Dec. 12: Speaker on Syrian-Lebanese Culture in the Dakotas

Event Details


Date: December 11, 2013

Times: 7 p.m.

Location: Humanities Center, Rm. 301

Ticket Info: Free and open to the public.

Throughout the 2013-14 academic year, visiting speakers will give presentations as part of Augustana’s International Theme, “Islam in Our Community, Past and Present.”

Paul L. WhitneyFrom 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, in room 301 of Humanities Center, Paul L. Whitney will discuss "Syrian-Lebanese Culture in the Dakotas," exploring the cultural elements that make the Syrian-Lebanese experience most unique to the prairies. There will be a special emphasis on family stories of Christian, Muslim and Druze immigrants to the Dakotas. Historical, economic and geographical forces are a core part of what shaped the Lebanese immigrants and Whitney will follow up through the generations of modern times. The compatibility of Native American culture with Arabic Culture on several Indian reservations will be featured, also. This successful model of an ethnic group has made huge contributions to our life in the Dakotas.

Originally from Minneapolis, Minn., Whitney co-authored the book, "Prairie Peddlers: The Syrian-Lebanese in North Dakota." His formative years were spent in Crookston, Minn., located in the northwest part of the state and home to a vibrant culture of Lebanese citizens. Whitney is a 1977 graduate of Minnesota State University, Moorhead and earned his master's degree in geography from the University of North Dakota and the University of Missouri – Columbia.

    Designed to increase students’ understanding of global issues, Augustana introduced the International Theme three years ago and speakers are sponsored by the Co-Curricular Council. Throughout the academic year, students study and support theme-related issues with planned events.


    Sam Ogdie
    Instructor of Spanish
    Co-Curriculum Theme Year Coordinator

    Augustana College