Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Minnesota Historical Society Press announces the appointment of Laura Weber as editor of Minnesota History magazine. Weber succeeds Anne R. Kaplan, who retired in January 2016 after 37 years at MNHS Press. “Minnesota History is a premiere publication of MNHS, loved and valued by our members, teachers and scholars, and history lovers throughout the state and beyond. Laura’s deep experience as editor, writer and public historian make her an outstanding choice to helm the magazine and guide its future,” said Pamela J. McClanahan, publisher, MNHS Press.
After earning a BA in journalism and an MA in U.S. history at the University of Minnesota (where she studied under the late Professor Hy Berman), Weber worked in nonprofit communications before returning to the “U” as an editor in 1991. During her 20 years as a university editor and communications director, she also pursued an independent public history practice that included writing, editing, public presentations and walking tours. A recent highlight was being engaged by the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest from 2012 to 2015 to create a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage (Legacy) Grant-funded series of 32 articles on Minnesota Jewish history for MNopedia, MNHS Press’ free, authoritative online encyclopedia about Minnesota.
Weber joined MNHS in April 2014 as communications manager in the Marketing & Communications department. Her association with Minnesota History, however, began in 1991 with the publication of “’Gentiles Preferred’: Minneapolis Jews and Employment: 1920-1950,” which won the Solon J. Buck Award, awarded annually to the best article published in Minnesota History. Her second Minnesota History article, on the National Register of Historic Places, received the David Stanley Gebhard Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (MNSAH). Weber went on to serve MNSAH for 10 years as a member of its board of directors.
“Minnesotans of all ages and origins have demonstrated in many ways their abiding interest in the shared stories of our past and how these stories contribute to our understanding of our present and future,” Weber said. “As it has been for over a century, Minnesota History will be at the center of that ever-evolving conversation. I am thrilled to be part of it.”
Did you know that the Minnesota Historical Society Press is a member of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP)? In recognition of University Press Week, today’s post is by MNHS Press editor Josh Leventhal.
A favorite activity on social media, and particularly Facebook, is posting old photos, articles, or other items that evoke days gone by. Whereas nowadays a photo is posted for all the world to see the minute it’s taken, photos that were taken decades ago have to be dug out of an old shoe box or photo album, scanned, and then uploaded to the digital world of the internet.
When Mike Evangelist revisited the photos he had taken as a teenager of downtown Minneapolis during the early 1970s—photos that had been all but forgotten for forty years—and began posting them to the “Old Minneapolis” community on Facebook, the response was enthusiastic. Images showing local businesses long since replaced by chain stores; classic buildings that are today shadowed by modern skyscrapers; funky fashions now worn only by young hipsters evoking a time they did not experience themselves; and the overall look and vibe of Minneapolis in the ‘70s sparked many thoughtful reminiscences and lively discussion. “Oh, I remember. . .” or “Whatever happened to . . . ?”
This fascination with reliving, or perhaps reimagining, the past through old photos is on display in a new book of Mike’s photography, Downtown: Minneapolis in the 1970s, published by MNHS Press. With accompanying text by writer and artist Andy Sturdevant providing historical context and contemporary perspectives, the nearly 200 color and black-and-white photos in the book depict a city both foreign and familiar.
Many identifiable landmarks are evident, and even some of the people featured in the images appear as if they could be dropped into the downtown Minneapolis of 2015 and look right at home, albeit with a throwback style. But, for the most part the photos tell of a city that was undergoing a transformation forty years ago, with new modern office buildings rising to the sky and elevated skyways crisscrossing the downtown streets. Their days numbered, independent retailers, restaurants, and movie theaters—now all since disappeared—were holding on to their places in the commercial landscape. The classic ’70s cars, the bell-bottom pants, the hairstyles, and other fashions all capture this distinct moment in the city’s history.
It was an interesting experiment, of sorts, to see how images and subjects that had inspired such avid reactions on social media would translate to the printed pages of a book. Would the people who “liked” and commented on the images on Facebook go the extra step of purchasing the book? Did the fleeting posts on Old Minneapolis satisfy the viewer’s intrigue?
