The Carceral Landscape of Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote: An Interview with Katherine Hayes

By Avigail Oren The recent work of historical anthropologist Katherine Hayes has focused on decolonizing the narratives interpreted at public heritage sites, including St. Paul’s Historic Fort Snelling at Bdote. The United States military constructed Fort Snelling in 1819-20 to protect the area’s fur trade, a role it served until Minnesota gained statehood in 1858 […]

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Dreaming in Somali: Immigrant Incorporation in the Twin Cities

By Stefanie Chambers & Betsy Kalin This post focuses on the Somali American experience in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. We are currently in the process of making a documentary film about this important community. Interestingly, the film is the result of a collaboration between a professor (Chambers) who wrote a […]

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Minneapolis and the Rise of Nutrition Capitalism

By Michael J. Lansing Dakota people call it Owámniyomni. For centuries, they envisioned the Mississippi River’s largest waterfall as a sacred place. The fifty-foot drop harbors an intense spiritual energy. In the 1820s, the arrival of the United States government—in the guise of white soldiers—gave rise to a new understanding of the falls they called […]

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Where the Waters Meet the People: A Bibliography of the Twin cities

By Avigail Oren In This Tender Land (2019), William Kent Kreuger’s loose update of Huck Finn, the O’Banion brothers and their compatriots Emmy and Mose end up in St. Paul, Minnesota, after escaping from the Lincoln Indian Training School—and its despicable, abusive, headmaster Mrs. Brinkman—and sailing down the Minnesota River in a canoe. After passing […]

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Digital Summer School: Baltimore Heritage

The pervasive effects of the coronavirus have forced numerous public history institutions to rethink their mission and the means by which an organization might still work toward long held goals in a radically different environment. Celebrating its 60thanniversary this year, Baltimore Heritage serves as just one example of this phenomena, as the historic preservation non-profit nimbly […]

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Cleveland circa 2003 in American Splendor

Review: American Splendor (New York: HBO Films, 2003). Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini By Evan Ash In a middle-of-the-night lymphoma-induced delirium, Cleveland everyman Harvey Pekar (Paul Giamatti) asks his wife Joyce (Hope Davis): “Am I a guy who writes about himself in a comic book, or am I just a character in […]

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Detroit Autoworkers’ Elusive Postwar Boom

By Daniel Clark For most of the twentieth century, autoworkers and their families were a large share of metro-Detroit’s population, and the decade and a half after World War II has been widely considered to be their heyday. Those familiar with the literature on Detroit history will immediately, and correctly, point out that Tom Sugrue’s […]

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Where is the Urban Economy?

By Richard Harris, McMaster University I enjoyed Victoria Wolcott’s recent item in The Metropole. Engaging, and deeply-felt, it effectively made the point that the lives and struggles of black women are among the most neglected aspects of the American urban experience. But one phrase gave me pause. She suggested that lately we have been “neglecting […]

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Segregation: One of Detroit’s Biggest Imports

By Pete Saunders Detroit has had an outsized impact on American history. People around the world are familiar with its contributions to the auto industry in particular and manufacturing in general. And Detroit has had an impact on music—from Motown rhythm and blues to rock, jazz, gospel, and electronic dance music—that is unparalleled. Detroit has […]

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