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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reception for Closing of "First Contacts" Exhibit

Join the University Libraries for a closing reception of the Summer Bell Museum exhibit "First Contacts: Native Americans and Champlain in New France" on Thursday, September 13th from 4:00-6:00pm. The reception will be held at the T.R. Anderson Gallery on the 4th floor of Wilson Library. Program will begin at 4:30pm and will include introductions by Prof. Jean O'Brien and closing remarks by Prof. Brenda Child.

Just as Summer is coming to a close, so soon will the wonderful Summer Bell exhibit, "First Contacts: Native Americans and Champlain in New France." The exhibit has been a wonderful collaboration with various CLA departments, faculty, students as well as the Minnesota Historical Society and the Science Museum of Minnesota.
We have planned a wonderful closing reception that we hope you will be interested in attending. The attached flier provides the basic details, however here is some highlight information on our program.
Michael Witgen is an exciting American Indian historian (UMICH) whose recent book, An Infinity of Nations: How the Native New World Shaped Early North America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) has received rave reviews. Historian Pekka Hämäläinen has said that: "An Infinity of Nations is a bold and altogether original examination of Indian-European relations, indigenous social formation, and European imperialism...Witgen also reaches deep into the past to place the events of the late 1600s in a long historical context of evolving indigenous North America, and he takes the story into the early nineteenth century, showing how, as it expanded westward, the United States collided with a long-evolving and fully formed indigenous world. A sophisticated study of a different kind of colonial world where kinship ties, mediation, small gestures, and right words signified and brought power."
Joining him are two campus experts. Jean O'Brien (HIST) is currently working on a research project with Michael. Brenda Child (AMST) recently published two key works: Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940 (U of Nebraska Press, 2000), which won the North American Indian Prose Award; and this year's Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of the Community, a volume in the Penguin Library of American Indian History series.
The issues, exhibits and presentations cut across disciplinary lines and unveil new perspectives and opportunities for researchers and the public at-large.