History & Legal Studies Spotlight

Why the Vietnam War Produced Such Iconic Music


by Lily Rothman
Sept. 27, 2017

Some of the 20th century's most defining pop music emerged from the period during which the Vietnam War was fought and in the installment of the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick docu-series The Vietnam War that premiered on Tuesday night, that fact was made abundantly clear.

The sights and sounds of Woodstock are juxtaposed with those of Vietnam, where half a million Americans were fighting at the time, and the Kent State shootings blend into the strains of "Ohio."

But, while the role of music in stateside protest of that era is well-known—with anti-war songs like "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag" featured in The Vietnam War—music also played an important role for those who were actually in Vietnam, fighting.

For warriors across time, there have always been tunes to march to, and tunes to defuse the tension. But Vietnam was special.

Article (PDF)

Dr. Wang Presents at Southeast Conference Association for Asian Studies

Southeast Conference Association for Asian Studies Graphic

Jan. 13-15, 2017

Dr. Iris Wang from the Winona State Department of History and Legal Studies recently attended the 56th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Conference of the Asian Studies, held January 13-15 at the University of Mississippi. At the conference, Dr. Wang presented “Water of the Empire: Irrigation, Flood Control and the Creation of Imperial Pageantry in the Qing Dynasty.” Her paper was part of the panel “Nature, Environment, and Religion in East Asia,” moderated by Dr. Annika A. Culver of Florida State University.

Winona State Faculty Present at the American Historical Association Conference

AHA Graphic 

Jan. 5-8, 2017

The Winona State History and Legal Studies Department was well represented at the annual American History Association Conference held in Denver, Colorado on Jan. 5-8, 2017. Dr. Juandrea Bates presented “A Man in Life, but a Boy in This Court: Nationality, Age, and Minority in Buenos Aires Civil Courts, 1890-1920. Bates’ presentation was part the panel “Constructing Childhoods: Age, Race, and Nationality in Latin American Courts,” sponsored by the Conference on Latin American History. Dr. Bates also served as the chair of the panel “The Race of Color: African Americans’ Participation in US Empire,” sponsored by The Society of the Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.” Winona State faculty member Dr. Amanda Nagel presented “Our Oath of Allegiance Knows Neither Race, Color Nor Nation”: Race and Empire in the Philippine-American War,” as part of the panel.

History Department Hosts Veterans Day Panel on Post-Traumatic Stress

Veteran's Day Graphic

Nov. 12, 2016

In honor of Veterans Day, Winona State University’s History Department hosted the presentation, “Changing the Paradigm on Post-Traumatic Stress: From Causes to Healing and Reintegration.” The program began with the Introduction and The Baton, by WSU alumnus Joshua Ploetz, U.S. Custodian of The Baton. The Baton is a symbol of national conscience, crafted with care and respect from the handle of a stretcher. Many were carried on this particular stretcher used by a Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) in Afghanistan. The keynote address by Mary Neal Vieten, entitled “The Only Cure for an Injury to Humanity is Humanity: Successful Warfighter Reintegration,” underscored the realities of living with post-traumatic stress, the delay in healing, the devastating implications of the “mental illness” label, and an overview of what helps and what does not help in the healing process. Vieten is a USN Board Certified Clinical Psychologist and nationally-recognized authority on post-traumatic stress and war fighter reintegration.

The keynote was followed by a panel discussion at 2:50pm featuring local combat veterans of every major war from World War II to Afghanistan and Iraq. Audience engagement through questions and comments will be encouraged. Participating Veterans are: Darol “Lefty” Lee (WWII), Jerry Koch (Korean War), Bruce Reed (Vietnam War), Gerry Krage (Gulf War), Joshua Ploetz (Afghanistan War) and Jason Ploetz (Iraq War).The panel included Robert Casselman, Associate Professor of Psychology at WSU, and Kathryn Collins, Registered Nurse and Mental Health Practitioner, VA Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

History Faculty Member Curates "Remembering Vietnam" Exhibit

Remembering Vietnam Display Case

Nov. 9, 2016

The opening reception for “Remembering Vietnam” was held at the Winona County History Center on Wednesday, November 9, from 4-6 p.m. The exhibit was coordinated under the direction of Dr. Tomas Tolvaisas from the Winona State Department of History and Jennifer Weaver, assistant director at the Winona County History Center. Tolvaisas teaches an upper division course on the Vietnam War, often bringing guest speakers to share their experiences. Weaver is a graduate from Winona State history program. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the veterans and explore the sacrifices they made, while offering a lens from which to view the era from the perspective of the veterans from Winona County

