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Fun last few days

From Wednesday, October 13 to Saturday, October 16, we hosted the Northern Great Plains History Conference in Grand Forks, ND. There were a number of great papers and panels on a wide variety of topics. Yours truly presented papers on the social transition in Illinois Civil War camps of instruction, A. C. Townley’s leadership of the Nonpartisan League, and chaired a panel. I was also able to meet several fine graduate students all doing great things at several far-flung programs from CUNY to TCU, to even New Brunswick. It was a great amount of fun to host the conference and meet so many great scholars. I look forward to keeping in touch with those who I met.

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Getting ready for the Red River Valley History Conference

This Friday, March 5, the Beta-Upsilon Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta will host its 5th Annual Red River Valley History Conference at the Memorial Union on the UND campus. Several student will present papers on a variety of topics. In addition, staff from our Dept. of Special Collections, as well as local archivists will present a panel on careers in public history. Finally, Dr. Robin Jensen will deliver the keynote address as part of the 2010 Robert Wilkins Lecture at 4:00PM entitled “Living Water: Rituals, Spaces, and Images of Early Christian Baptism”. Below is the schedule of panels:

Panel 1: (9:15-10:30)—Memorial Room

Race and Gender in 19th Century America

Chair:  Daniel Sauerwein, UND

“No Country For End Men:  A Re-Evaluation of American Small Ensemble Blackface Minstrelsy From 1843 to 1853.” By Dorothea Nelson, UND

“Independence in Cape Palmas:  The Contentious Path for Autonomy in Maryland in Liberia” By Matthew Helm, UND

“Women and the American Civil War” By Chad Holter, UND

Panel 2: (9:15-10:30)—President’s Room

Controversy in American History

Chair:

“What Are You Afraid Of? How Governments Have Reacted to Real (or unreal) Threats” By Mark Hermann, UND

“The Lost Environmentalists:  The Struggle Between Conservative Christianity and the Environment in the 1970s” By Neall Pogue, NDSU

Panel 3 (10:45-12:00)—Alumni Room

Material Culture, New Media, and How They Shape History

Chair:

“Grandma’s Cookie Jar” By Kathryn Nedegaard, UND

“French Heritage Tour 2009 – Directed by Dr. Virgil Benoit with IFMidwest” By Emilie VanDeventer, UND

“William Bligh or Jack Aubrey? Two Alternative Historical Views of Nelson’s Navy” By Jon Eclov, UND

Panel 4: (1:00-2:30)—Memorial Room

“Career Paths for History Majors: Opportunities in Museums and Archives”

Chair:  Daniel Sauerwein, UND

Leah Byzewski, Director, Grand Forks County Historical Society

Curt Hanson, Head, Department of Special Collections, UND Library

Mark Peihl, Archivist, Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County

Michael Swanson, Assistant Archivist, Department of Special Collections, UND Library

Alison Voss, Head Curator/Director of Education, Bonanzaville

Panel 5: (1:00-2:30)—Alumni Room

Art and Faith in European History

Chair:  Dr. Bill Caraher, UND

“Caught between the Old Man and the New:  Women and the Body of the Soul in High Medieval Ghost Stories” By Christopher Gust, UND

“The Theology of Existential Salvation in the Interrogative Sayings of the Desert Fathers By Paul A. Ferderer, UND

“A wild boar from the forest:” Martin Luther as a Model of Rebellion, 1520-1525” By Danielle Skjelver, UND

“The New Topographics: Emergence and Legacy” By Ryan Stander, UND

Panel 6: (1:00-2:30)—President’s Room

The Power of Persuasion in early 20th Century America

Chair:  Dr. Kimberly Porter, UND

“Father Coughlin: A Historiography of the Radio Priest” By Emilie VanDeventer, UND

“Henry Ford’s Anti-Semitism and Influence on the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (Nazi Party)” By Paul Robinette, UND

In addition, conference participants have the option to partake of a lunch and there will be displays for various on and off-campus entities, including the Society for Military History, Elwyn B. Robinson Dept. of Special Collections, Civil War items by Stuart Lawrence, to name a few. I hope you will come out and join us if you are in the area.

An exciting last few days

The last several days since my last post have been quite interesting and enjoyable. On Friday, October 16, I lectured for Dr. Porter, who was attending the Northern Great Plains History Conference. The experience was interesting, but I survived, as I was able to deal with notes that were fairly light and hard to read. In class we discussed the creation of the Great Northern railroad and then began discussion on the various groups that immigrated to North Dakota.

Later that afternoon, I live-blogged the colloquium on Teaching and Learning in the Memorial Union for the blog Teaching Thursday. It was a unique experience and one I hope to do again, but it does have its frustrations, as in attempting to record details of sessions the best for the blog while a presenter is speaking. You can read my posts on the speech during lunch, afternoon session one, and session two at the blog. Also, be sure to check out there interesting post regarding cheating this week.

On Tuesday, Dr. Mochoruk visited HIST 551 and we learned about the procedures and committees behind tenure, retention, and promotion among faculty. It was an interesting lecture that provided a great amount of helpful information as far as planning a career in academia.

Wednesday, we handed back exams in North Dakota History and then discussed the first part of the sources of North Dakota population. I finished the lecture today and it went much better. My copies of the notes were darker and easier to read, plus Dr. Porter and I took the time to go over the notes so that I knew what she was writing. Things went smoothly, though the class is shy about engagement with questions and one young lady decided texting was better, but I simply ignored her and moved on.

On a whole the week has been good, but I have to finish an assignment for class, which is always somewhat depressing, but it is what I do. My mother is visiting town this weekend, as my grandmother’s birthday is Sunday and my cousin just had her first child on Tuesday, and despite various complications with the birth and other family members, the week is good. Several of us are going to deflate and laugh by going to see Larry the Cable Guy tonight, which will be therapuetic given the last couple of days. Until next time, keep researching and teaching.