History & Legal Studies Spotlight

Sophomore Seminar Returns

Two buffalo roam 

April 15, 2015

During the spring sester, the Department of History revived on old tradition—the Sophomore Seminar. Absent for over ten years, Dr. Lindaman led ten students in a course titled “Parks, Monuments, and Public Lands.” Dr. Lindaman and the students did their best impression of the “old-school” Frederick Jackson Turner Seminars, diving into numerous primary source documents. Each student completed a twenty-page research paper, combining secondary and primary source materials. In addition, the entire class conducted research on the history of Winona’s Levee Park. On April 15, the students presented “Levee Park: Creation, Destruction, and Re-Creation for Recreation—Sustaining a City Park,” in poster format at the Judith Ramalay Celebration of Research and Creative Scholarships (CRACS).

Winona LaDuke Visits History Classes

Winona LaDuke

February 19, 2015

Winona LaDuke was recently in town to deliver a keynote address at the Frozen River Film Festival. Dr. Campbell’s History of the American Indian class and Dr. Lindaman’s World Environmental history class joined to hear Winona talk directly to history students about her experiences in environmental activism. According to the Frozen River Film Festival web page:

Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) is an internationally acclaimed author, orator and activist. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities with advanced degrees in rural economic development, LaDuke has devoted her life to protecting the lands and life ways of Native communities. Outspoken, engaging and unflaggingly dedicated to matters of ecological sustainability, Winona LaDuke is a powerful speaker who inspires her audiences to action and engagement.

Dr. Lungerhausen Presents at WW 1 Conference in Prague, Czech Republic

International conference in Prague, Czech Republic 

October 25, 2014

The year 2014 is one of remembrance, offering an opportunity to analyze the origins and course and consequences of the First World War. On October 24, Dr. Matthew Lungerhausen of the WSU Department of History presented in Prague, Czech Republic at the conference “Climax or Beginning?: Modernity, Culture, Central Europe and the Great War.” Dr. Lungerhausen presented “The Erdekes Ujsag Battlefield Photo Album and the Practices of Hungarian Amateur Photography During World War One.” The conference was hosted by Charles University, Prague; the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences; and Philosphy-History Faculty of Universitat Inssbruck.

WSU History Students, Faculty Take Historical River Cruise

Cal Fremling of Winona 

October 22, 2014

The department of history used university improvement day to sponsor a historical Mississippi River tour on the university boat, the “Cal Fremling.” Over forty students and faculty members took part in the ninety minute tour along the beautiful Mississippi River which offered a great view of fall foliage along the blufflands. Winona Historical Society Director and Winona Mayor Mark Peterson provided a history narrative of Winona’s relation to the Mississippi River during the event, while the student led History Association provided hot cider and pumpkin bars for participants.

Dr. Lindaman presents at German Studies Conference

 A Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago

September 20, 2014

Dr. Matthew Lindaman of the Department of History recently presented “The Great War and the Cultural Expression of Heimat” at the 38th Annual German Studies Conference held in Kansas City. Lindaman participated in the panel “The Great War and Cultural Memory” as part of the German Studies World War 1 Working Group.

Civil Rights Travel Study

WSU Students on the Civil Rights Travel Study

June, 2014

“Tracking the Civil Rights Movement: Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, 1955-2014”

During the 2013-2014 school year, Winona State University History Professors John Campbell and Tomas Tolvaisas created, with the wonderful assistance of Joe Morse and Alex Hines, Director of the WSU Office of Inclusion and Diversity, the travel study program: "Tracking the Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, 1955-2014." In June of 2014, Professors Campbell and Tolvaisas and Mr. Morse, a 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer volunteer and subsequent Civil Rights activist, lead eighteen WSU students (representing a variety of majors) on a two-week, bus-mediated Civil Rights Travel Study journey to and through these three states. By engaging with dozens of prominent and unsung Civil Rights Veterans and current activists/interpreters of the Movement; by visiting numerous private and public spaces made nationally-historic by the Movement's courageous and complex organizing efforts; and, by participating in various Freedom Summer Fiftieth Anniversary and Commemorative events, including those honoring the three Civil Rights Activists assassinated in Neshoba County, Mississippi, these WSU undergraduates acquired a rich and deep first-hand knowledge of the Movement, of how grass roots organizing and social change happen, and of current, if sometimes under-the-radar, civil rights issues in America, including the schoolhouse to jailhouse phenomenon, voting rights suppression, environmental racism, Black incarceration, and police harassment of Black people. Along the way, participants sang inspiring Freedom songs, ate some mighty fine soul food, and made life-long friends.

