Our Lecture Series

2018 Lecture Series

All lectures at the Museum of the Rockies starting at 6pm

Lecture schedule final

January 25 – People and Place: the Seasonal Round in the Old North Corridor

Jill Falcon Mackin (Anishinaabe: Ojibwe)

Abstract: The Old North Trail, running along Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, was an indigenous transportation corridor central to an historic food system. Archaeologists are confident native people followed large game animals into this area between retreating ice sheets some 12,000 years ago. The unique topographic and botanical attributes of this windswept corridor created a vital landscape that nurtured native buffalo culture through the 19th century. As part of a larger indigenous environmental history, Jill Mackin’s research documents ancestral ties to this bioregion through foodways and examines the relationship between biodiversity and cultural diversity.

February 22 – Montana 1864-1889 by Ken Egan – Sponsored by Humanities Montana

Abstract: Join scholar and writer Ken Egan for a tour of Montana from 1864 to 1889. See how key historical figures such as Granville Stuart, James Fergus, Helen Clarke, Wilbur Sanders, Young Man Afraid of His Horses, and more change over time—and how Montana changes with them as it transforms from territory to state. Ken will have copies of his books Montana 1864 and Montana 1889 available for sale—all royalties support the programs and grants of Humanities Montana.

March 22 – The Archeology of the 130,000-year-old Cerutti Mastodon Site, San Diego, California by Steven R. Holen and Kathleen Holen Center for American Paleolithic Research – Sponsored by Metcalf Archaeological Consultants

Abstract: The Cerutti Mastodon site was carefully excavated by San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologists over a five-month period in 1992-1993. Multiple lines of evidence point to the fact that some early hominin used hammers and anvils to break the Cerutti Mastodon limb bones. The bone assemblage and associated cobbles are contained within a fine-grain silt/sand in a low-energy overbank deposit along a small creek. Evidence of hammerstone impacts on thick cortical bone shafts includes a large notch, cone flakes and bulbs of percussion. Fragments of impact-fractured limb bones are concentrated around two cobble anvils. One hammerstone shattered on impact and left refitting small pieces concentrated around one anvil. Use-wear evidence of stone-on-stone and stone-on-bone impact are present on the anvils and hammers. Anvil wear/polish present on two bone fragments is additional evidence of intentional hammerstone percussion. Experimental archaeological evidence supports these interpretations as does evidence of human breakage of proboscidean limb bones on several continents.  We do not know which hominin was present in California 130,000 years ago, however, we discuss the various possibilities.

 April 19 – Antiquities on Montana’s Public Lands: A History of Indians, Amateurs and Archaeologists by Nancy Mahoney – Sponsored by Hope Archaeology, Inc.

Abstract – American archaeology emerged during the late nineteenth century, amidst enduring disagreements over access to the public domain, the nature of property rights, and the meaning of national heritage, all of which played out within the social, political and environmental context of the rural West. Historical tensions surrounding race and class within this region informed the construction of federal antiquities laws and transformed indigenous cultural remains into the most highly restricted resource within the public domain. This history is particularly complicated within the context of the Northern Plains, a region that is both the territorial homeland of once-nomadic Plains tribes, and a last frontier of Euro-American settlement; it is a region that has remained contested terrain longer than any other within the contiguous United States. This fact, coupled with the delayed entrance of professional archaeologists into Montana, sowed the seeds of opposition and misunderstanding among the region’s three major stakeholders: Native American tribes, resident amateurs, and career archaeologists. This presentation explores both the underlying cultural history of archaeological practice in Montana, as well as more recent trends in collaboration and stewardship that effectively incorporate the broader concerns of both descendant and resident communities.

May 17 – The Story Cattle Drive by John Russell

Abstract Nelson Story’s prominence in Bozeman and southwest Montana emanated from his historic 1866 cattle drive from Texas to the Yellowstone Valley. John Russell discusses the drive, and how Story and his men overcame opposition from Kansas Jayhawkers, the U.S. Army, and the Sioux Nation to bring 1,000 head of longhorns into Montana territory.

