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Five WIU History Faculty Present at Teachers' Conference in Naperville

Mar 2, 2009

Four current faculty members of the History Department and one emeritus faculty member gave presentations at the 2009 DuPage Valley Social Studies Conference (DVSSC) on February 27. The DVSSC is the largest in-service program for secondary school social studies teachers in the state of Illinois, and serves teachers from school districts in several counties in the Chicago area. WIU's History Department has long been the primary source of presentations by university history faculty at this regional teachers' conference, sending four or five faculty members each year.

Professor Emeritus Larry Balsamo, who has given more than 25 different DVSSC presentations over the decades, gave two presentations at this year's conference. His first presentation was "'Then, Thenceforth, and Forever Free . . .': Lincoln and the Emancipation Moment." Dr. Balsamo spoke about the connection between race, memory, and politics in Lincoln's presidency. Dr. Balsamo also spoke on the 1873 massacre of more than 100 African-American Republicans in Louisiana, in a talk entitled "'And There Was No Peace': The Colfax Massacre, Partisan Politics, Racial Violence, and the Demise of Radical Reconstruction."

Associate Professor Lee Brice presented "Hellenism: The So-Called 'Greek Man's Burden.'" Dr. Brice spoke on the cultural exchange that dominated the Hellenistic world, which led to increasing cultural diversity and complexity in the ancient world. He focused in particular on philosophy and religion, and the continuation of Hellenistic culture into the Roman imperial period.

Associate Professor Walter Kretchik presented "In the Shadow of the Dragon: Foreign Devils, Boxers, and the China Relief Expedition of 1900." Dr. Kretchik spoke about the significance of America's response to China's 1900 Boxer Rebellion. He focused on the nature and signficance of America's military presence in China as part of a multinational response.

Assistant Professor Jennifer McNabb presented "Elizabeth of Famous Memory: The Legacy of Elizabeth I in Popular Culture." Dr. McNabb addressed the popular culture "afterlife" of the English queen, focusing on how and why her image has changed over time and on strategies to get students thinking more critically about popular culture.

Associate Professor Edward Woell presented "The French Revolutionary Paradox: Why the Pursuit for Freedom and Human Rights Caused Unprecedented Repression and Bloodshed." Dr. Woell focused on the nature, extent, and significance of the violence associated with the French Revolution.

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