2024 Conference: Confronting the Legendary Great Plains

2024 Symposium

2024 Great Plains Conference

Confronting the Legendary Great Plains

April 2-3, 2024 | Lincoln, Neb.

From tall tales, legends, and lore to the true history and current issues of the region, the 49th annual Great Plains conference examines the storylines of the Great Plains. Stories matter, and the stories told about the region in its past and present continue to impact and shape it today and into the future. How are the Plains and the people who live here portrayed, characterized, and commemorated? Who is included in these stories and who is left out? How do we challenge the myths of pioneers, cowboys, and Indigenous peoples of the Plains? What are the forgotten and hidden stories of the plants, animals, and landscapes of our region? Who is included in our monuments? This conference will explore and confront these questions and more through the lenses of history, education, media (including film, tv, literature, comics), landscapes, museums, art, and historic memorials.

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Supported by UNL's College of Arts and Sciences. Presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis.

Featured speakers

Margaret Huettl (Anishinaabe)

An Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Huettl will speak about her experience as one of three Indigenous historians selected to help with an update to the classic Oregon Trail video game. The team's work focused on eliminating stereotypes that existed within the game. Her research interests include Ojibwe/Anishinaabe sovereignty and treaty rights, Indigenous Studies, North American West, Indigenous sustainability and resilience, and digital humanities

Kristin Lee Hoganson

In The Heartland: An American History, Hoganson, Professor, University of Illinois, drills deep into the center of the country, navigating the disconnect between history and myth, she tracks both the backstory of this region and the evolution of the idea that the heartland is an unconnected, isolated region.

Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche)

Smith is an author, essayist, and curator. His work explores the contemporary landscape of American Indian art and politics. He's the author of Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong, and is Curator at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Rebecca Clarren

Author of The Cost of Free Land about how her Jewish ancestors fled persecution in Eastern Europe to take up “free land” in South Dakota through the Homestead Act. Clarren will talk about her book's goal of exposing the myth of free land by looking at displacement of Lakota people.


Schedule and speakers coming soon

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