For more information about the journey to the Deep South please consult the following online blog, created by Jordan Gerard, one of the student participants in the program: https://civilrightsroad.wordpress.com/

Other information about the program can be found in the special booklet (PDF) which was created by the trip organizers and given to participants, supporters, mentors, and speakers associated with the program.

All in the Family Author Visits WSU Students

"All In The Family" Poster

March 21, 2014

Dr. Robert O. Self, author of All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy since the 1960s, visited the WSU campus, delivering a Lyceum lecture open to the general public. Self’s talk focused on gender, sexuality and political culture in the United States from 1964-2004. Self’s focus of study centers around civic action, arguing grassroots organizing and activism are central to reshaping the political landscape in the United States. During his visit, Dr. Self visited with students from the Department of History, including history, social science/history teaching and law and society majors, who had a chance to ask him questions about his research and book.

2013 Exploratory Trip to Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi to Set Up a Civil Rights Movement History Travel-Study Program

Civil Rights Movement Veteran Margaret Block with John Campbell in Cleveland, Mississipp 

In preparing for a travel-study course on the history of the Civil Rights Movement, Professors John Campbell and Tomas Tolvaisas took a 12 day exploratory trip to Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi in June 2013 to determine how they should structure their travel-study course in June 2014. Armed with valuable contacts from Winona's 1964 Freedom Summer Volunteer, Joe Morse and Alex Hines, Director of WSU's Office of Inclusion and Diversity and their collaborator in the 2014 course, John and Tomas logged literally 1,999 miles in a Minnesota state-subsidized Enterprise car with a GPS and cell phone borrowed from the Department's ever-resourceful office manager, Michelle Eggerichs. The two History professors visited the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee; Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Lowndes County, Alabama; and Meridian, Jackson, and various other towns in Mississippi and in the Delta. Professors Campbell and Tolvaisas spent considerable time at various Civil Rights Institutes and Museums in Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, Lowndes County and Jackson, as well as at various historical sites and markers in all three states. Highlights included meeting with a dozen or so veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, including Joanne Bland, Margaret Block, Gwen Patton, Hollis Watkins, Roscoe Jones and Sadie Clark Martin. Last but not least, the two professors consumed waist-expanding quantities of quality Southern food, including some of the most succulent collard greens, lima beans, barbecue and bread pudding one could ever ask for. Take that Paula Deen!

Graduation:

Students in caps & gowns during a graduation ceremony.

May 2013

Congratulations to the 2013 spring graduates! The four majors in the Department of History & Legal Studies combined for thirty-five graduates. The following students earned special recognition at the graduation ceremony:
  • Megan Brownell (Social Science/History Teaching; Chanhassen, MN), Magna Cum Laude
  • Andrew Brue (History; Rochester, MN), Summa Cum Laude
  • Connor Doyle (Social Science/History Teaching; Decorah, IA), Cum Laude
  • Ryan Fullerton (History; Austin, MN), Cum Laude
  • Nicole Krueger (Law and Society; St. Louis, MO), Magna Cum Laude
  • Larissa Luhring (Paralegal; Savage, MN) Cum Laude
  • Sadie Patchen (Coon Rapids, MN), Cum Laude
  • Ariel Watson (La Crosse, WI), Magna Cum Laude
Whitney Ederer (Paralegal, Madison, WI) carried the Liberal Arts banner at the 2013 spring graduation processional. Banner carriers are highly ranked juniors in each of WSU’s five colleges who carry the banner for their respective colleges.

History Association/Phi Alpha Theta Banquet:

A group photo at the History banquet.

