Why Disney Built an Animatronic Lincoln

with
Kim Kutz Elliot
Learn about how Walt Disney transformed Abraham Lincoln into a robotic figure and the curious history of protest that sparked its construction. This little-known story raises questions about who owns the memory of President Lincoln and the Civil War and, more broadly, how history can and should be used to make political points in the present.
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Kim Kutz Elliot

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Past dates

Tue, Mar 31
Tue, Mar 31
8pm PT / 11pm ET
60 min

Description

Learn about how Disney transformed Abraham Lincoln into a robotic figure & the curious history of protest that sparked its construction.Event Description: In 1964, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, The Walt Disney Company built the Lincoln Audioanimatron, the first talking robotic figure at Disneyland. Why did Disney want to bring Lincoln back to life at that particular moment? At this event, we'll learn about how Disney repurposed Lincoln's likeness and language -- and about the protests that erupted at the New York World's Fair. This little-known story raises questions about who owns the memory of President Lincoln and the Civil War and, more broadly, how history can and should be used to make political points in the present. In addition to learning about Disney's Lincoln robot, we'll also engage in discussion about these broader themes.Event Location: This event will take place online via Zoom, a free video-conferencing tool. New to Zoom? After you buy your ticket, you'll receive an email with step-by-step instructions on how to use it, and you'll be a pro in no time!Kim's Bio: Kim Kutz Elliott is an expert in American history and culture, with particular interest in the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, Civil War memory, and popular culture. She currently serves as Senior Content Creator in Humanities for Khan Academy, an educational nonprofit providing a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. At Khan Academy she writes, films, and edits lessons on US History and US Government and Politics, bringing high-quality articles, videos, and practice exercises to Khan Academy’s audience of millions of users. Her live coaching sessions on US history have drawn more than 75,000 viewers.About Speakeasy: Speakeasy offers intimate events with compelling speakers and performers online via Zoom. Learn more about Speakeasy, and check out all of our events.

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