History & Legal Studies Spotlight


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.