48th Annual Dakota Conference

Held every April, the Dakota Conference on History, Literature, Art and Archeology examines issues of contemporary significance to the Northern Plains in their historical and cultural contexts. Recent topics of interest have included western highways, regional identity, World War I, Wounded Knee 1973, and Spanish exploration of and Hispanic/Latino immigration to the region. 

48th Annual Dakota Conference

WORLD WAR II COMES TO THE NORTHERN PLAINS: 1941-2016

The conference was held April 22-23, 2016, in the CWS Fantle Building on the Augustana campus.

Conference Theme: In observance of the 75th anniversary (1941-2016) of America's entrance into World War II, the Center for Western Studies sought papers and panels that examined the impact of the war, in all of its manifestations, on the Northern Plains region, specifically South Dakota and the contiguous states of North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. Presentations on the contributions of people from the Northern Plains, including Native Americans, were also encouraged.

R. Douglas Hurt, author of The Great Plains during World War II and Professor and Head of the Department of History at Purdue University, was the keynote speaker. Dr. Hurt is also the author of The Big Empty: The Great Plains in the Twentieth Century.

In conjunction with this conference, the Center for Western Studies also commissioned South Dakota State University Emeritus Professor of History John E. Miller to conduct interviews with war veterans. The interviews and associated materials—letters, photos, etc.—will be deposited in the CWS archives, and Dr. Miller presented his research results at the conference.

Conference Schedule: The conference schedule is available online. Please direct schedule-related questions to dakotaconference@augie.edu.

Registration Fee:

  • By April 15: Registration was $50 ($45 for presenters) for the two-day event. Separate Meal Package (including Friday lunch and dinner and Saturday lunch) was $45.
  • After April 15: Registration was $55 ($45 for presenters) and the Meal Package was $50.
  • Registration was free for full-time undergraduate students of any college or university and faculty and staff of Augustana University.

For lodging information, visit www.augie.edu/lodging.

Registration: Registration is closed for this event.

Autograph Party: The Northern Plains Autograph Party was held on Saturday, April 23, in conjunction with the conference. 

Cash Awards: Awards in academic, non-academic, student, and women’s history categories were available.

National Endowment for the Humanities Logo

The Dakota Conference is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.