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OHIO Expert

Photo of Brian Schoen

Brian Schoen, Ph.D.

  • Director of Master of Social Studies
    Associate Professor of History
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • schoen@ohio.edu
  • 740-593-4351
  • 740-517-6967

Areas of Expertise:
American Civil War, American Slavery and the South, Early American Republic, Early U.S. Foreign Policy, Early U.S. History, Intellectual History of Capitalism, Value of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. Brian Schoen (pronounced SHANE) focuses his research and teaching on the political, social, economic, and intellectual history of the early United States from its early struggles through its near dissolution in the midst of the Civil War. His research examines how international developments shaped regional perception, politics, commitment or opposition to slavery, and relationships to and within the federal union. His first book, The Fragile Fabric of Union: Cotton, Federal Politics, and the Global Origins of the Civil War ,  (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), won the 2010 Southern Historical Association Bennett H. Wall Book Award. He is also co-editor of The Old South’s Modern Worlds: Slavery, Region, and Nation in the Age of Progress  (Oxford University Press) and Between Sovereignty and Anarchy: The Politics of Violence in the American Revolutionary Era (The University of Virginia Press, 2015). He is currently working on a new book-length study of the statecraft of the sectional and secession crises and shorter pieces on Civil War diplomacy and Ohio politics during the Civil War. His work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission, the Filson Institute, and an Ohio University Baker Fund Grant.

Before coming to Ohio University he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Library Company of Philadelphia and taught at Georgetown University and California State University, Sacramento. During the 2014-15 academic year, he was the Fulbright-sponsored Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History, at the University College, Dublin. While there, he delivered two public lectures: “American Interregnum: Secession, the US Civil War & the 19 th Century’s Crisis of Governance,” and the Lincoln Lecture, “Abraham Lincoln: The Life and Death of a Statesmen,” available as a podcast through the HistoryHub. He has been on American History TV discussing the international dynamics of the American Civil War, interviewed by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on the War of 1812, and local PBS affiliates on Lincoln and his relevance for the modern day. He also regularly presents at Civil War Roundtables, civic organizations, to teachers, OU Alumni groups, and was the content editor for An Introduction to Ohio University.

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