflict and an important emotional salve for white southerners through the Reconstruction era and beyond. Understanding these ¿ and other, related ¿ themes and issues will form the core of this interdisciplinary module.

Supervision

  • The invisible history of the Oneida Indians and the American Revolution (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • 'Duty, Community and God: Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Her Antebellum Southern Women 1941-2007' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • Southern White Women in Kentucky during the American Civil War (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • Doing more good than Harm: Conscientious Objectors in the American Civil War (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Catherine Fletcher
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Programme Director, American Studies - Department of Political and Cultural Studies

    2013 - 2016

  • Member, Learning and Teaching Committee - Department of Political and Cultural Studies

    2013 - Present

  • Member, PCS Programme Committee - Department of Political and Cultural Studies

    2012 - Present

  • Academic Mentor to College of Arts and Humanities Visiting Prof - Department of Political and Cultural Studies

    2012 - 2013

External Responsibilities

  • Member, British Association for American Studies (BAAS)

    2004 - Present

  • Member, Centre for the Study of the American South, UNC-Chapel Hill (CSA

    2008 - Present

  • Member, British American Nineteenth Century Historians (Br-ANCH)

    2012 - Present

  • Member, Organization of American Historians (OAH)

    2003 - Present

  • Member, Southern Historical Association (SHA)

    2001 - Present

  • Member, Scottish Association for the Study of America (SASA)

    2001 - Present

Key Grants and Projects

  • Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow, British Library 2017

  • British Association for American Studies/United States Embassy Small Grant 2017

  • Strathmartine Trust 2010 - 2010

  • Wellcome Trust, History of Medicine 2009 - 2009

  • British Association for American Studies (BAAS) Founders’ Research Travel Award 2008 - 2008

  • Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland 2007 - 2007

  • British Association for American Studies (BAAS) Short-Term Travel Grant 2006 - 2006

  • Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland 2006 - 2006

Conferences since 2015

“Home, Sweet Home: Nostalgia as an Emotional Disease during the American Civil War,” Bringing Conflict Home Conference, University of York, 11-12 May 2017. 

“Remembering the Civil War in fin-de-siècle plantation memoirs and reminiscences,” Scottish Association for the Study of America (SASA) Conference, University of Edinburgh, 4 March 2017.  

"The Planter’s Daughter and the British Prime Minister: Susan Dabney Smedes’s Memorials of a Southern Planter at Home and Abroad,” British American Nineteenth Century Historians (Br-ANCH) Conference, Madingley Hall, Cambridge, 28-30 October 2016.

“Narratives of Conflict and Disaster Workshop,” School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University, 13 January 2016.

"Exploring Postbellum Plantation Reminiscences through Digitized Historic Newspaper Collections,” Faculty-Student Seminar Series, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma, 12 November 2015.

“Telling Stories, Making Selves: Nostalgia, the Lost Cause, and Postbellum Plantation Reminiscences,”  ‘Civil War and Narrative: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Testimonies and (Hi)Stories in Intrastate Conflicts’ Conference, London, Senate House, 15-16 May 2015.

Other conferences

“Nostalgia for Christmas in Postbellum Plantation Reminiscences,” British American Nineteenth Century Historians (Br-ANCH) Conference 2014, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 3-6 April 2014.

“Consuming Memories: Food and Childhood in Postbellum Plantation Memoirs and Reminiscences,” British American Nineteenth Century Historians (Br-ANCH) Conference 2012, University of Northumbria, 11-14 October 2012.

“Home Is Where the Heart Is: Nostalgia as an Emotional Disease during the American Civil War,” ‘Emotions, Health and Wellbeing’ Conference, the Society for the Social History of Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London, 10-12 September 2012. 

“Dying To Go Home: Clinical Nostalgia in the Confederate Army during the Civil War,” the Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science, Emory Conference Centre, Atlanta, Georgia, 2-3 March 2012.   

“Unwrapping Nostalgia: Remembering the Plantation Christmas in Post-Civil War Reminiscences,” Paul Robeson Seminar Series, SwanseaUniversity, 8 December 2010.

‘Confederate Defeat and the Construction of Lost Cause Nostalgia,’ Waterloo to Desert Storm: New Thinking on International Conflict, 1815-1991 Conference, Scottish Centre for War Studies, University of Glasgow, 24-25 June, 2010. 

‘Susan Dabney Smedes’s Memorials of a Southern Planter Abroad: Cultivating Old South Nostalgia in Britain,’ Scottish Association for the Study of America (SASA) Conference, University of Edinburgh, 19 March, 2010.