Winner of Great Plains book prize leads off Olson Seminars Sept. 17

Released on 09/11/2008, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2008

WHERE: Great Plains Art Museum

Lincoln, Neb., September 11th, 2008 —

Akim Reinhardt, who received the Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize for his book, "Ruling Pine Ridge: Oglala Lakota Politics from the IRA to Wounded Knee," will present a talk at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St.

Reinhardt will receive a cash award and a medallion created for the book prize and will talk about his research on the Pine Ridge Reservation of the 20th century, said James Stubbendieck, Director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln�s Center for Great Plains Studies.

Reinhardt's presentation will focus on understanding the changing process of colonial expansion, which remains in motion today. In particular, he will discuss the political situation on Pine Ridge Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota people. Reinhardt is associate professor of history at Towson University in Maryland, where he teaches Native American history and the history of the American West. He received his Ph.D. from UNL. "Ruling Pine Ridge" was published by Texas Tech University Press in 2007.

"'Ruling Pine Ridge' is not popular history," Reinhardt said. "It's professional academic history, and it needs to fit within the dynamics and expectations of academic writing. At the same time historians value a good narrative, and the history of Pine Ridge is wrought with inherent drama."

In pursuing the story of Pine Ridge in the 1970s, Reinhardt followed the examples established by Native intellectuals such as Vine Deloria and Susan Miller who have stressed the importance of scholars recognizing that their work on Native history is important to Indian peoples.

"I was very conscious that I was borrowing the records of their history from the Oglala people, and the primary purpose of my work was to offer them further insights into that history, which came from careful academic study," he said.

Reinhardt�s lecture will lead off the 2008-09 Paul A. Olson Seminars in Great Plains Studies. It is free and open to the public, as is a reception following the talk.

Two other Olson seminars are scheduled for the fall semester (both begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Great Plains Art Museum and are free and open to the public):

Oct. 15: "Plain Speaking and Straight Shooting: Documentary Art in Flyover Country," Michael Farrell, Photographer and TV Production Manager, NET Television; Adjunct Faculty, College of Journalism and Mass Communication, UNL.

Nov. 19: "From Fire to Ice: A Geological Perspective on One Billion Years of Landscape Evolution in Eastern Nebraska," R. M. Joeckel, Associate Professor, Conservation and Survey Division, School of Natural Resources and Department of Geosciences, UNL.

The Paul A. Olson Seminars in Great Plains Studies series was named after Paul A. Olson, Foundation Professor Emeritus of English at UNL, who was the one of the creators of the Center for Great Plains Studies and its first director. Olson initiated the seminar series in 1976 and moderated each program until 1995. For more information, contact the center at (402) 472-3082 or visit

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