Click here to view the 2014 Conference on Illinois History program.
 
The annual Conference on Illinois History is scheduled for September 25-26, 2014, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in downtown Springfield and is the state's largest meeting devoted to the history of the Prairie State. This is the sixteenth year of the conference, which is sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

The conference includes 20 paper sessions that feature topics such as politics, Abraham Lincoln, Route 66, archaeology, and the Civil War; one film; eight workshops; and three panel discussions.  Teachers will benefit from workshops on a variety of topics.  Professional Development Hours are approved for the conference.

Banquet Speaker:  Dennis H. Cremin
Dennis H. Cremin is a Professor and Director of the History Center at Lewis University, Illinois.  His book Grant Park: The Evolution of Chicago’s Front Yard (Southern Illinois University Press, 2013) investigates the urban and cultural history of the park from 1836 to 2008.  Cremin argues that Grant Park’s evolution was a gradual process, at first fraught with a lack of funding and organization, and later challenged by erosion, the railroads, automobiles, and legal battles over the original intent and conceptions of progress.  Throughout the book Cremin demonstrates that the parkland served as a display case for the city and a calling card to visitors.

Thursday luncheon speaker: Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein:  “Treasures of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library”
Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Georgia and is currently manuscripts librarian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.  She is the author of Lincoln and Medicine (2012), the Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine (2008), Confederate Hospitals on the Move: Samuel H. Stout and the Army of Tennessee (1994), and co-author of Andrew Johnson: A Biographical Companion (2001), as well as numerous articles and book reviews.  Her most recent book, Treasures of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library (formerly the Illinois State Historical Library).  The book highlights eighty-five treasures from the more than twelve million Illinois-related items housed in the Library.  Representative treasures of all types and from all departments are illustrated, described, and discussed in historical context.  This talk will feature sample treasures in greater detail.

Friday luncheon speaker:  Kevin Levin:  “Forgetting and Remembering Private Louis Martin”
Kevin M. Levin teaches American history at Gann Academy near Boston.  He is the author of Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder (University Press of Kentucky, 2012) and blogs at Civil War Memory [http://cwmemory.com].  His essays on the Civil War and historical memory have appeared in scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers.  Over the past few years the story of the black Union soldier, along with slavery and emancipation, has emerged as the dominant narrative of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.  This talk will explore the history of the Battle of the Crater veteran Private Louis Martin (29th U.S.C.T), his often precarious place in the evolution of the nation’s Civil War memory, and the re-emergence of interest in his story.