April 2013
 
The student History Association hosted their spring banquet during the final weekend in April. Faculty and students gathered to hear about the association’s activities over the past year. Highlights included a busy and successful homecoming weekend. The club took second place honors in the float category and association president Shane Carlson was crowned homecoming king. Additional club highlights included movie nights, bake sales, professor talks, a trip to the Renaissance Fair and an excursion to the Black Hills. Congratulations to spring 2013 Phi Alpha Theta inductees Julie May (Mendota Heights, MN) and Ashley Greig (Sprit Lake, IA). 

James Loewen Visits WSU History Students

cover of Lies My Teacher Told Me

September 11, 2012

Dr. James Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong, visited the WSU campus, delivering a keynote address open to the general public. During his visit, Dr. Loewen met with students from the Department of History & Legal Studies including history, social science/history teaching and law and society majors, giving them an opportunity to ask the author questions about his famous book, which has sold more than 1,250,000 copies. Dr. Loewen taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont. Previously he taught at predominantly black Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He now lives in Washington D.C., continuing his research on how Americans view their past.

Dr. Lindaman presents on Gino Severini and the Futurist Art Movement

Banner for the Gino Severini talk

November 9, 2011

Dr. Matthew Lindaman presented “Boom, Pop, Exploding into Modernity: Gino Severini and the First Futurist Exhibition, 1912” at the WSU Athenaeum Series. The presentation reviewed not only the first Futurist Exhibition of 1912, but also the connection between the Futurist artists in connection to the anticipation and origins of World War I. The presentation was inspired not only by Dr. Lindaman’s interest in connecting art and culture to World War I, but also a recent visit to the l’Orangerie Museum in Paris and their recent exhibition “Gino Severini (1883-1966): Futurist and Neoclassicist.” 

WSU hosts Daniel Byman Lecture

cover of Byman’s book Deadly Connections

September 26, 2011

The Department of History & Legal Studies, along with the WSU American Democracy Project, sponsored a presentation by Dr. Daniel Byman, professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Dr. Byman’s lecture, “Al Qaeda after the Death of Bin Laden and the Arab Spring,” focused on the danger Al Qaeda poses to the United States and its allies. His lecture addressed the strengths and weaknesses of the group and how it has changed after the death of Bin Laden at the hands of U.S. forces. Dr. Byman covered important successes and failures the United States has had against the group since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He also discussed the impact of the “Arab Spring” on the organization, both with regards to its message and its operations. Dr. Byman, the author of multiple books and articles, is the son of Dr. Seymour Byman, WSU professor of history. 

Dr. Schmidt delivers talk on the “Boatmen of the Mississippi River”

a painting of boatmen on the Mississippi River

July 6, 2011

Dr. Gregory Schmidt from Winona State University's History Department recently gave a talk on the “Boatmen of the Early 1800's” exhibit at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona. Highlights from his presentation covered the lifestyle of the boatmen and the different vessels on which they worked and lived. Dr. Schmidt even filled the audience in on Mark Twain and how his writing was influenced by these hardened river characters, giving audience members a glimpse of who Mike Fink really was. The talk, and audience Q and A session, along with a short interview with Dr. Schmidt about his interest in history were captured by Teri Tenseth, host of "Culture Clique.”

WSU History Students Meet Dennis Banks

cover of film A Good Day to Die

January 2011

WSU history students had an opportunity to meet Dennis Banks as he visited Dr. John Campbell’s HIST 235: History of the American Indian, class. Banks was in Winona to speak at the Frozen River Film Festival, which previewed A Good Day to Die: A Film about Dennis Banks and the American Indian Movement. Banks co-founded the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) in 1968, drawing attention to the struggles of urban Indians in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A Good Day to Die, a film produced a directed by David Mueller and Lynn Salt, provides an intimate portrayal of Banks’ life, starting with early experiences in boarding schools and including his experiences in military service in Japan, the Stillwater State Prison, and the subsequent founding of A.I.M., a movement. Students in Dr. Campbell’s class recently completed reading Banks’ book Ojibwa Warrior and had the opportunity to ask Banks about his life experiences.