Recent Searches

Loading Search Results...
Loading Directory Results...



Recent Pages

Recent Searches

Embarras Valley Film Festival

Lincoln, the Civil War, and Memory

Welcome to the Embarras Valley Film Festival (pronounced “Am-brah”) co-sponsored by Eastern Illinois University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Coles County Arts Council. The EVFF is a yearly event honoring a person or theme relevant to the Embarras Valley, which encompasses much of East Central Illinois. 2009 marks the 200th year since the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Accordingly, the EVFF celebrates the life of this great U.S. president who had family ties in the Coles County area.

Abe Lincoln image



Stop-motion movies created at the November 7 workshop have been posted on YouTube. Click the link below to view them. An official free screening will be held at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library on Saturday, November 14 at 11:00 a.m. 


Kevin Anderson teaches courses in American government, political theory and African American politics. His research interests center on American and African American political thought, media and American politics and African American interest groups. He is currently working on a project involving the Black Panthers as well as a media and politics project involving media coverage and the Mel Carnahan campaign in 2000 and the Paul Wellstone campaign in 2002.

Dann Gire (Featured Speaker) is a film critic for the Arlington Heights Daily Herald. He serves as the president and founding director of the Chicago Film Critics Association and as an adjunct faculty member in William Rainey Harper College’s English and Journalism departments. A graduate of EIU, Gire has won the prestigious Peter Lisagor Award for Arts Criticism six times. He has participated in the EVFF since 2004.

Joseph Heumann is Professor of Communication Studies at Eastern Illinois University where he teaches a variety of film studies courses. He published Ecology and Popular Film: Cinema on the Edge with SUNY press in 2009 (with Robin Murray) and has two other books under consideration at university presses, Shoot Out at the Eco-Corral: Or, What are Eco-Heroes Fighting About Anyway? and “That’s All Folks?”: Ecocritical Readings of American Animated Features (with Robin Murray).

Randy Jackson (Featured Speaker) began reenacting in 1971 with the Western Fur Trade and through the years has reenacted French and Indian War, American Revolution, Black Hawk War, Mexican American War, American Civil War and WWI. He has been employed at Lincoln Log Cabin since 1981, and has supervised and participated over the years with the site’s interpretive program, tailoring, livestock and farming, historic building construction and restoration, grounds keeping and maintenance. He was employed as an extra in the filming of Glory as a Union soldier.

Chuck Koplinski (Featured Speaker) has been participating in the EVFF since 2004, when he introduced Citizen Kane and Wuthering Heights to crowds of over 700 viewers at the Will Rogers Theater in Charleston. A teacher in Urbana, Illinois, he also gives weekly movie reviews for WCIA-TV in Champaign and writes reviews for several newspapers, including the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and Springfield’s Illinois Times.

Chris Mitchell has taught at Eastern since 2001. His primary area of instruction is the theatre history sequence: Theatre History I, Theatre History II, 20th Century Theatre, and Development of American Theatre and Drama. Dr. Mitchell has also served as production dramaturg for many University Theatre productions, including The Glass Menagerie, A Doll’s House , MASTER HAROLD...and the “boys,” and Candida. His primary research interest is the plays of August Strindberg, and he has published both nationally and internationally in that area. He serves as editor of Theatre Southwest, a major regional scholarly journal of theatre history/theory/criticism, and is on the board of the Southwest Theatre Association. Dr. Mitchell is an affiliated faculty member of the EIU Women’s Studies Program.

Dr. John R. Sellers (Featured Speaker) is the Historical Specialist on the American Civil War and the Lincoln Curator at the Library of Congress. Dr. Sellers began his career at the Library in June 1969, working first with the locating and identifying manuscript sources in the Library on the American Revolution, and since 1982, the American Civil War. He has written and spoken widely on both 18th and 19th century military history, and he has served as curator on several major historical exhibitions, most notably, the history of the United States Constitution, the U. S. Congress, and the political geography of the U. S. Congress. His exhibit on the U.S. Constitution was reproduced in facsimile for the United States Supreme Court following the viewing at the Library of Congress. His publications include The Virginia Continental Line (Virginia Bicentennial Commission, 1975), “The Common Soldier in the American Revolution,” (United States Air Force Academy, 1976), Manuscript Sources in the Library of Congress for Research on the American Revolution (GPO, 1975), Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789 (GPO, 1981), and “Northern Soldiers Meet the Freedman” (University of Maine, 1993). Dr. Sellers is best known among Civil War enthusiasts for his award winning resource guide: Civil War Manuscripts: A Guide to Collections in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress (GPO, 1986). Publications in progress are “Lincoln’s Washington: the Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft,” and “John G. Nicolay.” Dr. Sellers is currently working on a book on Washington during the Lincoln Administration.

David Smith teaches courses on the political, intellectual, and economic history of Europe, including the Age of Absolutism, the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution. Dr. Smith published, with Richard Lim of Smith College, a two-volume document collection entitled The West in the Wider World (Bedford Books, 2003). This interest in the interconnections between Europe and the world is brought into many of his courses, such as HIS 1500 World History: Slavery and Freedom, which focuses on slavery around the world between 1500 and 1900. In this course we give particular attention to the Atlantic slave trade and the creation of slavery in the Americas.

Howard Taylor is an Abraham Lincoln education specialist with a special website on Lincoln and a related book for teachers and anyone. He is a retired teacher of gifted children in the Charleston school system, and formerly a librarian and art teacher in Shelby County.

Craig Titley (Workshop Facilitator) is a Hollywood screenwriter whose film credits include 20th Century Fox’s Cheaper by the Dozen and Warner Brothers Scooby Doo. A native of Mattoon, Illinois, he is a graduate of EIU and also of the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program, University of Southern California. He is currently earning his Ph.D. in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Eastern Illinois University

600 Lincoln Ave,
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-2223

Take the next step

apply now
schedule a visit