Brown Bag History Series

Bring your lunch and learn! These seasonally recurring events bring highly-qualified speakers to the library to share about varied topics of cultural, historical, or scientific interest. These free programs are presented by the University of Nebraska at Kearney's History Department and History Nebraska at the Kearney Public Library.

Brown Bag Lunch Option 1

The Kearney War: Cowboys, Settlers, and Community Conflict in 1870s Central Nebraska

  • ellisWednesday, November 14, 2018
  • Noon–1:00 p.m.
  • Niobrara Room at Kearney Public Library

Dr. Mark Ellis is a professor and chair of the History Department at UNK. He grew up in Southern California, earning his BA (1990) and MA (1993) in History from California State University at Northridge. Leaving the sun and surf of California behind, he moved to the Great Plains where he completed a Ph.D. in History at the University of Nebraska (1999). UNK hired him as an assistant professor in 2000. 

Dr. Ellis specializes in the history of the American West / Native American but also teaches courses on the Great Depression, World War II, American Sports, History and Film, and Historiography. He has published numerous articles and a book (Law and Order in Buffalo Bill's Country: Legal Culture and Community on the Great Plains) on aspects of frontier law and legal culture. He is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled The Cowboy Menace, which examines the conflict between cattlemen and homesteaders on the Central Plains during the 1870s. In another manuscript project, he is co-authoring a book on Nebraska and World War II with Dr. Volpe. 

Kearney's Pioneer Neighborhood

  • Wednesday, February 13, 2019
  • Noon–1:00 p.m.
  • South Platte Room at Kearney Public Library

Dr. Elaine Nelson (UNO)

  • Elaine NelsonWednesday, April 11, 2019
  • Noon–1:00 p.m.
  • Kearney Public Library

Dr. Nelson is a U.S. historian specializing in the North American West. Her scholarship takes into consideration the complicated relationships that formed between the people and places in the Intermountain West and Great Plains. Nelson’s first full-length monograph is a revised manuscript of her dissertation, “Dreams and Dust in the Black Hills: Indigenous People, Promised Lands, and National Identity in America, 1868-1968” and under contract with the University of Oklahoma Press. This study considers how the role of the tourism industry exploited Indigenous cultures, land, and gender to showcase a myth that celebrated western expansion and national identity.

In July 2017 Nelson became the Executive Director of the Western History Association after it moved to the History Department. At UNO the organization will continue to thrive in its mission as the "congenial home for the study and teaching of all aspects of North American Wests, frontiers, homelands and borderlands."Nelson has presented her work at numerous academic conferences and is involved with various professional organizations. Her work has been recognized and supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, American Philosophical Society Phillips Fund Grant, Western Association of Women Historians Founders’ Dissertation Award, Charles Redd Center, Center for Great Plains Studies, and the Nebraska State Historical Society. She also resident fellowships at the Newberry Library, Huntington Library, Cody Institute for Western American Studies, and American Heritage Center.