The book has been out for only a few weeks, but if the response to the book’s launch event—being held this evening at the Mill City Museum in, of course, downtown Minneapolis to kick off an exhibit of Mike’s photos—is any indication, the experiment worked. With nearly 1,800 people responding with positive RSVPs—for a space that holds roughly 700 people—the event’s hours had to be extended and extra copies of the book brought on hand.
Downtown offers a throwback look at an earlier time through stunning photos and the special characters—and the distinctive character of a city—they capture. The book is also a twenty-first-century reflection of the immediacy and impact of social media for sharing photos and memories and for bringing people together, both virtually and in person, to celebrate those recollections.
Book-loving Minnesotans, here’s a word to the wise and a great opportunity: AWP—the Association of Writers and Writing Programs—is holding its annual meeting at the Convention Center in Minneapolis next week, April 9-11. This is a Very Big Deal: more than 12,000 attendees, 1,900 presenters, 550 sessions, scores of free offsite events, and—best of all—a book fair with 700 publishers and literary organizations strutting their stuff. You can register for a day pass here.
AWP is an overwhelming experience, with so many delicious options. Thousands of energetic teachers and writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are gathered to talk about what we’re doing, where we’ve been, where we’re going with books and literature. The program is tantalizing, and you can’t be everywhere at once. Laura I. Miller, a seasoned attendee, has compiled a helpful list of tips for doing AWP. Me? I often retreat to our book table, where every person stopping by has a good story.
At the MNHS Press exhibit, we’re proudly showing off books by our fine authors. But my colleagues and I are also on a mission—a treasure hunt for books-to-be on the history and culture of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. We’re searching for manuscripts with strong Midwestern themes and a strong sense of place: Well-researched and well-written stories that use the best tools of narrative journalism to tell history for general audiences. Narrative nonfiction on food, adventure and travel, true crime, war and conflict, Native American studies, environment and the land, popular culture, and women’s and ethnic histories. Good books to help people live richer lives in Minnesota and beyond.
Thursday, April 9 from 10:00-11:30 we’re hosting a signing with Bruce Joshua Miller and Ned Stuckey-French, editor and contributor to Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research. Contributors to Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota will be dropping by to sign on Saturday morning. Stop by to say hello and get a copy!
MNHS press director, Pam McClanahan, editors Shannon Pennefeather and Josh Leventhal, and sales manager Jerry Bilek and I look forward to seeing you at Booth 412—and hearing what you’re writing about.
Ann Regan, MNHS Editor-in-Chief
The Hognander Minnesota History Award recognizes the most outstanding scholarly work related to Minnesota history published during the preceding two years. The award, funded by the Hognander Family Foundation, is presented every two years.
This award stems from the Hognander family’s belief in the importance of studying and preserving history. As Joe Hognander notes, “We established this award because of our relationship with the Minnesota Historical Society. Its commitment to excellence is noteworthy in promoting scholarly research and writing. We hope this award will inspire more activity by recognizing and rewarding the finest work in the field.”
Much of the focus on the Dakota people in Minnesota rests on the tragic events of the 1862 U.S.–Dakota War and the resulting exile that sent the majority of the Dakota to prisons and reservations beyond the state’s boundaries. But the true depth of the devastation of removal cannot be understood without a closer examination of the history of the Dakota people and their deep cultural connection to the land that is Minnesota. Drawing on oral history interviews, archival work, and painstaking comparisons of Dakota, French, and English sources, Mni Sota Makoce tells the detailed history of the Dakota people in their traditional homelands for at least hundreds of years prior to exile.
Published by Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2012, the book went on to win the 2013 Minnesota Book Award in the Minnesota category last year.
Westerman and White will be honored for their latest achievement at the upcoming Book Awards Gala on April 5 at the Saint Paul Union Depot. Gwen Westerman is professor of English and Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Bruce White is author of We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People.