June 28 – Hazel Hunkins of Billings: Protesting at the White House, 1917-1919 by Kevin Kooistra – Sponsored by CTA Architects and Engineers

Abstract: Denied the opportunity to work in a local chemistry lab because of her gender, Billings native Hazel Hunkins promptly joined the national fight for women’s suffrage. In his presentation, Hazel Hunkins of Billings: Protesting at the White House, 1917-1919, Western Heritage Center Director Kevin Koostra shares the story of this gritty woman who remained undeterred even after national resentment led to arrest and recrimination for Hunkins and her fellow protestors.

July 26 – Montana’s Pioneer Jewish Communities by Ellen Baumler – Sponsored by the David Nathan Meyerson Foundation

Abstract: Jewish pioneers from Germany, Prussia, Austria and Poland as well as New York and Chicago came west on the heels of the gold rush. Opportunity drew these enthusiastic adventurers to new mining settlements where business as well as religious beliefs brought them together. Jews set up the first businesses at Bannack, Alder Gulch and at most of the smaller mining boomtowns. Jews seized these entrepreneurial opportunities and became miners, barbers, tailors, jewelers, bankers, attorneys, and cattlemen. But it was especially in the roles of merchant and provider that offered a stepping stone for these enterprising men—many of them immigrants from poor villages—to gain economic stability and civic status in a single generation. Without rabbis or synagogues, these early pioneers established benevolent societies, maintained holidays and traditions, and planted the roots of Judaism in Montana. As significant contributors to their adopted communities, their extraordinary legacy survives in landmarks that include Helena’s 1891 Temple Emanu-El, the first synagogue built between St. Paul and Portland; the National Landmark home of Henry Jacobs, Butte’s first mayor; and Solomon Content’s 1864 business block, today the centerpiece of the Virginia City National Historic Landmark.

August 30 – Helen McAuslan, Modern Medium: Art and Architecture in Twentieth-Century Bozeman by Will Wright

Abstract: Abstract: This presentation focuses on the life and home of abstract painter Helen McAuslan, using both to understand the connections between art and architecture within the context of Montana’s modernist movement. A common thread for McAuslan’s version of “modernism” was her rejection of a traditional past in hope for a more liberated future. If the nineteenth-century West was remembered through the works of male artists such as Charles Russell and Frederic Remington, then the twentieth-century West should be known through the contributions of female artists like McAuslan.

 September 27 – Title: Alcohol, Corsets, and the Vote: A Conversation with Mary Long Alderson by Anne Foster – Sponsored by Humanities Montana

Abstract: In celebration of the Montana women’s suffrage centennial, join suffragette, temperance worker, dress reformer, and journalist Mary Long Alderson for a conversation. Chairwoman of the Montana Floral Emblem campaign, president of the Montana Christian Temperance Union, and a leader in the Montana Woman Suffrage Association, Mrs. Alderson is an eloquent and passionate speaker. Drawing from her own editorials and other writings, she explains the benefits of votes for women as well as the evils of drink and tight lacing.

 October 11 – Title: Warm Springs are for Healing: Montana’s Hospital for the Insane by Lesley M. Gilmore

Abstract: Since its establishment in 1875, the campus at Warm Springs has been put to use towards the palliative treatment of Montana’s insane population. The supervisors transformed what had been a health resort into a hospital dedicated to the care of the “mentally deficient wards” of the state. The changes to the campus reflect the changing trends in mental health care over the years. This was evident in the type, style, and size of buildings. The buildings were like those of many other state institutions – colleges, universities, institute for the deaf and dumb, etc. – and designed by many of the same architects. Warm Springs was, however, more comprehensive in that it also was self-sufficient for much of its history, with manufacturing and farming considered part of the care for the insane. Work programs were part of the rehabilitation therapy until the 1960s, when they were considered a form of abuse. These programs provided Warm Springs with concrete block and construction thereof, milk, eggs, grains, vegetables, and meat. The property also has a cemetery. The bucolic setting was typical of state mental institutions, yet has the added distinction of being based at the Warm Springs Mound, a calcite geothermal formation like that of the Elephant Mound in Mammoth Hot Springs of Yellowstone National Park. This mound was earlier a sacred site for the indigenous population and is now again respected (as a restricted National Register property) for its significance to the many Native American tribes who used the area during late prehistoric and historic times. The perceived curative effect of the thermal properties was the basis for locating first the resort and then the hospital there. Originally, the 180-degree water was distributed to all the hospital buildings. The Warm Springs hospital still focuses – in reduced capacity since distributed clinical care was instituted in the 1960s – on individualized recovery programs to help patients transition back into to the community. The hospital has served the state for over 140 years and remains the only public psychiatric hospital in the state.

