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Historian Eric Foner on Lincoln’s Transformations on Slavery, Race—Nov. 19 Lecture

October 19, 2012

Historian Eric Foner will deliver “Abraham Lincoln and the End of American Slavery,” a public lecture on Lincoln’s transformations on slavery and race, on Mon., Nov. 19, 7-9 p.m. at New York University’s Center for the Study of Transformative Lives (20 Cooper Square, 7th Floor Auditorium, between 5th and 6th Streets).

On the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, will examine the fascinating and contested relationship between individual and social agency in bringing about societal transformation. He will discuss how Lincoln came to emancipation during the Civil War, the various pressures on him -- military, and political as well as from slaves themselves -- and how emancipation changed the nature of the Civil War as well as Lincoln's own outlook on the place of African-Americans in American society.

The free event is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Transformative Lives, the Humanities Initiative at NYU, and the university’s Biography Seminar. An RSVP is required to For more information, call 212.998.4291. Subways: 6 (Astor Place); N, R (8th Street).

Reporters wishing to attend the lecture must RSVP to James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or

In his teaching and scholarship, Foner focuses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery, and 19th century America. His Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 won the Bancroft, Parkman, and Los Angeles Times Book prizes and remains the standard history of the period. In 2011, his The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for History as well as the Bancroft and the Lincoln prizes.

The Center for the Study of Transformative Lives at New York University fosters research, teaching, and education centering on the lives of exemplary individuals whose dedication, genius, and moral vision helped shape the course of human events. The work of the Center is motivated by the conviction that the example of a great and good life, studied in depth and at length, can become a guiding influence on people’s lives today as they confront their own choices, decisions, and opportunities. Focusing on well-known and less-well-known figures from the present and the past, students and researchers study inspiring individuals in the context of their times and the circles in which they moved, using them as powerful lenses through which to view history and understand societal change. For more, click here.

Created in 2007, the Humanities Initiative at NYU draws on the talents and energies of faculty and students across the university to provide a forum for cross-disciplinary discussion and collaboration in the humanities and arts. To foster and enhance the humanities community at NYU, the Initiative sponsors a number of endeavors aimed at promoting interdisciplinary dialogue, teaching, and research.

The New York University Biography Seminar was founded by Aileen Ward, the highly acclaimed biographer of John Keats, in the 1970s. It has been a distinguished location for discussion of issues and projects in biography. From its origin, it has been a place where biographers in the academy could meet and discuss issues in biography with established career biographers. Its leaders have included Fred Karl, Kenneth Silverman, Joan Peyser, and Patricia Bosworth.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Around the Square

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: James Devitt | (212) 998-6808

Historian Eric Foner on Lincoln’s Transformations on Slavery, Race—Nov. 19 Lecture

Historian Eric Foner, above, will deliver “Abraham Lincoln and the End of American Slavery,” a public lecture on Lincoln’s transformations on slavery and race, on Mon., Nov. 19, 7-9 p.m. The lecture coincides with the anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

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