The "Great Plains Symposium" will be held Friday and Saturday at Minot State University. The event, co-sponsored by the North Dakota Humanities Council and the MSU Board of Regents, is free and open to the public, though meals are not free. People were required to pre-register last week to be served a meal at the event.
The main focus of the symposium is in honor of Minot State's 100th birthday this year and its connection to the Great Plains.
The keynote speaker is Ian Frazier, an American writer and humorist, who is the author of the 1989 non-fiction history "Great Plains," a 2010 bestseller "Travels in Siberia," and was a writer and humorist for The New Yorker. His other published works include "The Fish's Eye," "On the Rez," "Family," "Coyote v. Acme" and "Dating Your Mom."
Other presenters at the symposium include Jerome Tweton; Chester Fritz, distinguished professor emeritus of history, University of North Dakota, who will present on "The North Dakota Experience"; Christine Ogren, associate professor of education policy and leadership studies at the University of Iowa, who will present on "State Normal Schools and the Expansion of Educational Opportunity"; Raymond Screws, historian; Jonathan Wagner, professor emeritus of history at MSU; Mark Timbrook, adjunct instructor of history at MSU, on "When Dreams Come True: A Centennial History of Minot State University, 1913-2013"; and Bethany Andreasen, professor of history at MSU, and MSU history interns on the "Digital Minot Project." Andreasen and the student interns will present their research on the university's history.
There will also be two panel discussions during the event, one on North Dakota's future and another on the memories of retired MSU faculty, staff and alumni.