 November 15 – Superfunded: Recreating Nature in a Postindustrial West by Jennifer Dunn

Abstract: The EPA Superfund program was established in 1980 and over 1,700 locations have been placed on the National Priorities List (NPL).  Superfund sites cover a vast array of environmental damages that contaminate the land and impact the health of citizens across the nation.  Superfund’s goal is to clean up some of the nation’s most contaminated waste sites.  Former mining communities in the Intermountain West were built on a premise of wealth and power fortified by resource extraction.  Mining and smelting generated incredible wealth as well as incredible waste.  The Superfund solution to this waste reveal how governments, communities, and individual perceive and respond to the material consequences of our capitalist and industrial decisions.

2017 Extreme History Project Lecture Series

lecture series schedule

Click on poster to link to presentation video

john-russell-poster

 

Click on poster to link to presentation video

Crystal's Poster

Click on Poster to link to Presentation Video

Regenerating teh Rez

2017 Presentations:

All lectures begin at 6pm in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies.

January 19 – Meg Singer – Regenerating the Rez: Breaking Down the Misconceptions of Reservations, Sovereignty and Identity . Sponsored by the Montana Racial Equity Project. To view this lecture on Facebook, click here.

February 16 – Crystal Alegria – The Last Will and Testament of Lizzie Williams; An African American Entrepreneur in 1870s Bozeman. Sponsored by CTA Architects and Engineers. To view this lecture on Facebook, click hereWith the end of the Civil War in 1865, African Americans joined the westward migration, hoping for a better life and opportunity in the West. We will explore the life of Lizzie Williams, An African American business woman who sought refuge in Bozeman during the 1870s. We will explore historic documents, including Lizzie’s last Will and Testament to better understand her life and catch a rare glimpse of early Bozeman through the lens of this African American woman.

March 9 – John Russell – John Colter: Hunter, Trapper, Long Distance Runner. Sponsored by Big Sky Wind DrinkersJohn Colter craved adventure, and when he signed on with the Lewis and Clark Expedition for five dollars a month, he got his fair share of it – and then some. Colter is best known for his infamous run from Blackfeet Indians near the Three Forks in 1808, but his role with the Corps of Discovery, the northwest fur trade, and early explorations of what is now Yellowstone National Park are just as important. Local broadcaster/historian John Russell will give an overview of Colter’s exciting, albeit brief life on March 9th at the Museum of the Rockies.

April 27 – MSU Faculty and Students – Recovering History: Salvage Archaeology at Fort Ellis

May 25 – Shane Doyle – Cultural Geography of Medicine Wheel Country. Sponsored by Victoria York. The Northern Plains region of North America, widely regarded for its sublime combination of majestic mountain ranges and sweeping prairies and stunning endless blue skies, is truly Medicine Wheel Country.  All of the climatic and environmental elements of this most grand and extreme landscape have imbued human cultural values and societal norms for well over 13,000 years. The essential characteristics of the Medicine Wheel Country have endured beyond colonization and the manifestations remain evident and relevant today; embodied in the ancient and commonly practiced  ceremonies of the Sundance and give-away, and reflected in mainstream secular institutions like Montana’s 1972 Constitution and contemporary stream access laws.  Dr. Shane Doyle, Apsaalooke, will comment on the distinguishing cultural voices and sensibilities that have endured under the Big Sky, and within the circle of community. 

August 17 – Mark Johnson – Becoming Chinese in Montana: Political Activism amongst Montana’s Historic Chinese Communities. That Montana had a large Chinese population in the late-19th century is well known. However, most analysis of this community focuses solely on their challenges and contributions in the American West, paying little attention to the transnational nature of the Chinese experience. By understanding Montana’s Chinese pioneers through a global lens they can be seen as active and engaged participants who used the skills gained through their time in the American West to work for self-improvement and to strengthen a severely weakened China they had temporarily left but never forgotten. 

