Reframing Lincoln Symposium

Reframing Lincoln: Myth, Memory, and Changing Narratives Symposium

Dates: July 24–29, 2022
Location: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, IL
Participants: K–12 teachers in the Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School Program
Application Deadline: April 1, 2022
In partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Reframing Lincoln: Myth, Memory, and Changing Narratives Symposium will allow up to 25 K–12 teachers to participate in a weeklong professional development event on-site at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The symposium will focus on how to study Lincoln as a myth, a man, and a president. It will explore Lincoln’s beliefs and actions on issues ranging from emancipation, to Black citizenship and equality, to civil liberties in America. Attention will be given not only to Lincoln as a politician, but Lincoln as a person, unraveling simplified narratives to unveil a figure in his full complexity.

Free Remote Registration

Remote registration is now open! K–12 teachers, librarians, and district supervisors can register to attend every scholar lecture and Q&A via Zoom for free. Click here for more information on topics and registration links.

Register Here

Application Information

Applications for the in-person Reframing Lincoln Symposium are now closed. 

Selected teachers will be notified by April 30, 2022.

Program Details


Jonathan W. White

Jonathan W. White is associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University and the author or editor of more than ten books, including A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House (2021), I Address You As My Friend: African American Letters to Abraham Lincoln (2021), Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln (2014), and Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman (2011).

Master Teacher

Josh Bill, Gilder Lehrman Master Teacher and 2012 National History Teacher of the Year

Schedule and Readings

Throughout the week, teachers will participate in a variety of activities exploring the mythology, memory, and reality of Abraham Lincoln.

These activities will include

  • Scholarly lectures and discussions led by the symposium’s Director
  • Teaching Literacy through History pedagogy sessions led by a Gilder Lehrman Master Teacher
  • Discussions and presentations by Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library staff featuring primary source materials
  • Virtual or in-person field trips featuring local historical sites

A final schedule and required readings will be shared with participants before the symposium. Participants will be asked to purchase (up to $50) and complete the required readings before arrival in Springfield.

Travel, Meals & Accommodations

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. Needs-based assistance regarding travel costs is available. For more information or to ask any questions, please contact

This seminar will take place at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Housing will be provided at a local hotel and participants will be placed in single rooms.

Meals will be provided for the duration of the symposium.


Participants will be required to attend and take part in all scheduled activities.

Participants will be asked to bring a laptop, tablet, or similar device. Materials presented before and during the week will be shared electronically.


All activities during the symposium will adhere to guidelines from the CDC and the State of Illinois. All participants, staff, and faculty will need to provide proof they have received either two doses of a two-shot COVID-19 vaccination, one dose of a single-shot vaccine, or a booster within six months of the program date.

Participants will be required to follow all safety guidelines presented by Gilder Lehrman and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum staff. Failure to comply with these safety guidelines will result in a participant’s removal from the symposium.

Please note, these guidelines are subject to change before the Symposium. Accepted applicants will be notified if and when any changes are made.

If you have any questions, please email