Abraham Lincoln's America, 1809-1865

Programs for Teachers
Newberry Teachers' Consortium
Friday, February 11, 2011

In this seminar participants will use the life of the republic’s most celebrated president as a window to explore the transformations and continuities in American politics, cultures, economics, ideologies, and social life during the half- century ending in the cataclysmic Civil War. Using Lincoln’s own experiences as a starting point - his poor, rural upbringing; his family’s frequent moves across the sectional borderlands; his self-motivation, professional ambition, and evolving class identity; his embrace of mass politics; and his rapid ascent to national leadership during the republic’s greatest crisis - participants will probe and problematize important, though often unexplored, themes in Lincoln’s life. This seminar will also reflect on the usefulness of biography to the larger historical project as well as the importance of memory and myth in the ways Americans repeatedly remember and reconstruct the past.

Seminar led by Daniel Graff, University of Notre Dame

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