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Dr. Jenna McNabb will deliver the 2012 Hallwas Lecture in September.
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McNabb to Present 2012 Hallwas Lecture at WIU-QC Sept. 4 and on Macomb Campus Sept. 6

August 20, 2012

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University Department of History Associate Professor Jennifer McNabb will present the 10th annual John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, in room 102A of the WIU-Quad Cities Campus and at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6 in the University Union Grand Ballroom on the Macomb campus.

The lecture, titled "The Worth of Women' and the Liberal Arts: Debates, Insights and Legacies from the Renaissance," is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences. McNabb will discuss how the origins of humanism during the Renaissance redefined masculinity at the same time it initiated scholarly debate on the capabilities of women, an exchange known as "the women question."

At the core of the controversy over women's capacity for reason and suitability for engagement in public life was the question of whether women could and should be allowed to benefit from the liberal education thought to endow men with virtue, McNabb said.

McNabb will address how Renaissance ideas about women have informed subsequent debates about the nature and intellectual capabilities of men and women, and, more broadly, about education and the human experience. She will also consider the ways in which an understanding of early modern lessons about educational access remains critical to the academic disciplines that comprise the departments of the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Illinois University.

McNabb is also the associate director of Western's Centennial Honors College. Since coming to WIU in 2005, she has served as chair of Western's University Graduate Council and vice chair of the Faculty Senate, in addition to leadership roles on various departmental and University committees.

She was the 2009 recipient of the WIU Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching and received the WIU College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award in 2009 and the Outstanding Service Award in 2012.

"I am honored to have been selected to deliver this year's John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture," McNabb said. "In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the lecture series, my talk will touch on several themes concerning the origins of the liberal arts and the nature of education first raised by Professor Hallwas during his inaugural address. As an historian whose teaching specialty includes the Renaissance, I embrace the sentiments of one of the leading scholars of that period, Leonardo Bruni, who noted, β€˜It is our duty to understand the origins of our own history and its development.' I look forward to sharing my thoughts on the significance and the legacy of the past with the faculty, staff, students and friends of Western Illinois University."

McNabb served for five years as faculty adviser for the Associated Students of History, which won the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council Departmental Organization Recognition Award in 2009, and was named Greek Life Adviser of the Year in 2010 for her work with Alpha Sigma Tau sorority.

Her students have published in academic journals and regularly present research at professional conferences and WIU's Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research Day.

McNabb's research on courtship and marriage in 16th and 17th century England has yielded publications in academic journals, as well as presentations at national and international conferences.

She has won best paper prizes awarded by the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association. In addition, McNabb has presented her work to the local and regional community through the WIU Department of History Annual History Conference, the WIU Learning is Forever (LIFE) Program, the DuPage Valley Social Studies Conference and the annual meeting of the Friends of the Macomb Public Library.

McNabb served as the texts and teaching editor of the journal Quidditas for five years and currently acts as the journal's associate editor. McNabb also reviews textbooks and manuscripts for a number of academic publishers and has authored textbook supplements for Cengage.

McNabb earned a bachelor's degree in history from Adrian College in Adrian, MI and was recently named the 2012 recipient of Adrian's Distinguished Young Alumni Award. She received her master's degree in history from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a specialty in the history of early modern England.

Past lecturers in the series have included John Hallwas (2003), Charles Helm (2004), Karen Mann (2005), Tracy Knight (2006), President Al Goldfarb (2007), Rick Hardy (2008), Iraj Kalantari (2009), Bill Knight (2010) and Christopher Sutton (2011). The John Hallwas Lecture, which is open free to the public, is designated as a First Year Experience (FYE) event for WIU students.

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