Race, Slavery, and Equality | Newberry

Race, Slavery, and Equality

The Newberry Library

The Newberry Library

A Three-Day Virtual Professional Development Seminar for Teachers
Monday, August 10, 2020Wednesday, August 12, 2020

9:30am to 3:30pm   

Zoom Seminar, hosted by the Newberry Library

Other Programs for Teachers

In a speech Frederick Douglass gave often while in England between 1845 and 1847, he spoke of himself as an outlaw and outcast in the land of his birth. Even at home, he declared, “I have no love for America, as such; I have no patriotism. I have no country? What country have I?” The provisional answer Douglass gave in the 1840s was not his final answer and he eventually accepted the United States as his country, but the power of his question inspires us to look deeply into the innermost and fundamental principles of our society. So in this three-day seminar, we will take a hard look–in a joint inquiry with eminent professors as facilitators–at the problem of justice in American statesmanship and political thought.


With an eye on both the timely and centuries-long character of our subject, this summer seminar will examine carefully four fundamental perspectives on race, slavery, and equality: the complex, foundational position of the Founders themselves; the profound rethinking and refounding led by Abraham Lincoln; Herman Melville’s poetic account of the passions of the Civil War; and Frederick Douglass’ extended meditations on what would make the country worthy of his thoughtful love.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the Newberry’s professional development programs for teachers, including this summer seminar, will operate virtually via Zoom.


This three-day seminar is free for high school teachers selected to participate. Participants will receive 15 CPDUs upon completion of the seminar. In order to receive 5 CPDUs each day, participants must attend both the morning and afternoon sessions.


Daily Seminar Schedule

9:30am-12pm: Morning Session

12pm-1pm: Lunch Break

1pm-3:30pm: Afternoon Session

Organizer: Dr. Svetozar Minkov (Professor of Philosophy, Roosevelt University)

Moderator: Cate Harriman (Coordinator, Teacher and Student Programs, Newberry Library)


Day 1: Monday, August 10


The Founders


Morning Session: Dr. Peter Myers (Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire)


Topic: Slavery and Natural Rights: Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence


Afternoon Session: Dr. Lucas Morel (Professor of Politics, Washington & Lee University)


Topic: Slavery and the Constitution


Day 2: Tuesday, August 11


Lincoln


Morning Session: Dr. Lucas Morel


Topic: Lincoln, Slavery, and Race: The American Way to Secure Freedom


Afternoon Session: Dr. Diana Schaub (Professor of Political Science, Loyola University Maryland)


Topic: Lincoln and Melville


Day 3: Wednesday, August 12


Frederick Douglass


Morning Session: Dr. Nicholas Buccola (Professor of Political Science, Linfield College)


Topic: Frederick Douglass and the Declaration of Independence


Afternoon Session: Dr. Svetozar Minkov


Topic: A discussion of Douglass and human dignity

Cost and Registration Information 

This program is free to attend for Chicago-area high school teachers, from any school district. Registration will open Friday, June 26, 2020. Submit your application here.