Scholar, author to deliver talk on Dakota, Scandinavian interactions

Scholar, author to deliver talk on Dakota, Scandinavian interactions

Karen Hansen
Karen Hansen

Two epic processes in U.S. history – immigration and dispossession – collided on a remote Native American reservation in the Great Plains in the early 20th century. Using oral histories with elders and land records, Karen Hansen has explored life on the Spirit Lake Dakota Indian Reservation, where Scandinavians began homesteading with the sanction of the U.S. government.

Hansen will give a free public lecture on the topic at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Center for Great Plains Studies, 1155 Q St. The lecture will also be available via Facebook live here.

Hansen, a professor and director of the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her most recent book, "Encounter on the Great Plains," won the 2016 Chaudhuri Book Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians.

As part of the event, the center will launch the new book "Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History," produced by center director Rick Edwards and former Great Plains Graduate Fellows Rebecca Wingo and Jake Friefeld. The book offers a re-examination of homesteading history, overturning decades of the orthodox scholarly view through the use of newly available records. Copies will be available for purchase and signing.

Hansen's talk is part of the Paul A. Olson Great Plains seminars, a free lecture series by the Center for Great Plains Studies. For more information, click here.