Award-Winning Book Presented at Winona State

We Gotta Get Out of This Place Image

Oct. 3, 2016

The Department of History and Legal Studies recently sponsored a talk given by authors Doug Bradley and Craig Werner on their co-authored, award-winning book We Gotta Get Out of This Place. Voted best music book of 2015 by Rolling Stone, Bradley and Werner’s study places popular music at the heart of the American experience in Vietnam. They explore how and why U.S. troops turned to music as a way of connecting to each other and the world back home and of coping with the complexities of the war they had been sent to fight. The Winona State presentation included numerous enlightening stories and excerpts from dozens of songs related representative of multiple genres, all related to the Vietnam experience. Bradley, a Vietnam veteran, teaches a course on the war with Werner, professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Bymans Honored at Retirement Celebration

Professors at Bymans Retirement Celebration 

April 19, 2016

Pictured above: Dr. Greg Schmidt (former chair), Dr. Matthew Lindaman (current chair), Dr. Marianna Byman (former chair and Professor Emeritus), and Dr. Seymour Byman (Professor Emeritus).

Dr. Marianna Byman and Dr. Seymour Byman were recently honored at the Winona State Inter-Faculty Association retirement diner for their years of outstanding teaching, leadership, and service to Winona State University. In addition, in a previous ceremony, they were both awarded Professor Emeritus by Winona State University President, Dr. Scott Olson.

Dr. Marianna Byman taught at Winona State from 1987 to spring of 2016, serving the History Department as chair from 2002-2009 and previously as the Bush Grant Faculty Development Coordinator for five years. In addition to a wide range of general education courses, Dr. Byman taught “European Intellectual and Cultural History” and the popular and challenging course “Great Thinkers,” which highlighted her true passion of studying the place of Charles Darwin in the history of intellectual thought. In addition, Dr. Byman supported a sense of place as related to Winona State University as evidence by her leadership in the creation of a general education course on the history the Mississippi River.

Dr. Seymour Byman taught at Winona State from 1970 to spring of 2016. Dr. Byman has been a respected, rigorous and effective teacher. His Socratic methods in pedagogy indicate a wide range of knowledge and great depth in the study of History. His teaching has inspired and empowered numerous students to think more critically and thoughtfully as lifelong learners, scholars, and citizens. Dr. Byman was productive in scholarship, studying Christian martyrdom in Tudor England and publishing numerous scholarly articles in journals such as Psychoanalytic Review, The Harvard Theological Review, The Journal of Psychohistory and The Journal of Legal Studies. His “Ritualistic Acts and Compulsive Behavior: The Patterns of Tudor Martyrdom” in volume 83 (1978) of the American Historical Review—the top scholarly journal in the discipline of history.

Sophomore Seminar Students Present at Ramaley Research Celebration

Students around research presentation

April 13, 2016

Students from Dr. Lindaman’s Sophomore Seminar course presented the findings of their collaborative research project at the annual Ramaley Research Celebration. In spirit with this spring’s course theme of “Parks, Monuments, and Public Lands,” students collaborated to investigate the question of Minnesota's connection to the formation and evolution of Glacier National Park, especially through the influence of the Great Northern Railway and St. Paul resident Louis W. Hill. The Great Northern Railway's business and promotional papers, along with the Louis W. Hill papers, both housed at the Minnesota Historical Society archives, provided primary sources in a "History Lab" setting to inform their response. The title of the research project was “From Minnesota to the ‘Crown of the Continent’” The Formation and Evolution of Glacier National Park.” In addition to the collaborative research project, students had the opportunity to conduct individual research and writing on a topic related to the course theme.

Social Studies Students Host National History Day Regional

National History Day Image 

March 17, 2016

On March 17, as part of the National History Day Program, WSU hosted Regional History Day, where students from Southeast Minnesota exhibited their work as part of National History Day. The theme for this event was "Exploration, Encounter, Exchange." National History Day is a year-long history education program that annually challenges over 700,000 students in grades 6-12 to explore life-changing topics by engaging in research and interpretation of historical subjects related to an annual theme. Locally, over 180 projects were judged at the Winona State regional. Students from Dr. Matthew Lindaman's Social Science/History Teaching Capstone course served as judges for the event, allowing them valuable, experiential learning with rubrics. Additionally, two students from Winona State are hired each year by the History Day team from the Minnesota Historical Society, allowing for great networking opportunities. Student winners at the Winona State event move on to the state contest hosted by the University of Minnesota in early May.

