11th Annual Barry D. Riccio Lecture on March 4

From the desk of Dr. Ed Wehrle:

Rick Perlstein, best-selling author, will deliver the 11th annual Barry D. Riccio Lecture, on March 4, 2015 in the Doudna Lecture Hall, Eastern Illinois University, 7pm. Titled “The Invisible Bridge: From Reagan to Palin and Beyond,” Mr. Perlstein will explore the rise of conservativism as a political force during the last quarter of the twentieth century. Called the “hypercaffeinated Herodotus of the American century,” by The Nation magazine, Perlstein has won numerous awards including the Los Angeles Times Book Award for History. He is the author of Before the Story: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (2001), Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of American Consensus  (2009), and most recently Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Ronald Reagan (2014).

RiccioPoster2015 (1)

This year’s Riccio talk is co-sponsored by the History Department and the EIU Honors College. The lecture series is named for Barry D. Riccio, a longtime member of the EIU History Department who died in 2001, at the age of 46. In tribute, his friends, family and colleagues established the Barry D. Riccio History Fund in his honor. In conjunction with the EIU Department of History, the fund sponsors a lecture series with an emphasis on the history of ideas. Beginning with the inaugural lecture in 2003, the generosity of fund donors has allowed the department to bring “many of the leading lights of American intellectual history” to Eastern’s campus.

2014 James Jones Experience of War Lecture: “Humanity’s Moral Progress and the Holocaust: An Argument Against Pessimism”

Dr. Dan McMillan is coming to campus of Thursday, November 13 McMillan poster - James Jones 2014to deliver the 2014 James Jones Experience of War lecture: “Humanity’s Moral Progress and the Holocaust: an Argument Against Pessimism.”  Dr. McMillan is the author of How Could This Happen? Explaining the Holocaust (Basic Books, 2014).  The talk will be held in the Doudna Lecture Hall at 5:00 and will be followed by a reception and book signing in the Doudna concourse. The event, which  is sponsored by the History and English Departments, the College of Arts and Humanities, and the James Jones Literary Society, is free and open to the public.

History Professor Delivers Keynote at the Opening Reception of Booth Library’s “Revolutionary Decade” Series

On Tuesday, September 9, Dr. Edmund Wehrle, professor of history, delivered the keynote address at the opening reception for Booth Library’s fall semester exhibition and event series, “Revolutionary Decade: Reflections on the 1960s.”


Professor Wehrle’s talk, “No Problem of Human Destiny is Beyond Human Beings”: John F. Kennedy and the Spirit of the 1960s,” addressed how although President John F. Kennedy remains synonymous with the youthful, activist spirit of the global 1960s, opening program sheetmost historians view the 35th president as an aggressive, cold warrior who endangered the world and as a conservative Democrat who proved painfully slow to respond to the challenge of the civil rights movement. Dr. Wehrle noted how in truth, Kennedy was barely a liberal and certainly no radical. International communism, Kennedy believed, presented a grave, existential threat, and he showed little real interest in domestic reform. Nevertheless, Professor Wehrle pointed out how Kennedy’s rhetoric and carefully cultivated image inspired many — especially young people around the world — and in that sense helped inspire the tumult and even the revolutionary spirit of the 1960s.


“Revolutionary Decade: Reflections on the 1960s” at Booth Library

Booth Library’s new exhibit and program series, “Revolutionary Decade: Reflections on the 1960,” will be taking place throughout the Fall semester. Throughout the series, faculty and students will take “a fresh look at the achievements, tragedies, triumphs, extraordinary personalities, and everyday lives of average people during what was arguably one of the most turbulent and eventful decades of the 20th century.”

Booth Fall 14

Many members of the History Department faculty, along with some of our graduate students, will be participating in the “Revolutionary Decade” programming (for the full schedule of events, please visit the exhibit homepage on the Booth Library website):

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m Booth Library West Reading Room
Opening Night/Reception
Dr. Edmund Wehrle, Keynote Address: “No Problem of Human Destiny is Beyond Human Beings: John F. Kennedy and the Spirit of the 1960s”

Tuesday, Sept. 23, 4 p.m., Booth Library Room 4440
The Other Side of the ’60s: Hidden Dimensions of One of America’s Most Significant Decades
– Dr. Lynne Curry, “Sex, Drugs, and the U.S. Supreme Court”
– Dr. Debra Reid, “Between Cairo and Chicago: Resistance to Rights Expansion During the 1960s”
– Dr. Charles Titus, “Cold War Classrooms: How American Education Served the National Security State”

Wednesday, Sept. 24, 4 p.m., Booth Library Room 4440
MA History Student Research Panel: Global Diplomacy in the 1960s
– Moderated by Dr. Edmund Wehrle:
Kimberly Jones, “No Place Like Home: Robert F. Williams — World Exile”
Michael Ludwinski, “The Kennedy-MacMillan Affair: The Making of a
Special Relationship”
Adam Mohebbi, “Inaction, Not Indifference: Rhodesia and Postcolonialism in the 1960s”

