Displays and Educational Sessions Open to the Public April 16 & 17 in St. Louis

BLOOMINGTON—Complex, controversial topics like race relations, religion, and politics still remain taboo in American conversation and education. Thanks to a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council (MHC), local residents can learn more about the meaning of historical taboos and revitalizing the conversations they inspire on April 16 and 17.

"We are so pleased the Missouri Humanities Council supported our funding request. Their grant enables us to open two educational sessions and several museum displays to the public," says Katherine Finley, executive director of the Organization of American Historians (OAH).

The MHC awarded a grant of $2,500 to OAH in support of making the displays and educational sessions free to Missouri citizens. The MHC is the only state-wide agency in Missouri devoted exclusively to humanities education for citizens of all ages. It has served as the state affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities since 1971.

Finley hopes teachers, elected officials, civic and community leaders, K-12 teachers, community college educators, and others interested in St. Louis and American history will attend. The displays and sessions are part of the OAH 2015 Annual Meeting, which will be held April 16-19 in downtown St. Louis. The event is nation's largest gathering of American historians.

THURSDAY, APRIL 16 | 1 to 3:30 p.m. | America's Center
These museum displays are free and open to the public:

  • St. Louis: Capital City of the Fur West
    This exhibit showcases furs and rare artifacts from the extensive collection of Dr. J. Frederick Fausz, a history professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
  • Thrill Seekers: The Rise of Men’s Magazines
    Items from Washington University’s Modern Graphic History Library document the growth of men’s magazines like Esquire, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, and lesser-known pulp fiction and girlie magazines from the 1940s to the 1960s.
  • Gateway to History: Selections from the St. Louis LGBT History Project
    The St. Louis LGBT History Project tells the story of the Gateway City’s diverse and vibrant queer past through exhibit panels and artifacts that document activism, politics, the arts, religion, business, and more.
  • Selections from the Washington University Special Collections
    This display will showcase culturally and historically taboo materials specially selected for the OAH 2015 Annual Meeting.

THURSDAY, APRIL 16 | 3:30 to 5 p.m. | America's Center
This free educational session is open to the public:

  • American History from the Inside Out: Putting St. Louis’s History of Cities, Suburbs, and Race Relations to Work to Reconfigure the National Narrative
    Rather than focusing on coastal cities like New York, Boston, Los Angeles or San Francisco, this session looks at how the history of interior cities like St. Louis confirm and challenge histories from coastal regions. Panelists also will discuss recent events in Ferguson and consider race relations in the nation’s midsection compared to those in metropolitan areas on the east and west coasts.

FRIDAY, APRIL 17 | 3:30 to 5 p.m. | America's Center
This free educational session is open to the public:

  • The Humor in History and the History of Humor
    If all is fair in love and war, Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor for The New Yorker magazine, will demonstrate that pretty much everything historical is fair game for cartoonists. Mankoff’s talk will focus on what makes Americans and people around the world laugh, both now and in years past.

Peter Kastor, Washington University in St. Louis, and Kevin Fernlund, University of Missouri-St. Louis, are co-chairs of the meeting's local resource committee.

For more information about the grants program of the Missouri Humanities Council, call 314.781.9660 or 800.357.0909. Write to the MHC at 543 Hanley Industrial Court, Suite 205, St. Louis, MO 63144-1905. For more information about OAH, visit oah.org, e-mail oah@oah.org, or call 812.855.7311.


Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the world's largest professional association dedicated to American history scholarship. With more than 7,800 members from the U.S. and abroad, OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, encouraging wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of history practitioners. It publishes the quarterly Journal of American History, the leading scholarly publication and journal of record in the field of American history for more than nine decades. It also publishes
The American Historian magazine.

Posted: March 9, 2015
Tagged: OAH Press Releases, News of the Organization