The academic year 2012-13 marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863), President Lincoln's Executive Order that immediately freed slaves in the 'rebellious states,' heralding the final collapse of slavery nationwide. The Center for the Humanities marked this turning point with Emancipations, a year-long, in-depth series to interpret and explore how and why American slavery came to an end, what followed, and how these events relate to the broader patterns of slavery and freedom in other places and times.
Through exciting public events, such as talks, scholarly symposia and workshops, off-campus events with partner institutions, thoughtful programs related to undergraduate coursework, and essays, Emancipations
launched important conversations about how slavery, its destruction, and its aftermath have shaped the modern world.
Convened by Professor of History Stephen Kantrowitz, the roster of public events included talks by historians Steven Hahn (University of Pennsylvania), Heather Thompson (Temple University), Tiya Miles (University of Michigan), and Eddie Glaude (Princeton), all leading figures in the study of slavery's antecedents and legacies.
Major support for these programs was provided by the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities, the L&S Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities, and the Anonymous Fund of the College of Letters & Science. Events were sponsored individually by the Wisconsin Book Festival, Wisconsin Humanities Council, and the following UW-Madison organizations: A.E. Havens Center for the Study of Social Structure and Social Change; Institute for Research in the Humanities; Nelson Institute Center for Culture, History, and Environment; Department of Medical History and Bioethics; Departments of History, Afro-American Studies, English, and Gender & Women’s Studies; the Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies.