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Amicus Curiae Lecture Series hosts Lincoln expert Brian Dirck

Feb. 02, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The Amicus Curiae Lecture Series will kick off its first event of the spring semester on Tuesday, Feb. 4 when it hosts Dr. Brian R. Dirck, an award winning author who has written four books on the life and works of Abraham Lincoln.

The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, and is free and open to the public. Dirck's lecture "Abraham Lincoln and Constitutional Optimism" will focus on Lincoln's view of the constitution and how it applied to the crisis of the American Civil War.

Dirck is a professor of history at Anderson University in Anderson, Ind. His works include "Lincoln and Davis: Imagining America," "Lincoln the Lawyer," "Lincoln and the Constitution," and "Lincoln and White America." He was also edited and a contributor to a collection of essays entitled "Lincoln Emancipated: The President and the Politics of Race."

"Abraham Lincoln is always a popular subject because he is generally ranked as number 1 or number 2 in the greatness of our presidents," said Dr. Patricia Proctor, director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy. "The fact that President's Day is coming up, alongside Lincoln's birthday and it is Black History Month all went into the planning of the event. A lot of people are also interested because of the Lincoln movie that came out last year. We're hoping that people start learning the specifics about Lincoln and the mythology of Lincoln. Some people think that Lincoln just disregarded the constitution during the war and that's just not true."

Dirck is a Lincoln scholar with a doctorate in history. He won the Benjamin Barodess Award from the New York Civil War Roundtable for the best book published on Lincoln.

"Dirck will talk about the much discussed subject of Lincoln and the constitution during the civil war," Proctor said. "Dirck's thesis is that Lincoln looked at the constitution as a document in which he could find possibilities, not as a restriction."

The lecture will last around 45-50 minutes and will be followed by a question and answer session.

The lecture series will continue March 11 when David Rudovsky will give a lecture on why the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and why prisons are disproportionately filled with African American males. Rudovsky is a Senior Fellow and Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

The last lecture on of the series is set for April 1 when Eric Rothschild will give a lecture on the intersection of science, religious freedom and education. Rothschild served as the co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the Kizmiller vs. Dover Area School District case which tested whether "intelligent design" can be introduced into the curriculum of public schools.

The lecture series, sponsored by the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, cover a variety of subjects including law, social justice, politics and history.

For more information on the Simon Perry Center for Constinutional Democracy and the Amicus Curiae lecture series visit www.marshall.edu/spc/.

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