Weis Lecturer to Present ‘Remembering Lincoln By Those Who Knew Him’


“Remembering Lincoln By Those Who Knew Him,” will be the topic of the 2019 Emil C. Weis Lecture at noon April 24 at Southeast Missouri State University.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held in the Forrest H. Rose Theatre in the Grauel Building.

Dr. Shawn Parry-Giles, professor of communication at the University of Maryland, will be this year’s lecturer.

Parry-Giles will discuss a debate that broke out in the press among President Abraham Lincoln’s acquaintances over how best to remember the man and president. Some shared the mundane and even embarrassing memories of Lincoln, while others thought it only proper to remember an exalted leader who led the country through its darkest days. The democratization of the press only fueled the debate. Parry-Giles will examine the moment when the American people participated in a public debate over the relationship of the people to their president.

Parry-Giles, is the author, co-author and co-editor of seven books, including “Memories of Lincoln and the Splintering of American Political Thought.” She has published her work in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Reportand The Huffington Post. She is director of the Mark and Heather Rosenker Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership, and co-editor of the NEH-funded “Voices of Democracy: The U.S. Oratory Project” and “Recovering Democracy Archives: Speech Recovery Project.”

This presentation is sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages and the Department of Mass Media.

Weis, for whom the distinguished lecture is named, was a professor of speech and English and earned a Bachelor of Science from the Southeast Missouri Normal School (now Southeast Missouri State University) in 1918. He completed his graduate work at the University of Missouri. As a young man, Weis declined overtures from the New York Yankees for what he deemed to be more important work. Instead of a career in baseball, he chose to teach so he might nurture the speaking and writing abilities of students and clergy. He endowed this lectureship at Southeast to provide an opportunity for students, faculty and community members to interact with a guest speaker who could further an understanding and appreciation of rhetoric and public address.