Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" in Context with Dr. Maria Seger

Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" in Context with Dr. Maria Seger


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How did Abraham Lincoln’s 272-word “Gettysburg Address” become one of the best-known speeches in US history? Join Dr. Maria Seger for a seminar on the context and legacy of the “Gettysburg Address” on the anniversary of its delivery.

“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Thus begins the two-minute speech that echoed across the nation, proving Lincoln’s claim later in the very same address that “the world will little note nor remember what we say here” to be stunningly inaccurate. Delivered in November 1863, halfway through the US Civil War, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a battlefield on which 8,000 men lost their lives, Lincoln’s address continues to reverberate in US national memory.

In this seminar, we’ll explore the rhetorical and historical contexts of the address, as well as its lasting legacy. Examining the form of the address and unpacking its Biblical imagery, we’ll investigate why the address had such rhetorical weight in its own time and in ours. Studying the address in relation to the Emancipation Proclamation, we’ll consider whether it marks a significant turning point in Lincoln’s thinking during the Civil War. What vision of the war, the nation, and US citizenship does the address offer? Thinking through the legacy of the address, we’ll ask what its permanence in US culture reveals about our collective memory of Lincoln, the Civil War, and the United States. What pedagogical functions might the address continue to serve?

Led by an expert on nineteenth-century US literature and culture, Dr. Maria Seger, this interactive seminar will immerse participants in the lasting rhetorical and historical contexts of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation for the brilliance and the limits of one of the most famous speeches in US history.

Maria Seger is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she researches and teaches US, Black, and ethnic literatures and cultures and critical race and ethnic studies. Her work appears in Callaloo, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and Studies in American Naturalism, and her edited collection, Reading Confederate Monuments, is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi. She earned her PhD from the University of Connecticut in 2016.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

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An insightful seminar on the Gettysburg Address
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Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
67%
(2)
33%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A.
S
S.G.
An insightful seminar on the Gettysburg Address
A
A.