The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Great Plains Studies will host its 33rd Interdisciplinary Symposium May 17-19, 2007. The subject of the conference is "Homesteading Reconsidered."
The Homestead Act of 1862 in the U.S. and Dominion Lands Act of 1872 in Canada fundamentally shaped the pattern of non-Indian settlement on the Great Plains. By the times the acts were repealed, over 270 million acres in 30 U.S. states and 118 million acres in Canada's western provinces had been distributed.
This symposium will examine homesteading and its legacy from all angles, review recent and forthcoming scholarship, probe conflicting interpretations, and encourage all participants to develop their own perspectives on the historical significance of homesteading.
Topics covered might include, but are not limited to: Native American views of homesteading; ecological impacts; cultural, social, and technological changes; agricultural and industrial legacies; immigration and migration patterns; modern "homesteading" programs; land speculation and fraud; the Canadian homesteading experience; and more.
Special sessions will be held on the following subjects: women's homesteading experiences; Canadian homesteading; teaching and learning about homesteading for K-12 educators.
Keynote addresses will be given by Gerard A. Baker, National Park Service Superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial and enrolled member, Mandan-Hidatsa Tribe; and Dr. John Mack Faragher, Professor of History, Yale University.
Evening receptions/events will take place at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Great Plains Studies and Homestead National Monument of America (Beatrice, NE). Homestead National Monument of America tentatively plans to open its new museum/interpretive facility on Sunday, May 20, 2007; all attending this conference are invited to the dedication ceremony as well.
This event is sponsored the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in partnership with Homestead National Monument of America, National Park Service. Support and assistance is provided by the Academic Dean's Office and History Department, Doane College (Crete, NE) and The Nature Conservancy.
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