Brian Matthew Jordan is a third-year student in the History Ph.D. program. Brian is a cultural historian of the American Civil War, and his work at present focuses on questions of trauma and historical memory. His dissertation, “When Billy Came Marching Home: A History of Union Veterans,” is exploring the cultural marginalization of Union veterans after the Civil War and the efforts of survivors to come to terms with the meaning of their participation in the conflict. Unable and unwilling to deal with unprecedented physical and emotional suffering, northern veterans – who made for unconvincing characters in the ‘romance of reunion’ - were cast aside by civilians in a conspiracy of silence akin to the one that for so long excised African-Americans from the mainstream Civil War narrative.
Recent publications include: “Living Monuments: Union Veteran Amputees and the Embodied Memory of the Civil War,” Civil War History 57, no. 2 (June 2011); “We Stand on the Same Battlefield: The Gettysburg Centenary and the Shadow of Race,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 135, no. 4 (October 2011); and “Captive Memories,” The Civil War Monitor (September 2011). He received his B.A. in History with a minor in Civil War Era Studies (summa cum laude, valedictorian) from Gettysburg College in 2009.
Brian’s orals fields are: Nineteenth Century U.S. History (1815-1901) with David Blight; Early American History (1676-1815) with Joanne B. Freeman; and War and Memory in Comparative Perspective with Bruno Cabanes. Please e-mail Brian with any questions you may have about the study of history at Yale!