News

Distinguished US historian to speak exclusively at Sydney Ideas


28 May 2008

The concept of freedom has evolved through American history, says Professor Foner, above.
The concept of freedom has evolved through American history, says Professor Foner, above.

One of the USA's most celebrated historians will speak exclusively at the University of Sydney on Tuesday night.

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and the highly acclaimed author of numerous award-winning books, will discuss the concept of "freedom" throughout American history, on Tuesday, 3 June, 2008, at the Seymour Theatre Centre, as part of Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney's international public lecture series.

According to Professor Foner, freedom has never been a single idea in the US, and is a concept that's been the source of considerable disagreement throughout America's history. "The evolution of freedom has occurred through battles over its definition and over which Americans are entitled to enjoy it," says Professor Foner, whose books, including Free Soil, Free Labour, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War (1970) are studied internationally.

In this timely Sydney Ideas lecture, titled "The Idea of Freedom in the US, 1776-2008", Professor Foner will explore the concept of freedom throughout American history and how the founding fathers, abolitionists, women's rights activists and others have helped shape and reshape the idea of liberty.

He will also discuss the ways the terrorist attacks of September 11 and their aftermath have affected the meaning and practice of freedom in the United States as the nation faces a Presidential election.

Eric Foner will be introduced to the Sydney Ideas stage by Shane White, Professor of American History at the University of Sydney. This is Professor Foner's only public event in Sydney and the lecture is co-presented with the University of Sydney's United States Studies Centre.

Event details:

What: "The Idea of Freedom in the US, 1776 - 2008" - Professor Eric Foner at Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney's international public lecture series.

Where: The Seymour Theatre Centre, Cnr of Cleveland St and City Road, the University of Sydney. Phone: (02) 9351 7940

When: 6pm on Tuesday, 3 June, 2008.

Bookings: Box office 02 9351 7940 or online http://www.seymour.usyd.edu.au/boxoffice/program.shtml

Tickets: $20/$15 concession. A limited number of free tickets are available to University students and staff. tID required.

Editor's notes

Professor Foner is only the second person to serve as president of the three major professional organisations in the US: the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association and the Society of American Historians. He is the author of an array of books on American political and social history and the history of American race relations including Tom Pain and Revolutionary America (1976), Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (1988), Who Owns History? Rethinking the Past in a Changing World (2002) and his most recent work Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction (2005). He has written for numerous publications including the New York Times, Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times and has been the on-air historian for Freedom: A History of Us on PBS.


Contact: Katrina O'Brien

Phone: 02 9036 7842

Email: 1a4a5d072b1c5c160e21370b3277242826745001