About us

The mission of the Center is to foster study of the people and the environment of Great Plains.

The Center operates the Great Plains Art Museum, the Plains Humanities Alliance, undergraduate and graduate programs, various scholarly projects, and outreach programs; it publishes Great Plains Quarterly and Great Plains Research; it presents public lectures and interdisciplinary symposia. Much of its work is accomplished by its Fellows and Associate Fellows.

Center news


New Center board members chosen

New Board of Governors members starting fall 2014: Maurice Godfrey (UNMC), Katrina Jagodinski (UNL), Larkin Powell (UNL), and Barbara Robins (UNO)


Great Plains Book Prize finalists announced

The finalists for the 2014 Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize have been chosen: "Architecture of Saskatchewan: A Visual Journey, 1930-2011," with text by Bernard Flaman (Canadian Plains Research Center Press); "Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930," by Karen V. Hansen (Oxford University Press); and "The Red and the White: A Family Saga of the American West," by Andrew R. Graybill (Liveright/Norton Publishing). News release >


March Olson lecture

The final Paul A. Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies was March 19. Miguel Carranza, Professor of Latina/Latino Studies & Sociology, Director, Latina/Latino Studies Program, University of Missouri-Kansas City, gave a lecture titled "Potholes and Sinkholes on the Road to Immigration Reform" More on the lecture >


Curator/museum administrator hired

Melynda Seaton has been named curator/administrator of the Great Plains Art Museum. Seaton is a doctoral student in art history at the University of Oklahoma where her focus is art of the American West. Read the press release >


New Great Plains course offered

A new course, Human Trafficking in Nebraska and the Great Plains (GPSP/GEOG/HIST 400: SEMINAR IN GREAT PLAINS STUDIES, 3 CR) will be offered during the summer pre-session. The course will examine temporal and spatial dimensions of human trafficking in the Great Plains. Interdisciplinary concepts of cultures, demographics, development, economics, politics, power relationships, and urban dimensions will be featured. Topics of study will include enslavement processes, source regions, transfer locations, and destinations. Common characteristics and patterns of victims, traffickers, and clients will be identified. Class activities will include — but are not limited to — guest speakers, field trips, discussions, research, and meaningful project creation. Rebecca Buller will teach the class. Summer session sign up starts March 17.


Great Plains Quarterly issue 34.1 released

The winter issue of GPQ is now available for purchase through the University of Nebraska Press or for viewing online via university library subscriptions to Project MUSE. Instructions on how to view the journal online and a table of contents are at the GPQ main page. Read the press release >


February Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies

Derek Hoff, from the Kansas State University history department, will give a talk titled "A Prophet without Honor?: Malthus on the Great Plains." Hoff is the author of The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in U.S. History, and, with John Fliter, Fighting Foreclosure: The Blaisdell Case, the Contract Clause, and the Great Depression. His talk will be live streamed here. More about his talk >


January Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies

The Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition of 1898 (Omaha's World's Fair) consisted of palaces and gardens and also a midway of dirt roads and collapsible shacks, reflecting the split personality of Omaha. UNL English professor Timothy Schaffert spoke about the Expo and his book, "The Swan Gondola" at this lecture on Jan. 15 at 3:30 p.m. A digital archive of photos from the Exposition are available here. Read the press release >


Video: Leon Higley Olson lecture

November Paul A. Olson Seminar Speaker and UNL entomologist Leon Higley's lecture >


Become a friend of the Center

If you become a friend of the Center by donating at our Razoo page, you'll get:

  • An email announcement when a new GPQ or GPR is published, with the issue's table of contents
  • An email announcement of every Center event, including Olson Lectures, the annual Great Plains Symposium, and special events like last January's Conservation Jam
  • Invitations to Great Plains Art Museum gallery exhibit openings and special events
  • A map of the Top 50 Ecotourism Sites in the Great Plains -- include your mailing address for this
  • The knowledge that you are helping keep the Plains at the forefront of scholarship and policy.

Molly Murphy Adams piece at Hamilton Hall

Great Plains Art Museum's 2013 Artist-in-Residence Molly Murphy Adams' periodic table (which was displayed during at the GPAM in April) was recently purchased by the Chemistry Department at UNL and is now hanging in Hamilton Hall. See its new home here >


Great Plains Quarterly issue 33.4

The fall issue of Great Plains Quarterly is available to purchase via the University of Nebraska Press. Articles on topics including rainmaking, Native American beads and the Great Sioux Reservation. Check out the table of contents >


Great Plains Research issue 23.2

The fall issue of Great Plains Research is available to purchase via the University of Nebraska Press. This is a special themed issue on school consolidation with content from our 2013 Great Plains Symposium. Check out the contents and abstracts >


Center Administrative Assistant named to national position

The Center's Administrative Assistant and CEOE Gretchen Walker has been named the Higher Ed Council Chairwoman for 2013-14 for the National Association of Educational Office Professionals. She was installed during the organization's 79th meeting in Alexandria, Va.


Center's new Great Plains Focus page

On the Great Plains Focus page, visitors will find continually updating stories on Great Plains topics, news about what our Fellows are doing and features such as photos from our archives. Visitors can also find a list of our Great Plains Fellows, Associate Fellows and Emeritus Fellows sorted by department listings. Fellows, with their contact information, are described by their department, organization and specialties. If you have something to submit to this page or a correction to your listing, email us at greatplains.reachingout@unl.edu


Western American Literature comes to the Center

Published by the Western Literature Association, Western American Literature is the leading journal in Western American literary studies. It's editor, Tom Lynch, and the journal operations are now on the 5th floor of the Center. More about the journal here.


Construction notes

The main-floor gallery is open and construction on the mezzanine has been completed. This space has been converted into an office and commons space for our Great Plains Graduate Fellows. See a slideshow of the work and the finished result here.


Current projects page

The Center's projects webpage is where you can see what we're working on. Check out the page for links, photos, and animations from our projects. Current projects include ecotourism and conservation, history of homesteading, animations about the Great Plains, the Trans-Mississippi Expo of 1898 and more.


More news and notes

See previous entries from this section here.

Find Us on Facebook

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST: Get notices about free public events and new exhibits

Great Plains Art Museum

Upcoming Events

Current Issue of Great Plains QuarterlyCurrent Issue

Volume 34, No. 1 (Winer 2014)

Current Issue of Great Plains ResearchCurrent Issue

Volume 23, No. 2 (Fall 2013)