Monday, June 15, 2015

UIS Speakers Series uses science fiction to prompt discussion on differences and acceptance

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series presents a film screening and discussion on Enemy Mine with moderator, author and UIS instructor Ed Myers.

WHEN: Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: Enemy Mine (1985) depicts a future where the galaxy is being colonized and humanity goes to war with a reptilian race from the planet Draco, as both races fight over the control of many worlds.

During a space battle, a human pilot finds himself stranded on a volcanic planet with a Drac, who also crashed-landed on the planet. Both stranded, the two put aside their differences and hatred for one another as they both try to survive on the planet. As they do, they learn of each other’s cultures and eventually form a friendship.

Moderator Ed Myers is the author of several short stories, plays and novels, including the first volume in a science-fiction comedy series, The Totally Gnarly Adventures of the Galactically Bitchin’ Comet Sweat! He serves as an instructor for the UIS Speaker Series and as an English instructor for various other colleges in the Springfield area.

For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speakers Series events and more information, visit All events are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

UIS Speaker Series examines American understanding of the Middle East

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield’s Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series and Brookens Library present “Challenges to Americans and American Journalists’ Understanding of the Middle East in the Age of Jihad and ISIS” with Newsweek political correspondent and UIS alumnae Nina Burleigh.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Studio Theatre, located on the lower level of the UIS Public Affairs Center

DETAILS: Since 9/11, Americans have struggled to understand the Middle East and to agree on an appropriate role for the United States in that region. The lecture is designed to shed light on the region and the vexing issues of jihad and the rise of ISIS. It will help participants understand the culture and people of the Middle East as well as the economic, political, social and religious systems that contribute to the current situations “on the ground” in Middle Eastern countries.

Burleigh will speak about her experience as a journalist and researcher in the Middle East and will reflect upon her own cultural knowledge and experiences as the daughter of an Assyrian Christian Iraqi immigrant.

She will share her experiences during her research travel in Israel for her book Unholy Business, as well as in Egypt for her book Mirage. A book signing will follow her lecture.

For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events and more information, visit All events are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

UIS Wepner Symposium to explore Counter-Emancipation following Lincoln’s Death

The fifth Wepner Symposium on the Lincoln Legacy and Contemporary Scholarship at the University of Illinois Springfield will advance the concept of Counter-Emancipation following President Abraham Lincoln’s death, and its connections to racial inequality in the United States today.

The symposium will be held June 25-27, 2015 at UIS and the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield. All events are free and open to the public.

According to Matthew Holden, Jr., the Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at UIS, following Lincoln’s death supporters faced many political setbacks in advancing Emancipation policies. “President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclaim intended that the freed people would be ‘forever free.’ Counter-Emancipation is the purposeful effort, over time, to undercut the idea of Emancipation and restore the world to as near possible before Emancipation,” said Holden.

“Lincoln supporters struggled after his death and failed to gain common acceptance for the 13th. 14th, and 15th amendments.”

In a presentation on Thursday, June 25 at 6 p.m. in UIS Brookens Auditorium Holden will argue by World War I race relations in the United States were worse than at any time in the previous 50 years. The Thursday night session will also receive a major lecture by Cornell University political scientist D. Alexander Bateman.

Day two of the Wepner Symposium begins on Friday, June 26 at the UIS Public Affairs Center. From 8:30 a.m. to Noon Lorena Sue Johnson from UIS, James W. Ingram III from San Diego State University, and Shoon Lio from UIS will present. Following lunch, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Khalilah Brown-Dean of Quinnipiac University will present.

The final day of the symposium on Saturday, June 27 will take place at the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield where Lincoln delivered the “House Divided” speech and accepted the Republican senatorial nomination in 1858.

The extent of economic and social division in the country today will be considered in a roundtable discussion on “Degrees of Freedom/Degrees of Inequality” from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Following the roundtable, the intellectual and psychological division will be considered in a presentation by Holden, which will examine four historians and journalists’ writing on Lincoln’s attitudes to African Americans and what Africans have thought of Lincoln even today.

The symposium seeks to bridge the gap between K-12 and university education, as well as bring together scholars from around the country with diverse intellectual backgrounds, from political science to history, law, economics and other disciplines.

Click here for more information on the Wepner Symposium.