50th Annual Dakota Conference

Soldiers carry a wounded comrade through a swamp, 1969. Courtesy National Archives.

Soldiers carry a wounded comrade through a swamp, 1969. Courtesy National Archives.

Held every April, the Dakota Conference examines issues of contemporary significance to the Northern Plains region in their historical and cultural contexts. Religion and spirituality, geography and identity, the impact of global conflict, Hispanic/Latino influence, and the 1973 Wounded Knee Occupation have been examined in recent years.

50th Annual Dakota Conference

Korea and vietnam: 25 years of war in asia, 1950-1975

The conference will be held April 20-21, 2018, in the CWS Fantle Building on the Augustana campus.

Conference Theme: The conflicts in Korea and Vietnam from 1950 to 1975 continue to impact the United States. The year 2018 marks the 65th year since the Korean War ended in stalemate and the 50th year since the Tet Offensive revealed the futility of the Vietnam War. The 50th annual Dakota Conference seeks to examine how the twenty-five years of war in Asia, following World War II, continue to influence the lives of those who live in the Northern Plains (the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana).

Veterans of these wars are especially encouraged to consider presenting on their service, but also those whose lives were impacted indirectly by the wars. Native Americans from the Plains states who served in either conflict are also encouraged to consider presenting on their service. Papers about life in the Plains states during these years are also welcome, along with papers about Korea and Vietnam today. Scholars whose specialty is the twentieth-century Great or Northern Plains are also sought for their contextual knowledge of the conflicts. Sessions or panels related to the conference topic are welcome.  

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

Registration: Register online or download a registration form to mail to the Center for Western Studies.

  • Before April 13, registration is $45. After April 13, registration is $50.
  • Registration is free for full-time undergraduate students of any college or university and for Augustana University faculty and staff, courtesy Mellon Fund Committee.


  • Friday lunch, Friday dinner, and Saturday lunch may be purchased individually ($16, $17, $17 respectively) or as a complete meal package ($45) for Friday and Saturday before April 13.
  • After April 13, please contact Kari Mahowald at 605.274.4007 for meal availability.
  • Those with special dietary needs should contact kari.mahowald@augie.edu.

Autograph Party: The Northern Plains Autograph Party will be held on Saturday, April 21, in conjunction with the conference. 

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

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

The Dakota Conference on the Northern Plains is a humanities-based public affairs program of the Center for Western Studies, which examines topics specific to the region of interest to its residents. The Center’s Boe Forum on Public Affairs examines national and global issues of concern to the people of the region. The CWS Public Affairs Series publishes books exploring problems impacting the Northern Plains.

National Endowment for the Humanities Logo

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