The University of Wisconsin-River Falls History and Philosophy Department will host two free public lectures April 3-4 by Professor William Cronon as part of the Walker D. and Helen Bryant Wyman Visiting Professorship in History.
Cronon's teaching and research focus on the environmental history, landscape history, and historical geography of North America. He is the Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at UW-Madison, having served for more than a decade as a member of the Yale History Department.
The first presentation, "A City-Country Journey: Local Landscapes as Pathways to History," is Wednesday, April 3, from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Kinnickinnic Theater in the University Center. A reception preceding the event begins at 4 p.m. Cronon will take attendees on a driving tour from the Wisconsin state capitol in downtown Madison into the rural landscapes of southwestern Wisconsin to show the ways we can learn to see environmental changes that are all around us but that we often fail to notice.
Cronon's second presentation, "The Portage: Reflections on Nature, History, and Storytelling in the Making of an American Place," is Thursday, April 4, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the River Falls Public Library, 140 Union St., River Falls. A reception preceding the event begins at 6 p.m. The lecture is based on the opening chapter of Cronon's newest book about the history of the Wisconsin city of Portage. Cronon meditates on the role of memory and storytelling in the complicated ways human beings construct their individual and collective sense of place.
Cronon is committed to history that makes the past come alive for public audiences, both in the form of written storytelling and the many new media that have become available in this digital age. His current projects include "The Making of the American Landscape," a history of the city of Portage since the last Ice Age; and a book on the changing role of environmental concerns in American politics, especially since the second World War.
Established with a generous gift from Dr. Bry Wyman in 2015, the goal of the Walker D. and Helen Bryan Wyman Visiting Professorship in History program is to annually feature a prominent scholar speaking on timely topics.
For additional information, visit uwrf.edu/hist/events/wymanhist.