Diversity and Power of American Stories to be Highlighted at 2023 History Forum

Minnesota History Center


Tickets on sale for lecture series at Minnesota History Center and online


(St Paul, MN — January 5, 2023 –  Five of the nation’s top scholars shed new light on the richness, expansiveness, and complexity of American History in the 19th season of the Minnesota Historical Society’s History Forum.

The series, which runs January through April 2023, includes both virtual and in-person lectures highlighting excellence in historical scholarship and the diversity and power of American stories.

Revisiting The Republic of Nature: An Environmental History of the United States
January 14, 2023 with Mark Fiege

Ten years after the publication of The Republic of Nature, environmental historian Mark Fiege revisits the simple but radical premise that nothing in the nation’s past can be considered apart from the natural circumstances in which it occurred. In his ambitious reframing of American history, well-known moments in US history come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. Fiege points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on us to reconnect with the fundamental forces that shape the American experience.*

King Philip’s War and the Remaking of History, Memory, and Place
February 18, 2023 with Christine DeLucia

The Indigenous resistance movement and colonial conflict sometimes known as King Philip’s War shaped the American Northeast in powerful ways. Its consequences have reverberated for more than three centuries. Historian Christine DeLucia offers a major reconsideration of this period in the seventeenth century and its ongoing impacts and remembrances, providing an alternative to Pilgrim-centric narratives that have conventionally dominated written and public histories of New England.*

South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico & the Road to the Civil War
March 18, 2023 with Alice Baumgartner

Historian Alice Baumgartner tells the surprising story of the southern route to freedom in the US-Mexico borderlands, challenging and complicating many popular assumptions about the history of slavery in North America. Tracing how Mexico’s abolition of slavery in 1837 and its increasingly radical antislavery policies spurred on the growing crisis between the states north of the border, Baumgartner reorients our understanding of the American Civil War.*

Love, Death, & Rivers: Native Californians & Native Hawaiians Remember the Confluences of History
April 8, 2023 with David Chang

A surprising and refreshing perspective on the history of the West Coast and the role of memory and commemoration in navigating the multiple meanings of the lands we share. Drawing on sources from Hawaiian-language mourning songs to Nisenan language oral histories, Native Hawaiian historian David Chang considers the role of memory in the making—and maintenance—of an Indigenous community across generations, emphasizing the very different ways that Native Hawaiian and Native Californian people have remembered shared places.*

Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape
April 29, 2023 with Francesca Ammon

In her recounting of mid-century suburban expansion, highway building, and urban renewal, cultural historian Francesca Ammon uses the iconic image of the bulldozer to explore how postwar America came to equate destruction with progress. Transformed from a wartime weapon into an instrument of postwar planning, the bulldozer helped realize a landscape-altering “culture of clearance” and ushered in one of the most significant transformations of American land and life. As communities across Minnesota and the nation debate how to repair the worst of this legacy, Ammon’s insights provide a cautionary tale and hope for the future.**

Each forum will be offered in person at 10 am and 2 pm at the Minnesota History Center with a virtual option at 10 am. Live captioning will be available at the 2 pm lecture. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit mnhs.org/historyforum.

*This program is made possible by the Charles A. Lindbergh Fund.

**This program is made possible by the Maurice Stans Fund.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

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