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American Indian history expert to speak Sept. 23

Great Plains History Conference

One of the nation’s foremost authorities on American Indian history will speak at the 46th annual Northern Great Plains History Conference in Mankato Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 21-24.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release [8-29-11]

One of the nation’s foremost authorities on American Indian history will speak at the 46th annual Northern Great Plains History Conference in Mankato Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 21-24.

Pulitzer Prize nominee Gary Clayton Anderson will be keynote speaker at the conference banquet on Friday, Sept. 23. The conference is sponsored by Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Historians from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and the Canadian province of Manitoba will attend the event, according to William E. Lass, conference coordinator and professor emeritus of history at Minnesota State Mankato.

In addition to Anderson’s talk, the three-day conference will include more than 50 expert-led discussions of all aspects of northern Great Plains history.

Anderson, who is George Lynn Cross Research Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma, will discuss “The Spirit and the Flesh: The Dakota War of 1862 as an ‘Ethnohistorical’ Conundrum.” The banquet is at 7 p.m. in the Hughes, Jackson and Johnson rooms in the Mankato City Center Hotel, and reservations must be made by Sept. 19.

One of the nation’s leading authorities on American Indian history, Anderson was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in History for his 2005 book, The Conquest of Texas: Ethnic Cleansing in the Promised Land. His other publications are major contributions to understanding Dakota Indians in Minnesota, including Kinsman of Another Kind: Dakota-White Relations in the Upper Mississippi Valley, 1650-1862 (1984), and Little Crow: Spokesman for the Sioux (1986).

He is working on a new book, The Dakota War of 1862: America’s Other Civil War.

Other conference events include:

 Wednesday, Sept. 21: Blue Earth County Historical Society Executive Director Jessica Potter and Minnesota State Mankato communication studies faculty member David Engen will present “Front Street Memories” at 7:30 p. m. in the Hughes Room, City Center Hotel. Through photographs and sound they will relate the history of Front Street, which was Mankato’s business hub until the 1970s.
 Thursday, Sept. 22: Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of History will host a poolside reception in the City Center Hotel from 5-6:30 p.m.
 Thursday and Friday, Sept. 22 and 23: Discussions of nearly four dozen topics, including American religion, Midwest labor history, education, missionaries, technology, Norwegians in America, World War II and the Civil War, Midwestern culture and rural women and gender.
 Saturday, Sept. 24: A guided bus tour featuring visits to scenes of the Dakota Indian War of 1862. Tour guide Stephen E. Osman, an expert on Minnesota’s historic sites, will explain the events and significance of such key war locations as the Lower Sioux Agency, Birch Coulee, Fort Ridgely and New Ulm.
 Exhibits of books and other publications Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8-11:30 a.m. in the Palmer Room of the Mankato City Center Hotel. Exhibitors include Athabasca University Press, Minnesota Historical Society Press, Minnesota Territory, South Dakota State Historical Society and the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Detailed information about each session, the conference program and a registration form is at the conference website at Conference participants are required to register; the registration fee is $50 before Sept. 6 and $60 after that date.

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