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Free Online Speaker Series Returns

We welcome everyone to join the conversation online, and attend real-time virtual presentations from historians across the U.S. and Canada. The presenters will share pertinent topics and new scholarship that connect our community’s stories with bigger movements in American history. The presentations will last approximately 45 minutes, and all attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Registration is not required. Just follow the webinar links provided a little before the program's start time--we are in the Eastern Time Zone--on the evening of the scheduled program to join and participate.

All programs are offered free of charge.

Thursday, January 13, 2022: Tim Brown @ 7:00 PM EST

How Football Became Football: 150 Years of the Game's Evolution (2020)

Book Cover, T. Brown

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 838 1526 8503
Passcode: 608490

Learn how the game of football evolved from 1869 to 1969 and grew into the hard-hitting pastime we know today. Discover how broad changes in the game over the decades changed the way it was played, from the days of leather helmets and woolen shoulder pads all the way to the high-tech polymers and impact sensors of today.

Tim Brown pictureTimothy P. Brown is the author of two books. His first book, Fields of Friendly Strife, tells the story of the military training teams that played in the 1918 and 1919 Rose Bowls. The second book, How Football Became Football, covers the game's evolution during its 150 years. He also authors the football history website, fieldsoffriendlystrife.com. Tim combines years of research experience and the insight of a former college football coach to illuminate football’s early years and its relevance to the modern game.

Thursday, January 20, 2022: Walter Borneman @ 7:00 PM EST

1812: The War that Forged a Nation (2009)

1812 cover, W. Borneman

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 879 0560 0463
Passcode: 149549

Although frequently overlooked, the War of 1812 tested a rising generation of American leaders; unified the United States with a renewed sense of national purpose; and set the stage for westward expansion. Tune in as we join friends at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in commemorating the 209th anniversary of the Battles of the River Raisin. 

Borneman Author PhotoWalter R. Borneman is the author of nine books about American military and political history, including the bestseller, The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King, which won the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature (2012), and MacArthur at War, World War II in the Pacific, a finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History (2016). His commentary has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Walt lives in Colorado where he is best known as the co-author of the definitive guide to the state’s 54 peaks above 14,000 feet.

Thursday, February 10, 2022: Peter N. Moogk @ 7:00 PM EST

La Nouvelle France: The Making of French Canada - A Cultural History (2000)

Book Cover, P. Moogk

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Meeting ID: 886 0209 6643
Passcode: 553693

Join us for a candid exploration of the social institutions, values, and experiences of the first Europeans who would settle what would become Monroe. Moogk’s pivotal work in understanding French-Canadian culture reveals a New France vastly different from the one portrayed in popular mythology.

P. Moogk author photoBorn in West Chiltington, England, to Canadian parents, Peter now resides in Vancouver, BC and is Professor Emeritus of the University of British Columbia, having retired after 35 years there in the Department of History. A member of numerous scholarly and historical societies, Mr. Moogk has authored several books, numerous articles, and has received many awards and accolades including a Province of Ontario Fellowship, the Saint-Marie Prize for outstanding contributions to 17th century Canadian History, and the Canadian Forces Service Decoration.

Thursday, February 24, 2022: Barbara J. Barton @ 7:00 PM EST

Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan (2018)

Book Cover, B. Barton

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Meeting ID: 858 8082 7724
Passcode: 172471

Experience the rich tradition of wild rice in Michigan and its importance to the Anishinaabek people who live here. Learn the history, culture, biology, economics, and spirituality surrounding this sacred plant. Barton discusses historic wild rice beds that once existed in Michigan, why many disappeared, and the efforts of tribal and nontribal people with a common goal of restoring and protecting Manoomin across the landscape.

Barton author photoBarb Barton is the author of the books "The Amazing Adventures of A Midwestern Girl" and "Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan." The first book of its kind, Manoomin won a 2018 Michigan History Award in the University Press/Commercial Press category as well as a 2019 Michigan Notable Book Award. Barton also travels as a public speaker--and sometimes folk musician--continuing the oral traditions that have informed her research and writing.

Thursday, March 10, 2022: Tom Carr @ 7:00 PM EST

Dark Side of the Mitten: Crimes of Power & Powerful Criminals in Michigan's Past & Present (2020)

Book cover, T. Carr

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Meeting ID: 870 4716 0721
Passcode: 558057

Michigan’s past has a more sinister side than what’s usually displayed on roadside historical markers. In Dark Side of the Mitten: Crimes of the Powerful and Powerful Criminals in Michigan’s Past and Present, Tom Carr presents a wide array of stories about Michigan’s gritty and gruesome past.