Thursday, Oct. 2, 3:30 p.m., Booth Library Room 4440
Fantastic Sitcoms of the 1960s: “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Bewitched”
Dr. Malgorzata J. Rymsza-Pawlowska, “Fantastic Sitcoms of the 1960s: I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 4 p.m., Booth Library Room 4440
Thursday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m., Lone Elm Room, Mattoon Depot

Reflections on Sixties Music
Dr. Newton Key, “Global Influences on the American Pop Charts of the Sixties”



A “Great Mistake?” Award-Winning Scholar To Challenge Our Assumptions About the First World War

On Friday, September 19, at 5:00 p.m. in the Doudna Lecture Hall, Professor Isabel Hull of Cornell University will present a talk titled “Rethinking the First World War through the Lens of International Law.” The lecture will be based on her recently published book, A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law in the First World War (Cornell University Press.)  Professor Hull will argue against the widely held view that the war was “nonsensical,” or “a great mistake.” Rather, the war emerged from the belligerents’ understandings of and relative adherence to international law.

Professor Hull (Ph.D., Yale, 1978) is John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell, where she has taught for her entire career. A specialist in modern and early modern German history, Hull has researched in different fields, including governmentality (The Entourage of Kaiser Wilhelm II), sexuality and politics (Sexuality, State, and Civil Society in Germany, 1700-1815), and military culture (Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany). Professor Hull is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and was recently awarded the first Research Prize of the Max-Weber-Stiftung/Historisches Kolleg for her life’s work in the field of German history.

This lecture commemorating the centennial of the Great War is co-sponsored by the History Department, the Center for the Humanities, and the Political Science Department. The talk is free and open to the public.

EIU History Department 10th Annual Barry D. Riccio Lecture

The History Department presents the 10th Annual Barry D. Riccio Lecture by James T. Sparrow, Associate Professor, University of Chicago. Dr. Sparrow’s talk, “Atomic Liberty: ‘Realism’ against Planning in the American Century,” explores the intellectual roots of foreign policy debates in postwar America. Dr. Sparrow will speak on April 9 at 7pm in the Doudna Lecture Hall. The public is invited to the lecture and a reception is to follow the event.

Visit the Riccio Lecture page at http://www.eiu.edu/history/doing_history_ricciolecture.php.



History and Tarble Go Steampunk

Thomas J. Brown, associate professor of history at the University of South Carolina, will deliver a lecture onThe Steampunk Civil War” at Tarble Arts Center, Monday, April 15, at 7 pm.  Professor  Brown is the author or editor of Remixing the Civil War: Meditations on the Sesquicentennial (2011), Reconstructions: New Perspectives on the Postbellum United States (2006), and other works. The talk is free and open to the public and is presented in conjunction with Experiences of the Illinois Civil War Soldier, an exhibition presented by the Eastern Illinois University Historical Administration class of 2013, and the Tarble Arts Center, April-July 2013. The talk is sponsored by the EIU History Department and the Tarble. An open reception follows.

Paige, Baseball, Civil Rights: the lecture

Satchel Paige—the third African-American to desegregate major league baseball at the remarkable age of 42—remains a American icon. His fascinating life and legacy will be explored by his biographer Dr. Donald Spivey of the University of Miami, on April 1 (Doudna Lecture Hall, 7pm). Dr. Spivey’s talk is entitled “Satchel Paige and Black Baseball in the Rethinking of the Civil Rights Movement.” The talk is part of the Barry D. Riccio Lecture Series.

Swing Jazz History

Newton Key will introduce two film selections on Swing Jazz of the 1930s and 1940s, and then moderate discussion, Thursday, 7 February 2013, 7-9 p.m., in Buzzard Hall Auditorium. The films, each about 25 minutes, are a selection from Ken Burns’ Jazz: Episode 6, Swing, the Velocity of Celebration; and International Sweethearts of Rhythm. The brief introduction attempts to contextualize the Swing rebellion and to link sounds and events then with those of the 1970s and beyond. This free presentation is open to the public and connected with the America’s Music exhibit at Booth Library.

Digital Humanities Teaching Talk: The Printed Wor(l)d before 1700

In this DH teaching talk, EIU historian, Newton Key, demonstrates how to navigate the challenging typeface and orthography of Early English Books Online (EEBO), a vast repository of books in English, 1473-1700, to search for words and images of the non-English speaking World. Maps, engravings, portraits, and even ephemera can be used relatively quickly to foster expertise in the Manchus, Mughals, Safavids, Ottomans, and beyond. EEBO (and other databases) can be integrated with other computer apps (Zotero, Wordle, Google Ngrams) even at the introductory level by students and professors across disciplines.  Talk is Wednesday, 2 March, noon, 1166 Coleman Hall (HA seminar room, SW corner Coleman).