Genealogy Workshop with Eleanor Brinsko
(July 7, 2022)
Midwesterners make up the heart of America; we live and work among the farmlands, the Great North Woods, and factories and industries. It’s time to take a look at the people who have called this place home by looking at the history of the region and its people and where to find the documents to fill out our ancestors’ stories.
Eleanor Brinsko is a professional genealogist who specializes in Scandinavian-American genealogy by looking at genealogical and social trends on both sides of the Atlantic. She also teaches a graduate-level genealogy course for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s iSchool and has contributed to “Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s Finding Your Roots” on PBS.
This event was presented in partnership with the New Glarus Historical Society.
Folk Art Workshop with Beth Blahut
(June 22, 2022)
Local artist Beth Blahut presented a special workshop on folk art drawing and painting. We looked at various forms of European and American folk art, including at Scherenschnitte (Swiss paper-cutting), traditional painted Swiss architecture, Pennsylvania Dutch barn hex signs, and historic “Fraktur” documents. Participants were then provided with the necessary supplies to begin creating their own keepsake artwork.
This event was presented in cooperation with the Swiss Historical Village Museum.
Stand with Ukraine: Author Event with Dr. Ruslana Westerlund
(June 21, 2022)
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th has shaken the world to its foundation. Local Ukrainian Ruslana Westerlund, whose family is still in Ukraine, joined us to talk about her peaceful agrarian country, her resilient fearless people, and the historical context for this unjust war. In this talk, Ruslana shared stories of her relatives who are still in Ukraine, facing daily uncertainty. Ruslana also read from her memoir, From Borsch to Burgers, published before the war started.
This event was presented in partnership with Home of Our Own.
Critical Race Theory: What it is, what it isn't, and why it matters
(April 5, 2022)
Over the past few years, there has been much talk in the news regarding Critical Race Theory. But what is CRT exactly? At its heart, Critical Race Theory is an intellectual approach to examining our society to identify ways in which racist beliefs have influenced laws and institutions. Critical Race Theory itself is not being taught in our K-12 schools, but the research behind it has affected the way that many education experts view our school systems. Confusion, fear, and anger over what CRT is (and isn't) has caused deep divides in our schools and communities.
In this presentation, Dr. Gregg Jamison, an anthropological archaeologist who teaches a variety of introductory and upper level anthropology classes at UWM-Waukesha, sought to clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding CRT. Anthropology is the holistic study of people, and his focus in all classes is to encourage students to think critically about what it means to be human, where we come from, how and why we are such an incredibly diverse species, and how our past is connected to our present. Anthropology's emphasis on the interconnections between biology and culture guides his instruction in a wide variety of topics, including race, racism, and Critical Race Theory (CRT). His goals in teaching are to promote awareness and understanding, not shame or guilt.
Many thanks to Toffler's for hosting this event.