September 21 – Toby Day – What Secrets do 100+ Year-Old Apple Trees Hold? Find Out through MSU’s Montana Heritage Orchard Program

October 26 – Anthony Wood – Race and Ruination: The Exodus of Montana’s African American Community. In 1910, Montana’s African American population constituted a vibrant community—seemingly on the precipice of growth and prosperity.  By 1920, however, that growth faltered and the signs of decline were evident. Over the next decade the population of the black community atrophied to nearly half its numbers from 1910, never again to recover. In researching numerous family and individual histories over the last three years, a key point of ambiguity in many African American narratives centers on why they left Montana. Leading up to the tumultuous social, economic, and environmental conditions that griped the state starting in the late 1910s, new and unique western structures of racism were already in place. Consequently, this produced disproportionate hardships and bleak conditions for the black community. This lecture will explore the history of black Montanans and their experiences in the early twentieth century. Through stories about the rise and fall of black night clubs in Helena, Buffalo Soldiers, homesteaders, unions, and other narratives in Montana’s history, we will come to a better understanding about the historical experiences of our fellow Montanans, and why so many chose to leave. 

November 16 – Rob Briwa – Exploring the Crossroads of Heritage and Highway Maps in the Last Best Place

2016 Presentations:

All lectures begin at 6pm in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies.

March 22 – Dr. Larry Todd – Archaeology in the Land of Fire and Ice

March 23 – Crystal Alegria and Marsha Fulton – Extreme History’s Excellent Adventure in the National Archives

April 21 – Dr. Craig Lee –Ice Patch Archaeology at the Crossroads of Culture and Climate Change in the Greater Yellowstone Area

April 25 – Dr. Doug MacDonald – Yellowstone’s Obsidian Cliff: Celebrating 20 years as a National Historic Landmark.

May 12  – Dr. Mike Neeley – The Beaucoup Site: Excavations at a Bison Kill in Northeast Montana

August 25 – Dr. Tom Rust – “My Duties . . . Are Not So Clearly Laid Down…”:  The Problems of Command on the Montana Frontier

September 12 – Dr. Janet Ore – Building Community through Historic Preservation.

October 26 – C. Riley Auge’ – Sensing the Difference: The historical association of sensory elements with cultural “otherness”

2015 and earlier talks below

Blood on the Marias: The Baker Massacre

Our second half of the year schedule for lecturesUnearthing the Past at the Crossroads of Culture Chinese in Montana: Our Forgotten Pioneers with Ellen Baumler Thursday, May 21st at 6pm in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockiesposter

The Extreme History Project Lecture Series at the Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman Montana, 2014

The Extreme History Project presents a monthly lecture series at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman Montana

Fighting for Women's Rights, Hazel Hunkins Hallinan

The Extreme History Project Presents Mirror Mirror on the Wall with Dr. Riley Auge

The Extreme History Project Presents I Do: A Cultural History of Montana Weddings with Martha Kohl

The Extreme History Project and the Museum of the Rockies present I Do: A Cultural History of Montana Weddings with Martha Kohl

2014

Betsy Watry Poster

Dr. Shane Doyle

2013

Technology reveals secrets on Fort Parker's Surface

The Extreme History Project Lecture Series at the Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman Montana, 2014
A big thanks to all our speakers from 2012!! Look for us on January 10th when we start our 2013 Lecture Series at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman! See you then!

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Comments
  1. Pam Poulsen says:

    Looking for your 2015-2016 Lecture Series Schedule. Is it posted some other plave?

  2. www.transformsiberia.com says:

    So, are these events in 2016? Or, are these 2015 events?

    • These are events from 2015 but we will be posting our upcoming 2016 lectures soon. Our first lecture this year is on March 23, 6pm, at the Museum of the Rockies titled, “Extreme History’s Excellent Adventure; Finding Fort Parker in the National Archives.” Hope you can join us.

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