Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Houston--Clear Lake
Website URL
Civil War, the Confederacy, secession, women and gender, religion, Christianity, evangelicalism, theology, family
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Personal Info

About Me

Dr. Pearl Young is currently an Assistant Professor of History at University of Houston–Clear Lake. Her research focuses on the intersection of politics, culture, and theology surrounding secession with a focus on lived experience and gender and family norms. Her current book manuscript argues that secession became a means by which white Southern evangelicals could fashion a separate, more righteous nation that upheld morality and genuine American values, an argument appropriated by a people who wanted to maintain a moral standing without acknowledging the place of race and slavery in underscoring the South or the use of coerced labor to produce the so-called holy nation. A second project investigates four Southern women and their commitment to secession in the face of Unionist family members, highlighting the tensions in social and spiritual norms and the extent to which the question of disunion was at once political and personal.

Dr. Young’s M.A. thesis at Emory University, entitled “Religious Coming of Age among Students Antebellum Georgia’s Evangelical Colleges,” focused on evangelical conversion and its impact on the collegiate experience, the commitment to Southern honor and the Confederacy, and gender norms. At The University of North Carolina, her Ph.D. dissertation, “Secession as a Moral Imperative: White Southerners and Evangelical Theology,” investigated the ways in which white Southerners appropriated the language of evangelical theology to justify political secession and the beginning of the Civil War. In particular, she emphasized the extent to which this tactic promoted secession as a positive and necessary choice and obscured the issues of slavery, race, and white supremacy as central to the creation of the Confederate nation.

Recent Publications
  • Taking a Stand against a Corrupted Nation: White Southerners, Evangelical Ideology, and Secession. (manuscript under review)
  • “Defying the Status Quo: Women, Southern Honor, and Promoting Secession.” (article in progress)
  • “‘Genius uncultivated is like a meteor of the night’: Motives and Experiences of Methodist Female College Life in the Confederate States of America.” Methodist History 47, no.3 (April 2009): 179-191.
Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
American Civil War, Children & Youth, Family, Higher Ed, Politics, Rebellion & Revolution, Religion, Women