Department of Anthropology
Additional Positions at AUFounder & Co-Director of the American University Civil War Institute
- Ed Smith is a third-generation Washingtonian and has been teaching at American University since 1969. He is also a Civil War, African-American Cultural Heritage, and Art History Lecturer and Study Tour Leader for The Smithsonian Institution, The National Geographic Society, The National Park Service (U.S. Department of the Interior) and The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. He is a Visiting Classics Tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, a Lecturer for the James Madison Memorial Foundation, and a Guest Curator for the National Building Museum.
Partnerships & Affiliations
The Lincoln Review
Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
Smith's writings appear in The Yale Review, The Washington Post, The Military Review, The Gettysburg National Battlefield Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Washington History, and The Lincoln Review, for which he is an Associate Editor. He is a frequent contributor to the “Civil War Page” of The Washington Times.
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
- Artist-appointed interpreter of the work of the sculptor Frederick Hart
Professor Smith has served as a Consultant to numerous federal agencies, including the U.S. Senate, and in 1977 and 1978 he took a leave of absence from teaching to work at The White House as a Presidential Speechwriter during the Carter Administration.
Area of Expertise: Civil rights movement; minorities in education; American Civil War; African American history; community organization; urban policy; Washington, D.C.
Additional Information: Edward Smith is a third-generation Washingtonian and the director of the American Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences, where he has taught since 1969. He is also a Civil War, African American cultural heritage, and art history lecturer and study tour leader for the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society, the National Park Service, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. He has been a visiting classics tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland; a visiting professor at the John Glenn Institute of Ohio State University; a lecturer for the James Madison Memorial Foundation; a guest curator for the National Building Museum; and a lecturer for the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Smith has served as a consultant to numerous federal agencies and the U.S. Senate. In 1977 and 1978 he took a leave of absence from teaching to work at the White House as a presidential speechwriter during the Carter administration. His writings have appeared in the Yale Review, Washington Post, Military Review, Gettysburg National Battlefield Journal, Wall Street Journal, Lincoln Review, and Washington History and numerous other publications. He is the founder and co-director of the American University Civil War Institute and a frequent contributor to the “Civil War Page” of the Washington Times and is currently writing two books on the Civil War. Smith is also an honorary cabinet member of the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum in Beauvoir, Mississippi; a member of the board of directors of the Abraham Lincoln Institute of the Library of Congress; and a member of Mount Vernon’s Advisory Council of George Washington Scholars. In 1991, he was awarded American University’s Distinguished Faculty Award. In 1997, he was selected for AU’s faculty award for Outstanding Service to the University Community. Also in 1997 the mayor of Dallas, Texas, awarded him a mayoral proclamation for his contributions to Civil War scholarship. Most recently he was made a distinguished honorary member of the Virginia Sons of Confederate Veterans, and an endowed scholarship has been named in his honor at the University of Richmond to further the study of the Civil War era and beyond.
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