Dr. Clarissa W. Confer


Department of Humanities


Dr. Confer teaches and researches in the fields of the Civil War and Native American and U.S. social history. "The Cherokee Nation in the Civil War" and "Daily Life in Pre-Columbian Native America" are her recently published books, and another one focusing on the Indian Wars is under way. Dr. Confer serves as the adviser for the Civil War Round Table, which meets each month to hear speakers discuss Civil War topics. She also advises the CAL U Equestrian Team, which has a very successful record in intercollegiate competition. When not hard at work Dr. Confer, enjoys whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, camping and, of course, horseback riding. She lives in Daisytown, Pa., with a very cute Bernese Mountain Dog and her husband, John, a PennWest California professor.


  • Native American History
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Antebellum American South
  • Exploration of the American West
  • American History to 1877
  • American History from 1877

Research Interests/Current Projects

  • "Adventure of the American Mind": Library of Congress project to train educators to utilize primary sources and government resources to stimulate inquiry-based learning
  • "The Cherokee Nation in the Civil War": Social history of the Cherokee people in Indian Territory in the 1850s-1860s
  • "Daily Life in Pre-Columbian Native America": Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History series
  • "Encyclopedia of U.S. Indian Policy and Law": Entries on the American Civil War, Confederate States of American and Jefferson Davis
  • B.A.: Lehigh University
  • M.A.: History, University of Connecticut; paper: "Into the 'Great Unknown': John Wesley Powell's Exploration of the Grand Canyon”
  • Ph.D.: History, Penn State University; dissertation: "Turmoil in Indian Territory: The Civil War Experience of the Five Nations”

Email: confer_c@pennwest.edu

Phone: 724-938-6053

Office: Manderino Library Room 440-L