Monday, October 15, 2012

UIS hosts 3rd annual Wepner Symposium on the Lincoln Legacy and Contemporary Scholarship

The University of Illinois Springfield Political Science Department presents the third annual Wepner Symposium on the Lincoln Legacy and Contemporary Scholarship, to be held Oct. 19-20, 2012. Portions of the symposium will take place on the UIS campus and the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield.

The symposium brings together scholars with diverse intellectual backgrounds, from political science to history and economics, and also seeks to bridge the gap between K-12 and university education. This year's theme is "Emancipation: What Came Before, How It Worked, and What Followed". All events are free and open to the general public.

Events begin on Fri., Oct. 19 with the Holtz Memorial Lecture, entitled “How a Railroad Lawyer Became the Great Emancipator: Lincoln and the Constitutional Limits on Emancipation”, at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located in the lower level of Brookens Library at UIS. Paul Finkelman, John Hope Franklin Visiting Professor of American Legal History at Duke University School of Law and President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy at Albany Law School will speak. Lisa Piergallini from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas will discuss “Emancipation, Liberty, and Defense Strategy: Commentary”.

Day two of the Wepner Symposium begins on Sat., Oct. 20 at 8 a.m. at the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield. The morning theme will focus on “The Politics of Emancipation & Civil Rights after Emancipation” and will run until Noon. Featured speakers include Sally Heinzel, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jackie Hogan, Bradley University; Neal Allen, Wichita State University; Richard Sobel, Northwestern University & Harvard University; and Rogers Smith, University of Pennsylvania.

Following lunch, the afternoon topic turns to “Cultural Bias and Historical Memory” from 1 to 5 p.m. at the UIS Public Affairs Center, Conference Rooms C/D. Afternoon speakers include Matthew Holden, Jr., University of Illinois Springfield; Roger Bridges, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center; Matthew Norman, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College; Gwen Jordan, University of Illinois Springfield; John Barr, Lone Star College – Kingwood; Stephen Schwark, University of Illinois Springfield; Chris McDonald, Lincoln Land Community College; and Heather Bailey, University of Illinois Springfield. Archie Lawrence from Springfield will deliver a commentary.

For more information on the Wepner Symposium, contact Gene Giannotta at The symposium can be found online at and on Facebook at

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