Thursday, April 27th, 2017, 5:30pm Cocktails, 6:00pm Dinner
Illinois’s monumental literary heritage is particularly rich in autobiographies and memoirs, including the first noted autobiography from the Midwest, Chief Black Hawk’s, the most famous memoir associated with the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant’s, and one of the most celebrated autobiographies by an American woman, Jane Addams’s Twenty Years at Hull House, among many others. Such works often address issues of identity and belonging, which are as crucial today as ever. Because of the rapidity of cultural change, personal accounts that offer perspectives on life in particular places, families, communities, and occupations at various points in the past, even the recent past, are increasingly valuable.
John Hallwas is an Illinois literary and cultural historian, and a distinguished professor Emeritus at Western Illinois University. Well-known for his many books about Illinois and the Midwest, he has also written scores of journal articles and hundreds of newspaper and magazine essays, as well as several plays. The recipient of more than two dozen awards for his teaching, scholarship, books, and educational service, Hallwas has also spoken in well over one hundred Midwestern communities, at colleges, universities, conferences, and organizational events.