University News

Annual History Conference Set For April 6 at Western Illinois University

March 14, 2013

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MACOMB, IL - The 38th annual History Conference at Western Illinois University will be held Saturday, April 6 on the Macomb campus.

The event, sponsored by the Department of History and the WIU College of Arts and Sciences, will be held in Stipes Hall and in the WIU Multicultural Center.

A pre-conference reception will be held from 7-10 p.m. Friday, April 5 in the University Union's Sandburg Lounge. Conference materials may be picked up Saturday, April 6, from 8-11:30 a.m. in the Stipes Hall elevator lobby.

The conference's Larry T. Balsamo Keynote Address, slated to start at 1:30 p.m., will feature guest speaker Stacey Robertson, Oglesby professor of American Heritage and Interim Dean of the Bradley University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Her presentation is themed, "Voices of Abolitionists Past: Lessons for Contemporary Antislavery Activists."

Robertson is a scholar, teacher and activist whose research has focused on the antislavery movement. She has lectured at more than 100 venues nationally and internationally and has authored three books, "Parker Pillsbury, Radical Abolitionist, Male Feminist," "Hearts Beating for Liberty: Women Abolitionists in the Old Northwest" and "Antebellum Women: Private, Public and Political," co-authored with Carol Lasser.

Robertson's biography of an abolitionist, "Betsy Mix Cowles: Champion of Equality," will be released later this year.

In addition to Robertson's presentation, faculty from the WIU Department of History, teachers from local high school history departments and representatives of the Western Illinois Museum will present during the conference. Topics to be discussed include, "Personalities and Politics in Illinois Railroad History," "The War of 1812 and Canadian Nationalism" and "Local History Matters."

The conference will wrap up with a 3 p.m. walking tour of Macomb's historic downtown area.

Illinois public school teachers are eligible for continuing professional development units (CPDUs) for participation in the conference and are encouraged to note their desire for CPDUs at the time of registration.

The registration fee for professionals, which includes the event's luncheon, is $50 per person. The registration fee for full-time students is $10 per person, which includes the luncheon. Full-time students who do not wish to attend the luncheon can attend the conference for free. Registration closes Monday, April 1.

The registration form for the History Conference is available in PDF form at

For more information, contact the WIU Department of History at (309) 298-1053.

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