History Department Faculty Member Presents at Conference

Paul Nienkamp attended the conference “Thinking Land-Grants: A “Celebration” of the 150th Anniversary of the Morrill Land-Grant Act” at Mississippi State University from October 3 to October 7, 2012.  He presented his paper titled “Engineering a National Character: Early Land-Grant College Engineering and the Quest for an American Identity in the Late-Nineteenth Century”, which discussed the early efforts of administrators, instructors, and students to develop an approach to education that combined the rugged individualism of frontier settlers with the most beneficial aspects of modern science and technology that could be taught in new college settings, especially in the American Midwest, where land-grant colleges produced some of the best trained and largest groups of engineers and scientists before 1900.

The papers from the conference will be submitted as full-length article manuscripts by December 2012, used as part of a graduate course in Spring 2013, and then the completed book chapters will be combined into a two-volume set that examines the themes and major topics of the Land-Grant Act over the past 150 years in the United States.

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