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SIUE’s Theising explores lessons learned from East St. Louis, ‘City of Champions’

Andrew Theising, Ph.D., professor emeritus in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Political Science

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Arts & Issues series will present a lecture by Andrew Theising, Ph.D., entitled, “Learning Lessons from East St. Louis” at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, following a reception at 3:30 p.m., in the Morris University Center’s (MUC) Conference Center.

Theising, who retired in 2022 after serving as a professor for 25 years in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Political Science, will speak as part of the Emeriti Faculty Association’s “One More Thought…” lecture series.

“This series provides an opportunity for our esteemed emeriti faculty to once again provide scholarly and inspiring messages to the campus community,” explained Laura Bernaix, Ph.D., RN, dean and professor emerita in the SIUE School of Nursing. “We are honored to have Dr. Andrew Theising serve as our next speaker for this lecture series.”

“It is a great honor to be selected to give this talk,” stated Theising. “I am grateful for the support of my emeriti colleagues.”

East St. Louis is a remarkable place, and both SIUE and Theising have spent decades there. He believes the city, despite its struggles, sets some good examples for SIUE to keep front of mind.

“We often hear the negative of East St Louis, and I want to remind us all that there are positives as well,” Theising said. “In fact, SIUE can learn some really important points from East St Louis. I want to focus on a few of those. For instance, East St Louis is the city of champions. They celebrate their champions in many ways. How does SIUE celebrate its champions? Which champions get celebrated? How do we encourage them? I want to explore that.”

The city has had more than its share of struggles, and the people of East St. Louis have been overcoming those obstacles for generations. It has long been called “The City of Champions” not just for its athletes’ prowess on the field, but also for its residents’ triumphs in the written word, music, dance, statecraft, and so much more. The message for SIUE is to “go celebrate your champions” – not just those on the athletic field, but also those excelling in the classrooms, volunteering in the MUC, tutoring in the library, and in all reaches of all three campuses.

The public is invited to join Theising for interesting and inspirational stories from East St. Louis, and hear more ways SIUE can learn from East St. Louis in a message of hope and revival. Theising’s conviction is that he has retired from SIUE but not from East St. Louis.

Theising’s research subfield is urban politics, with particular emphasis on industrial legacy issues in urban cores. His research has been used by media nationwide, including Sports Illustrated, Columbia Journalism Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, and the “PBS Newshour” – the latter receiving an Emmy Award for the feature on his work. He was the author, editor or collaborator on nine books while at SIUE, including the award-winning book “Made in USA: East St. Louis” – the first comprehensive scholarly account of East St. Louis and companion book to the Emmy-Award-winning public television documentary of the same name. His forthcoming book is “Mid-Mod Mayor: The Raymond Tucker Years in St. Louis.” His family has lived in the St. Louis/Southern Illinois area for over 175 years.

The Emeriti Faculty Association in partnership with the Office of the Provost and the University’s academic deans annually invites students, faculty and staff to nominate a faculty member to present their thoughts, advice and insights about academic life during the “One More Thought…” lecture series. Emeritus Professor Stephen Hansen, Ph.D., was chosen to deliver the inaugural lecture in spring 2022.

The event is free but tickets are required. They can be reserved at artsandissues.com. Free parking will be provided in Lot B.

The event is sponsored by the SIUE Emeriti Faculty Association and Graduate School. The Alestle and 88.7 WSIE FM The Sound are Arts & Issues media sponsors.

Arts & Issues is tied to the academic mission of the University. For 37 years, the series has presented some of the world’s finest performing artists and showcased speakers from across the spectrum in areas such as science, history, literature and politics. The program also offers unique opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the community to engage with these performers and speakers through master classes and special sessions.

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