Minnesota Historical Society Press Spring 2014 Titles
Augie’s Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip (Paperback, February 2014)
The Brides of Midsummer (First English Translation, February 2014)
When I Was a Child: An Autobiographical Novel (February 2014)
Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement (March 2014)
Keystones of the Stone Arch Bridge (April 2014)
Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research (April 2014)
Edited by Bruce Joshua Miller
Conflicted Mission: Faith, Disputes, and Deception on the Dakota Frontier (April 2014)
Linda M. Clemmons
Hungry Johnny (May 2014)
Cheryl Minnema, Illustrations by Wesley Ballinger
Toys of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s (May 2014)
Kate Roberts and Adam Scher
Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop (May 2014)
Smitten with Squash (July 2014)
Our Asian Flavors documentary, co-produced with tptMN, won the 2013 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in the Cultural Documentary category.
Inspired by the book Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer, this thirty-minute documentary celebrates Asian immigrants who have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota’s culinary, cultural, and economic history.
Congratulations to a winning team!
The Asian Flavors team:
Daniel Pierce Bergin, Producer/Director
Angela Barrett, Production Assistant
Fanique Weeks-Kelley, Production Manager
Jim Kron, Director of Photography
Jerry Lakso, Online Editor
Bob Tracy, Executive in Charge
Pamela McClanahan, Project Consultant
Phyllis Louise Harris, Co-writer/Project Consultant
Raghavan Iyer, Presenter
Shari Lamke, Senior Director-Supervising Producer
Lucy Swift, Vice President, MN Productions & Partnerships
Terry O’Reilly, Chief Content Officer
Author of Lincoln and the Indians, David Nichols joined MPR host Cathy Wurzor on Tuesday morning. The topic of the morning show was the Dakota War of 1862, with Friday being the anniversary of the first battle of the war. Specifically discussing Abraham Lincoln’s participation in the war, and discussing the government’s Indian policy, Nichols was brought on to shed more light on the subject. Together, Nichols and Wurznor talk about the war and that chapter in history.
Check out the show here!
This Saturday, June 23, will mark the 8th Annual Chum Rhubarb Festival in Duluth, Minnesota. From 9 am to 4 pm enjoy games, crafts, musical performances, silent auctions, and of course delicious rhubarb delicacies.
Food booths around the festival will showcase all the different–and tasty!–ways to utilize rhubarb, including rhubarb lemonade, rhubarb brats and burritos, and various pastries and pies. Gardeners will be available to answer questions about growing rhubarb and to judge contests. Families will enjoy food and activities as well as learn new ways of preparing rhubarb.
Kim Ode, author of Rhubarb Renaissance, will be featured in an onstage cooking demonstration starting at noon, teaching guests how to make Confetti Salad. Before and after the demonstration, Ode will be selling and signing her book.
Admission is free for the festival, so make the trip to Duluth this weekend for the 8th Annual Chum Rhubarb Festival!
Selected Minnesota Historical Society Press content is now available as part of Project MUSE’s University Press Content Consortium (UPCC) Book Collections.
The newly launched UPCC Book Collections provide libraries, researchers, and students with access to a wealth of high-quality book-length scholarship, fully integrated with MUSE’s electronic journal collections. With digital books from more than 65 major university presses and related scholarly publishers, UPCC collections will offer over 14,000 book titles alongside content from over 500 respected scholarly journals in a user-friendly environment with rich discovery tools.
To search for our titles, enter “Minnesota Historical Society Press” or “Borealis Books” in the search field.
Tomorrow night begins the eighteenth annual Fireside Reading Series hosted by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library at the Hamline Midway Library. The series features six weeks of readings by acclaimed Minnesota authors.
The events kick off with historian Larry Millet and the latest in his renowned mystery series, The Magic Bullet: A Locked Room Mystery Featuring Shadwell Rafferty and Sherlock Holmes, and conclude on February 18 with Diane Wilson, author of Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life.