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).

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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.

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.”

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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.

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“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.”

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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”

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34th Annual History and Social Science Teachers Conference

On Thursday, October 24, 2013, upwards of eighty teachers gathered for the 34th Annual History and Social Science Teachers conference. The theme of this year’s conference was “Read All About It! Using Primary Documents, Library Resources, and Local History to Foster Social Studies Literacy.” Attendees heard a keynote from Dr. Catherine Denial, lead historian for the Bringing History Home program in Iowa, which worked to integrate primary sources into k-12 social studies education. After the keynote, attendees chose three of six professional development sessions, including three sessions on the Midwest during the Civil War by Dr. Terry Barnhart, Dr. Bob Sampson (Millikin), and Dr. Shannon Smith (The College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University); a session by Catherine Denial on the SOCC approach to primary source analysis; a session from Ann Brownson (Booth Library) and Dr. Jeanne Okrasinski (CEPS) on the Common Core, library, and media; and the traditional Swap Shop, where participants shared teaching ideas and learned from Penny Jones, veteran teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Decatur.

Terry Barnhart leads teachers in discussing how they might teach about Copperheads and Peace Democrats in the north during the Civil War. (photo: Cathy Brachear)

Terry Barnhart leads teachers in discussing how they might teach about Copperheads and Peace Democrats in the north during the Civil War. (photo: Cathy Brachear)

Bob Sampson lectures on the story behind the Charleston Riot of 1864. (photo: Cathy Brachear)

Bob Sampson lectures on the story behind the Charleston Riot of 1864. (photo: Cathy Brachear)

The History department offered great support for the conference, with Dr. Barnhart offering a session on Copperheads and Drs. Ed Wehrle, Michael Shirley, and Charles Titus serving as facilitators for other sessions. History with Teacher Certification students Tom Griffith and Lucas Voudrie also served as facilitators. Dr. Anita Shelton welcomed conference attendees during the concluding luncheon (as did President William Perry), and many faculty members attended the conference.

Shannon Smith discusses rioting in the midwest during the Civil War and how teachers might incorporate discussion of riots (anti-draft and otherwise) into Civil War lessons. (photo: Cathy Brachear)

Shannon Smith discusses rioting in the midwest during the Civil War and how teachers might incorporate discussion of riots (anti-draft and otherwise) into Civil War lessons. (photo: Cathy Brachear)

Jeanne Okrasinski (pictured standing) and Ann Brownson (sitting at front) led a session on the use of library and media resources linked to the new Common Core state standards (photo: Cathy Brachear)

Jeanne Okrasinski (pictured standing) and Ann Brownson (sitting at front) led a session on the use of library and media resources linked to the new Common Core state standards (photo: Cathy Brachear)

Next year’s conference will take place in fall 2014. If anyone has ideas they would like to see covered—or presentations you might wish to make yourself!—please contact Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz.