CWS in the News

Current Newsletter: Fall 2021

Previous Newsletters: Archive

The Center for Western Studies news room features press releases about current and upcoming exhibitions, collections news, programs, events and announcements.

For interviews or additional information, including hi-res images for your publication or news agency, please email the CWS or call 605.274.4007.

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Recent News

IN THE NEWS: When Colin Powell came to town: The 1995 Boe Forum

Monday, October 18, 2021

Gen. Colin Powell (1937-2021) was the first speaker in the Boe Forum on Public Affairs at Augustana University, presented by the Center for Western Studies on March 29, 1995. He had recently retired as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his talk was titled "Managing Crisis and Change."

CWS Executive Director Harry F. Thompson spoke with Keloland News about his memories of Powell's visit.

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IN THE NEWS: CWS Collections Assistant Liz Cisar explores Augustana's 1918 move to Sioux Falls

Monday, January 25, 2021

Augustana University recently celebrated its 100th anniversary in Sioux Falls, but the institution is actually much older. Originally founded in Chicago, IL, in 1860, Augustana moved west with the people, earning the nickname "the college on wheels." There were several stops (and name changes) along the way before the school finally settled in Sioux Falls in 1918. 

Collections Assistant Liz Cisar discussed this history with Lori Walsh on South Dakota Public Broadcasting's "In the Moment" program on January 25, 2021.

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IN THE NEWS: Re-presenting Native American archival histories

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Center for Western Studies has partnered with students and faculty of Augustana University and Flandreau Indian School on a unique exhibition at the Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls' premier arts venue.

"Re-presenting Native American Archival Histories" features Native American students' artistic re-interpretations of historical Native American photography from the CWS archives. Carolyn Ly-Donovan, assistant professor of sociology at Augustana and one of two faculty project leads, discussed the project on Keloland Living.

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IN THE NEWS: Bringing the past to the present: the Center for Western Studies home to 80 in-house publications

September 2020

The Center for Western Studies (CWS) was simply an idea by English Professor Herbert Krause in 1964. Krause, a poet, essayist, and novelist, was the first writer-in-residence at Augustana University. “He thought about establishing a school of writing but also wanted a collection of materials he could turn to for his research,” says Dr. Harry Thompson, executive director of CWS. “Krause was a historical novelist — and saw the Center as the Google of its day.” 

The Board of Regents (now known as the Board of Trustees) officially established CWS in 1970, fifty years ago this year. "At first, it was a library," says Thompson. "But it didn’t take long before it grew to be an archives and then a publisher. Augustana has the distinction of being the only university in South Dakota to have a continuously operating academic press.” 

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IN THE NEWS: Book published by Augustana's Center for Western Studies named Midwest Book Award winner

Monday, June 29, 2020

“The Interior Borderlands: Regional Identity in the Midwest and Great Plains” has been named a Midwest Book Awards winner in the History-General category. The 30th annual Midwest Book Awards winners were announced on Saturday, June 27, during a regional online watch party. The awards program, organized by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MiPA), recognizes quality in independent publishing in the Midwest.

“Through its Center for Western Studies,” notes Executive Director Dr. Harry Thompson, “Augustana has the distinction of being the only university in South Dakota to have a continuously operating academic press. For more than forty years, the center has been the publisher of books of enduring value about the region surrounding Augustana, with titles in anthropology, geography, history, business, agriculture, the military, the courts, and the performing and visual arts.”

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IN THE NEWS: 'Interior Borderlands' named finalist in 30th annual Midwest Book Awards

Friday, May 29, 2020

“The Interior Borderlands: Regional Identity in the Midwest and Great Plains” has been named a finalist in the History-General category of the 30th annual Midwest Book Awards. The awards program, organized by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MiPA), recognizes quality in independent publishing in the Midwest.

Edited by founding president of the Midwestern History Association Jon K. Lauck, “The Interior Borderlands” explores questions of geographical and cultural significance to the Midwest and Great Plains. 

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IN THE NEWS: Hicks introduces new readers to 'The Thresher' by CWS founder Herbert Krause

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Patrick Hicks on "In the Moment"This fall, the Center for Western Studies released a new edition of Herbert Krause's classic Minnesota farm novel, "The Thesher," with a new introduction by Patrick Hicks. Originally released in 1946, the book is the second volume of a trilogy depicting the complex relationship between the land and those who farmed it. 

Hicks, who succeeds Krause as writer-in-residence at Augustana University, has crafted a stirring introduction to this new edition, acquainting a new generation of readers with "The Thresher." He discussed the book with Lori Walsh on South Dakota Public Broadcasting's "In the Moment" program on October 13, 2017.

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IN THE NEWS: Interest in Fred Manfred's 'Lord Grizzly' continues after Oscars night

Monday, March 7, 2016

Following big Oscar wins for "The Revenant" for best actor, director, and cinematography, CWS Executive Director Dr. Harry F. Thompson was invited to speak with Lori Walsh of South Dakota Public Broadcasting's "Dakota Midday" program on March 2, 2016.

Thompson discusses questions of authenticity relating to three versions of the Hugh Glass narrative  "The Revenant" film, the novel of the same name by Michael Punke, on which the film is partially based, and their precursor, Frederick Manfred's most critically acclaimed work, "Lord Grizzly."

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IN THE NEWS: Executive Director Harry Thompson discusses legacy of Fred Manfred, 'Lord Grizzly'

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Author Frederick ManfredAs the author of the definitive narrative on Hugh Glass, interest in Frederick Manfred continues to grow in the wake of the Oscar-nominated film, "The Revenant." And as Manfred's work receives more attention, so do the new "Voices of the Northern Plains" exhibits at the Center for Western Studies, a portion of which are dedicated to Manfred and other important regional authors who re-imagined the pioneer period for twentieth-century audiences.

CWS Executive Director Dr. Harry F. Thompson recently discussed the author's quest for authenticity with reporter Mary Ann Grossmann. The following article about Frederick Manfred and his most famous work, "Lord Grizzly," was published by the Pioneer Press on January 8, 2016.

'Revenant' filmed it, but he 'lived' bear attack - and wrote about it in 1954

By Mary Ann Grossmann, Pioneer Press

Attention readers and film-goers: Leonardo DiCaprio's new film, "The Revenant," is not based on Minnesotan Fred Manfred's 1954 novel "Lord Grizzly," although some people think it is. Others think it should be.

Manfred's daughter Freya, a soft-spoken poet who lives in Stillwater, tries to keep frustration out of her voice when she says, "I've gotten letters congratulating me on Dad's book being made into a movie. I tell them 'Lord Grizzly' is not the book they read."

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