Elizabeth Fenn’s lecture tells the story of North Dakota’s Mandan Indians, widely known for hosting Lewis and Clark during the winter of 1804-1805. The challenges the Mandans faced included epidemics of smallpox and whooping cough and invasions of Norway rats, which diminished Mandan numbers from more than 12,000 in 1500 to fewer than 300 in 1838.
In this talk, Fenn will be speaking about her recent book, Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People. Her previous book, Pox Americana, has had an enormous influence. Fenn is among a handful of historians who have put continental history on the map. For more information, click here. Fenn also has had an interesting work history, as she dropped out of graduate school at Yale to become a car mechanic. To read more about her story, click here.
Low Lecture, sponsored by the Department of History