April 26-27: Dakota Conference
Eighty presenters from 15 states will gather to present papers and participate in panel discussions for the 45th annual Dakota Conference on Northern Plains History, Literature, Art and Archaeology, set for April 26-27 at the Center for Western Studies. The Conference will focus on Spanish exploration of, and Hispanic/Latino immigration to, the Northern Plains.
“The Spanish were the first Europeans to explore and establish settlements on the Great Plains. Searching for the fabled cities of gold, Coronado pushed as far north as central Kansas in the 1540s. Two hundred years later, Villasur reached the Platte River in central Nebraska. At its zenith, in 1795, New Spain constituted most of the American West. Spanish fur trader Manuel Lisa established posts throughout the Northern Plains in the early 1800s. Today, large Hispanic/ Latino populations live in the Northern Plains, especially in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado. In metropolitan Sioux Falls, for example, the Hispanic/ Latino population is now the largest minority, with more than 22,000 residents, the majority of whom come from Central America,” said Dr. Harry Thompson, executive director of the Center.
View the Schedule for the 45th annual
Thompson has worked with Juan Bonilla, president of LaVoz Hispana TV and chair of the Sioux Falls Diversity Council, to develop sessions on the Hispanic/ Latino community in the region. Bonilla will give the keynote address on the Hispanic/Latino community in the Sioux Falls area.
Others speaking on the theme of “The Spanish Northern Plains” include Derek Everett, Metropolitan State University in Denver; Pablo Rangel, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Juan Gonzalez, Northern State University; Thomas Simmons, a Rapid City attorney; Michael Olsen, a leading authority on the Santa Fe Trail; and Jeffrey Johnson, a former Augustana history professor now teaching at Providence College, Rhode Island, will speak about the 1916 San Francisco bombing.
In addition to the conference theme, a number of other topics will also be addressed.
The Life & Legacy of Sen. James Abdnor:
A session on former South Dakota Senator James Abdnor, with panelists Michael Saba, Herbert Sundall, Philip Hogen, and Richard Doubrava, will be chaired by Vance Goldammer.
Reflections on 30 Years of Political Reporting:
A panel on the past 30 years of political reporting in South Dakota will be chaired by Jonathan Ellis (Argus Leader) and will include Chet Brokaw (Associated Press), Noel Hamiel (Yankton Press & Dakotan), Tom Lawrence (Mitchell Daily Republic), and Kevin Woster (Rapid City Journal).
A session focusing on South Dakota immigrant groups (1880-1920) will be chaired by Jon Lauck and will feature Michael Funchion (Irish), Stephen Cusulos (Greeks), Richard Melton (Jews), and Lori Lahlum (Norwegians).
Hiawatha Indian Insane Asylum (1897-1934) (Canton): Panelists represent the Friends of Hiawatha Indian Insane Asylum Action Committee, including: Douglas Anderson, Donna Dexter, Jerry Fogg (featured artist in the CWS galleries), Anne Dilenschneider and Michelle Anderson.
Virginia writer Stew Magnuson will speak about his new book on Wounded Knee 1973 and will appear at the autograph party, to be held in conjunction with the conference on Saturday.
Full event registration is $100 and includes the Friday-Saturday panel discussions ($55) and lunch and dinner on Friday and lunch on Saturday ($45). Registration is free for full-time undergraduate students of any college or university and faculty and staff of Augustana College. Download the registration form.
The Dakota Conference is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.