Dr. Hyman Presents Overview of Smithsonian Sponsored Exhibit

Why Treaties Matter Image

Jan. 22, 2016

Dr. Colette Hyman, Professor History Department, presented an information session on the exhibit Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations. Winona State is hosting the exhibit which provides a vehicle for authentic Dakota and Ojibwe stories of sovereignty, adaptability and sustainability. The exhibit is made in partnership with the Minnesota Humanities Center, Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. 

Faculty Participate at National American History Association Conference

National American History Association Conference Image

Jan. 7-10, 2016

Two faculty members in Winona State’s Department of History and Legal Studies travelled to Atlanta to participate in the 130th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association.  Dr. Gregory Richard presented “Where History and Law Collide: Legal Studies Program Internships” as part of the panel “The Promise of History Internships.”  Dr. Juandrea Bates was an invited participant in the “Workshop on Undergraduate Teaching Assignments,” where faculty gathered to explore the roles creative assignments play in courses, as well as their connection to student learning outcomes and assessments.

WSU History Classes Participate in Art Project

Das Fundburo Project

Dec. 2015

Students in Dr. Matthew Lungerhausen’s Western Civilization 1815 to present courses took advantage of a travelling art project during the latter weeks of the fall semester, tying exhibit and course themes together.   Artist Monica Sheets curated and presented the exhibit Das Fundburo—1000 Little Things, hosted at the Watkins Gallery on Winona State’s campus.  Sheets’ exhibit presented objects, photos, texts, and audio to analyze the German Democratic Republic, the political changes of 1989-1990, and the themes of history and identity.  Students in Dr. Lungerhausen’s class had the opportunity to tour the exhibit, attend a movie night associated with the project, and even produce written reflections, which in turn may become a future part of the Das Fundburo exhibit.

History and Law and Society Majors Present Capstone Projects

History/Law & Society Majors Capstone Projects Fair Image

Dec. 4, 2015

At the end of the fall semester, the department of History and Legal Studies held a mini-seminar for students completing their senior capstone projects under the direction of Professor Colette Hyman. James Hust (History BA), Alex Burkhardt (History BA), and Ian Pomplin (Law and Society BS) presented their original, historical research in front of peers and faculty from the department of History and Legal Studies.  

Hust made use of the sources from the Darrell Krueger Library at Winona State in crafting his paper on early modern theologian John Wyclif titled “Wyclif: Scripture? Tradition? Both?”  Burkhardt and Pomplin went farther afield, taking advantage of undergraduate research stipends provided by Winona State University.  Burkhardt used his grant to travel to New York City where he worked with the Robert Moses Papers at the New York Public Library, for his paper “Parting the Red Sea of Publicity: Robert Moses and the 1964 World’s Fair.” Pomplin used his travel grant to go look at the Harry S. Truman Papers at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri.  His findings informed his paper “Stimson, the Far East, and the Bomb: How Past Experience Affects Future Decisions.”  The department of History and Legal Studies has twenty year history of supporting student based research papers as a capstone experience and congratulate this semester’s students and their exemplary projects.

Sophomore Seminar Returns

Two buffalo roam 

April 15, 2015

During the spring semester, 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 Ramaley Research Celebration and Creative Scholarships (CRACS).

Winona LaDuke Visits History Classes

Winona LaDuke

Feb. 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 

Oct. 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 

Oct. 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

Sept. 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

Professors with Visitor

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!


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

Sept. 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

Nov. 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

Sept. 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 hosts Wayne Karlin, Professor, Author, and Vietnam Veteran

Wayne Karlin Book Cover

March 15 and 16, 2011

WSU Department of History and Paralegal, along with the WSU College of Liberal Arts and WSU Foundation, sponsored two presentations by Dr. Wayne Karlin, Professor of Languages and Literature at College of Southern Maryland. Karlin served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam. He has authored ten award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction. On March 15, Dr. Karlin presented his latest nonfiction book, “Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam”— the story of Vietnam veteran Homer Steedly Jr., who killed an enemy soldier in 1969 on a jungle path and forty years later, with Karlin, engaged in a process of healing from war by searching for the man’s family, returning documents he had taken from the body, and helping locate the remains. On March 16, Professor Karlin discussed Vietnam War literature in America and Vietnam as a form of healing and reconciliation as well as his personal experiences as a writer and his work with Vietnamese writers who had been on the other side.

WSU History Students Meet Dennis Banks

cover of film A Good Day to Die

Jan. 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.