"Railroads, the Making of Modern America, and the Shaping of the Great Plains" is the topic of the Paul A. Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies. William G. Thomas III will speak from 3:30-5 p.m., April 13 in the Great Plains Art Museum.
The seminar and a 3 p.m. reception at the museum are free and open to the public.
Railroads profoundly shaped American national development, changing the way 19th century Americans communicated, moved and interacted. Railroads also inspired intense conflict over the terms and conditions of modernity in the United States. This lecture explores how railroads channeled these conflicts by looking at three important episodes - the sectional divisions over railroads in the coming of the Civil War, the displacement of Native Americans in Kansas and Nebraska through railroad treaties, and the movement of railroad workers and settlers onto the Great Plains.
Thomas is chair of the Department of History and John and Catherine Angle chair in the humanities at UNL. He is the recipient of a Digital Innovation Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and a National Endowment for the Humanities research grant for his digital project "Railroads and the Making of Modern America." Thomas is working on a book titled "The Iron Way: The Civil War and the Making of Modern America."
The Olson seminars are sponsored by the Center for Great Plains at UNL. For more information or to request accommodation, go to http://www.unl.edu/plains or call (402) 472-3082.
- Linda Ratcliffe, Center for Great Plains Studies
More details at: http://go.unl.edu/efk