Resident Fellows Speaker Series

The Hall Center hosts several faculty and graduate student fellows in residence each semester. During their residencies or shortly after, our Fellows give talks about their works-in-progress. These events are public and open to all in the Hall Center's Conference Hall. Lunch is provided, and RSVP is required. Please see the Hall Center Calendar to register for these events.

Searching for Home in the Early AIDS Crisis

Katie Batza, Associate Professor, Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

THU FEB 9, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

In the early 1980s, popular culture portrayed the American Heartland as a cultural ideal, particularly for white America. However, in exploring the realities of the AIDS crisis in the region, we see that home was much more complicated and elusive, particularly for those whose lives were most impacted by the epidemic. This talk will explore the confluence of cultural erasure, a deadly pandemic, and a need for home. It will not only touch upon the history of community building amidst the early AIDS epidemic in the region, but will also explore the machinations of exclusion for folks of color and queer folks as well as the various forms of resistance to find, make, and be home.

Dreams and Dust in the Black Hills: Tourism, Performance, and the American West in National Memory

Elaine Nelson, Assistant Professor, History

THU APR 20, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

"Dreams and Dust” reveals new insights about the transformation of the Black Hills, from a land promised to the Lakota Nation to a land of promise for America. This presentation delves into the complex history of the Black Hills and the roles that travel and myth played in America’s invasion and occupation of the region. This history set the stage for an aggressive booster campaign in the nineteenth century, which resulted in settler expansion into the Black Hills and the creation of a series of U.S. federal-Indian policies, treaties, and land appropriations. The Black Hills tourism industry exploited Indigenous lands and revised history to produce a celebratory narrative of Manifest Destiny, convincing audiences from around the world to visit. Employing the iconic Black Hills gold dust to appeal to American dreams of exceptionalism, these views of U.S. national identity (now carved in stone) remain controversial today.