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EIU to host Inaugural Presidential Lecture; 13th Annual Riccio Lecture February 18


(Charleston, IL) – Coordinators at Eastern Illinois University are excited to announce the university’s inaugural Presidential Lecture will be held in conjunction with the 13th annual Barry D. Riccio Lecture on History. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, February 18 in the Doudna Fine Arts Center Lecture Hall on EIU’s Charleston campus.

“Still Fighting the Civil War? How to Put Contemporary Controversies in Historical Context,” will be presented by leading national scholar on Civil War memory, Dr. Gaines M. Foster. Foster is LSU Foundation M.J. Foster Professor of History at Louisiana State University, where he has taught courses in U.S. History and Southern history for over three decades after earning a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill.

Foster’s published works on Civil War memory include “What the Name ‘Civil War’ Tells Us—and Why It Matters,” published in September 2018 for Muster, the blog linked to the Journal of the Civil War Era. He has authored three books, including Ghosts of the Confederacy:  Defeat, the Lost Cause, and the Emergence of the New South, 1865-1912 (Oxford University Press, 1987). Noted Civil War historian Brooks Simpson described Ghosts of the Confederacy as “an insightful and suggestive exploration of southern reaction to defeat” in the Civil War. Dr. Foster’s ground-breaking book inspired a new subfield of Civil War memory.

The lecture is open to the public and free to attend, and is sponsored by the EIU Department of History and the President’s Office.  A book signing and reception will follow Foster’s lecture.
For the past 12 years, EIU’s History Department has sponsored the annual Barry D. Riccio Lecture on History. Riccio joined the Eastern Illinois University History faculty in 1995. He was a devoted student of American ideas, politics, and culture, and quickly became an admired teacher and colleague. Following Riccio’s death from cancer in 2001 at the age of 46, his friends, family and colleagues established the Barry D. Riccio History Fund in his honor. The Barry D. Riccio Lecture on History event was created to celebrate Riccio’s distinguished teaching legacy.

For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.



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Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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