Screening of Lincoln (2012) and Q&A with Michael Vorenberg

Providence, RI [Brown University] – The Brown University Library, the Office of Public Affairs and University Relations, and the Center for the Study of Slavery & Justice will host a complimentary public screening of DreamWorks’ LINCOLN on March 1, 2013, in belated celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The screening, which will be followed by a Q&A with Michael Vorenberg, Associate Professor of History at Brown, and author of Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment, will begin at 5:30pm in The Martinos Auditorium at the Granoff Center, 154 Angell St. This event is open to the public. Seating is limited and tickets are required. Seats will be held for ticketed attendees until 5:20pm on March 1, at which point remaining seats will be released to patrons at the door on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reserve your tickets today.

Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln” is produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, based in part on the book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. As Spielberg explains, “I wanted to tell a story about Lincoln that would avoid the mistakes of both cynicism and hero worship and be true to the vastness of who he was and the intimacy of his life and the softer angles of his nature.” For Goodwin Lincoln’s humanity was key, “It was really important to me that Lincoln’s sense of humor come across in the movie and that was built into the script and Daniel’s performance.” Kushner, who described writing the screenplay as “an act of interpretation,” worked to appropriately portray the emergency powers which Lincoln claimed during the war noting that “Unquestionably, Lincoln stretched the balance of powers in unprecedented ways–but out of necessity as he saw it to prosecute the war effectively and hold the Union together. Occasionally, I think he went beyond where he was sure the courts would follow. These are further questions of means and ends that are very much at the heart of the film we’ve made.” LINCOLN has received 12 Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Daniel Day Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Sally Field) and Best Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones).

Michael Vorenberg, who will host the Q&A following the screening, is an Associate Professor of History at Brown, with specific interests in the intersections of American history: Civil War and Reconstruction, Legal and Constitutional History, and Slavery, Emancipation, and Race. His first book, Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment was published by Cambridge University Press in 2001. He is also the author of The Emancipation Proclamation: A Brief History with Documents, forthcoming, and is at work on a book about the impact of the Civil War on American citizenship. He received his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. From 2004 to 2007, he was a member of Brown University’s Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. He currently is a member of the Advisory Committee of the United States Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial and is on the Board of Editors of Law and History Review.

For those interested in researching Lincoln, Brown University’s John Hay Library is home to the largest Lincoln collection in an academic library.  The Charles Woodberry McLellan Collection of Lincolniana is comprised of 30,000+ items by and about Abraham Lincoln, and about the historical and political context of his life and career, chiefly the U.S. Civil War and its causes and aftermath. The collection was acquired for Brown by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Class of 1897, and others, in memory of John Hay, Class of 1858, one of Lincoln’s White House secretaries (featured in LINCOLN). The collection, which has since increased to more than five times its original size, includes almost 1,000 letters, notes, and documents in Lincoln’s hand; thousands of volumes of contemporary and later publications relating to the Civil War and the slavery controversy; titles of books that Lincoln read; material relating to Lincoln’s family and associates; song sheets, broadsides, ballots, prints, and posters; newspapers from 1860-1865; most of the known photographs of Lincoln; oil portraits by artists of Lincoln’s day; original drawings; statues; over 550 medals, mourning and campaign badges; coins; and postage stamps. High quality digital surrogates of collections materials are also available online, along with contextual information including essays, timelines, biographies, and historical vignettes.

The Brown University Library is home to more than 6.8 million print items, plus a multitude of electronic resources and expanding digital archives serving the teaching, research, and learning needs of Brown students and faculty, as well as scholars from around the country and the world.

Contact: Jennifer Braga |  401-863-6913