History Forum Explores the Past in the Present with “Source Code” Themed Lecture Series by Distinguished Historians

For immediate release

Release dated: 
September 15, 2021
Media contacts: 

Suzanne Herrick, 612-247-3079, suzanne.herrick@mnhs.org or Julianna Olsen, 651-259-3140, julianna.olsen@mnhs.org

History Forum Explores the Past in the Present with “Source Code” Themed Lecture Series by Distinguished Historians

Tickets now on sale for in-person and live, virtual lecture series

The past is the source code for what is happening today. Explore these topics with six nationally-known historians through the Minnesota Historical Society’s 2021-2022 History Forum and decide for yourself: how do you see the past in the present? 

Attendees can choose to attend History Forum events in-person at the Minnesota History Center or virtually via Zoom. For each Forum, the hybrid Zoom and in-person events will take place at 10 am and in-person only events at 2 pm. Masks and social distancing will be required in the auditorium during the program. 

Pox Americana with Elizabeth Fenn, Sat., Oct. 16, 10 am Zoom/in-person & 2 pm in-person only
A devastating smallpox epidemic was sweeping across the Americas when the American Revolution began, deeply affecting the outcome of the war in every colony and the lives of everyone in North America. How did an epidemic of this now-eradicated virus transform North America just as the United States was struggling to become a nation? Learn more with Elizabeth Fenn, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Colorado-Boulder and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

When Wall Street Met Main Street with Julia C. Ott, Sat., Nov. 13, 10 am Zoom/in-person & 2 pm in-person only
The financial crisis that began in 2008 has made Americans keenly aware of the enormous impact Wall Street has on the economic well-being of the nation and its citizenry. How did financial markets and institutions—commonly perceived marginal, elitist, and disreputable a century ago—come to be seen as the bedrock of American capitalism? Learn more with Julia C. Ott, Assistant Professor of History at The New School for Social Research.

The Recent Roots of Present-Day Homelessness with Daniel Kerr, Sat., Dec. 4, 10 am Zoom/in-person & 2 pm in-person only
Since the 1870s when the term “homelessness” first appeared in print in the U.S., mainstream Americans have called unhoused people by different names—tramp, hobo, bum—but consistently adjudged them to be either romantic avatars of freedom or too sick or lazy to hold a job and be active participants in society. How did the changing nature of cities and urban development lead to modern homelessness in America? Learn more with Daniel Kerr, Associate Professor of History at American University and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

The U.S.-Canada Border with Benjamin Hoy, Sat., Jan. 29, 2022, 10 am Zoom/in-person & 2 pm in-person only
The history of the U.S.-Canada border, today often touted as the longest undefended boundary in the world, is often told as an American-British tale of treaties, wars and eventual peace. In truth, Britain and the United States built this border across Indigenous lands, displacing existing communities and striving to disrupt Indigenous people’s ideas of territory and belonging. How might this multiracial, multinational history of the border inform our understanding of it today? Learn more with Benjamin Hoy, Assistant Professor of History at University of Saskatchewan.

The Heartland: An American History with Kristin Hoganson, Sat., Feb. 26, 2022, 10 am Zoom/in-person & 2 pm in-person only
What is the “heartland?” According to the Brookings Institution it is a group of nine states including Minnesota. How does the seeming immovable myth of the “heartland” obscure the richer historical realities of our part of the country? Learn more with Kristin Hoganson, History Professor at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

The Making of Mass Incarceration in America with Elizabeth Hinton, Sat., March 26, 2022, 10 am Zoom/in-person & 2 pm in-person only
In 2021, the United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world and it disproportionately targets African Americans and Native Americans. How did the “land of the free” become the home of the world’s largest prison system? Learn more with Elizabeth Hinton, Associate Professor of History and African American studies at Yale University and a Law Professor at Yale School of Law.

To find out more and purchase tickets, visit the MNHS Online Calendar. To buy tickets to the full History Forum lecture series, please call the Box Office at 651-259-3015.

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.