T Carr author photoTom Carr is an independent writer and journalist in Northern Michigan who spent 25 years in daily newspapers, primarily the Traverse City Record-Eagle. He’s won journalistic awards for his investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news, and humor columns. Carr often covered police, courts, and crime and reported closely on some memorable and well-known cases. As a freelancer, Carr has branched out into other media, has reported and produced many stories for Interlochen Public Radio, and has had his work broadcast on both NPR and Michigan Radio. Carr was born in Grand Rapids, grew up in Northville, graduated from Michigan State, and has lived and reported in Sturgis, Sault Ste. Marie, and Traverse City. He now lives near Buckley, with his wife Maria, in a farmhouse where they raised their two sons.

Thursday, March 24, 2022: Sarah Fayen Scarlett @ 7:00 PM EST

Company Suburbs: Architecture, Power, and the Transformation of Michigan's Mining Frontier (2021)

Book cover, S. Scarlett

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Meeting ID: 842 2196 5017
Passcode: 168208

The Women of the Copper Country, the novel by Mary Doria Russell, is this year’s title selection for One Book, One Community of Monroe County. Experience the historical backdrop of “Copper Country” in our Upper Peninsula, and the cultural landscapes of the mining frontier. Scarlett offers new and exciting perspectives on domestic architecture, and class and gender identity, while revealing the uniqueness of everyday life in a turn-of-the-century U.P. mining town.

S. Scarlett author photoSarah Fayen Scarlett is an assistant professor of history at Michigan Technological University. Her work has appeared in American Quarterly and the Journal of Modern Craft.

Thursday, April 7, 2022: Paul Freedman @ 7:00 PM EST

American Cuisine: And How it Got This Way (2019)

Book cover, P Freedman

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Meeting ID: 858 8735 8777
Passcode: 108209

For centuries, we’ve wondered, “Is there such a thing as American cuisine?” In recent decades, hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza have been thought to define the nation's palate. Join us to learn about an exuberant and diverse, if not always coherent, American cuisine that reflects the history of the nation itself.

P. Freedman author photoPaul Freedman is the Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale. His teaching and research over many years concentrated on the history of the Middle Ages (particularly in Catalonia). The history of food and cuisine is a relatively recent interest. In 2007 Freedman edited "Food: The History of Taste," translated into ten languages. He is the author of "Ten Restaurants that Changed America" (2016), "American Cuisine and How It Got This Way" (2019), “Why Food Matters” (2021).

Thursday, April 14, 2022: Julie A. Avery @ 7:00 PM EST

Agricultural Fairs in America: Tradition, Education, Celebration (2000)

Book cover, J. Avery

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Meeting ID: 869 2196 3546
Passcode: 411701

Did you know that the model for a present-day agricultural fair dates back to 1810? As we look forward to the Monroe County Fair, learn about the influential role fairs played in developing communities, and how they shaped national industry and strengthened domestic manufacture. 

J. Avery author photoJulie A. Avery is Assistant Curator of History, Coordinator of Information & Museum Services Division, and Coordinator of Rural Arts & Culture Program at the Michigan State University Museum. Her work utilizes agricultural heritage to educate and inform the public about past and contemporary American agriculture and rural life issues. Avery has curated both museum and traveling exhibitions, developed public programs, and produced a public television documentary and two books focusing on agriculture, rural life, and cultural issues.


Thursday, April 21, 2022: Kenneth Lewis @ 7:00 PM EST

West to Far Michigan: Settling the Lower Peninsula, 1815-1860 (2012)

Book cover, K. Lewis

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Meeting ID: 816 3109 9107
Passcode: 943134

Even though Michigan is seen today as an industrial state whose history is couched in terms of the fur trade and the international rivalry for the Great Lakes, agricultural settlement shaped its expansion. Between 1815 and 1860, Michigan was opened to immigrants, saw the rise of commercial agriculture, and experienced integration into the larger national economy.

K. Lewis author photoBorn in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1945, Kenneth Lewis grew up in a military family, living in New England, the Southeast, the Pacific Northwest, and Germany. Lewis completed his B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of Florida in the late 1960s and, following a two-year hiatus in the U.S. Army, he entered graduate school at the University of Oklahoma. After completing his Ph.D. dissertation in 1974, he served as a staff archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology at the University of South Carolina. Lewis came to Michigan State University in 1984 and is currently Professor Emeritus of Anthropology. Colonization has remained the focus of his research. His West to Far Michigan: Settling the Lower Peninsula, 18151860, published in 2002, examined its role in creating the landscape in the Midwest. Lewis has produced numerous monographs, book chapters, and articles derived from the results of his investigations.  He retired from MSU in 2016 and currently lives in Gainesville, Florida.