Wednesday, January 16, 2013

UIS hosts 2013 Illinois History Symposium "Slavery and Emancipation: Global Perspectives"

The 2013 Illinois History Symposium, “Slavery and Emancipation: Global Perspectives,” will be held on the campus of the University of Illinois Springfield February 28-March 1, with additional programs and activities at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on March 2.

This year’s symposium, co-sponsored by the Illinois State Historical Society, the History and International Programs Departments at UIS, and UIS’ Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Public Affairs and Administration, will examine human bondage in both contemporary and historical contexts, from legalized chattel slavery in antebellum America and serfdom in tsarist Russia to human trafficking, forced labor, and sexual exploitation around the globe.

More than fifty scholars from around the nation and the world will participate in this year’s symposium, which coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. Although a great deal of the symposium will focus on the history of slavery, abolition, emancipation, and Reconstruction politics during the nineteenth century, scholars will be on hand to discuss the dark stain of human trafficking in the global context, and how it continues to affect men, women, and children.

The symposium will feature a number of renowned scholars including Peter Kolchin, Henry Clay Reed Professor of History at the University of Delaware, an expert on the comparative history of Russian serfdom and American slavery; Michael Burlingame, Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies, UIS; Matthew Holden, Wepner Distinguished Chair of Political Science, UIS; Richard Burchill, Nicholas J. Evans, Mick Wilkinson, and Doug Hamilton of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull, England; and recently published authors Darrell Dexter (Bondage in Egypt: Slavery in Southern Illinois), Stacey Robertson (Hearts Beating for Liberty: Women Abolitionists in the Old Northwest), and Guy Fraker (Lincoln’s Ladder to the Presidency).

Registration for the 2013 Illinois History Symposium is open to everyone. Students and teachers are especially invited, and Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDU’s) for teachers seeking advanced certification will be available. UIS students and faculty, with proper identification, will be admitted free to all presentations, but paid reservations in advance are required for any meals, including the SAGE luncheon on February 28, and the Symposium Banquet on March 1 (at the Presidential Museum).

For more information about the symposium, or to download a registration form, visit, or call 217/525-2781.

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