Augustana Hosts 42nd Dakota Conference

Event Details

Date: April 22 - April 23, 2010

Times: Opening reception starts at 8:15 a.m. on Friday, April 23

Location: Center for Western Studies, Augustana College campus

Ticket Info: For complete program details and a downloadable registration form, including registration and meal costs, please visit

SIOUX FALLS, SD --Returning for 2010 to the multi-year theme of transportation, the 42nd Annual Dakota Conference on the Northern Plains will examine paths, trails, roads, and highways that crisscross the Northern Plains and their impact on the lives of indigenous and immigrant peoples of this expansive land. The conference is hosted by the Center for Western Studies April 23-24.

Travel by foot, horse, cart, wagon, stagecoach, bicycle, motorcycle, and automobile will be considered, but also spiritual and metaphorical road journeys. Previous conferences on the theme of transportation considered railroads and rivers. Of the conference’s 17 sessions, two are on Native American Journeys, seven on Western Highways, two on Plains People, and one each on Military, Missions, and Imagining the West.

Jon LauckThe conference will also host a special panel presentation on Prairie Republic: The Political Culture of Dakota Territory, written by Jon K. Lauck (shown left) and published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2010. Scholars discussing the new book include Tom Kilian, Sioux Falls; John E. Miller, South Dakota State University; Michael Mullin, Augustana College; Gary D. Olson, Augustana College; and David A. Wolff, Black Hills State University. The author will also make opening remarks.

At the Friday lunch, Bob Puschendorf, Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, NE, will speak on Following the Grid: Pioneering the Meridian Road, 1911-1916. At the Saturday lunch, William J. Swart, Augustana College, and Don Krier, Iowa State University, will speak on Sturgis and the Integrated Spectacle.

Jami Lynn Buttke, folk musician and graduate student at the University of South Dakota, will provide music at the Friday evening dinner, where authors participating in the autograph party will be recognized. Cash awards of $150 and $100 in academic, non-academic, student, and women’s history categories will be presented at the Friday dinner.

John MillerAlso at the Saturday lunch, John E. Miller (shown left), professor emeritus of history at South Dakota State University, will be honored for his work in bridging the academic and non-academic worlds. He has spoken and/or chaired sessions at the Dakota Conference for most of the past 20 years.

Several students from Augustana and other colleges will be presenting papers. Three students from Dr. Harry Thompson’s January-term course, Unlocking the Archives, will be presenting a portion of their research using original documents. Students compete for a cash award made possible through a gift from Rex Myers and Susan Richards.

For complete program details and a downloadable registration form, including registration and meal costs, please visit

The Center for Western Studies is located in the Fantle Building at 2121 S. Summit Avenue on the campus of Augustana College. Hours are 8:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m. weekdays and 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission is free.

Center for Western Studies
Augustana College
Phone: 605.274.4007