Great Lakes History Conference 2023

Saturday, October 7, 2023
8:00 p.m.
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Students

The 48th Annual Great Lakes History Conference is pleased to announce its annual conference held at GVSU in Grand Rapids, Michigan from October 5th – 7th, 2023. This year’s conference is sponsored by the University of Michigan at Dearborn and Hope College. The theme is “Division and Reaction”—during an era when everyday Americans are increasingly worried about the longevity of the Republic and Democracy. The conference will be open to the public for no fee.

Three keynote talks will be hosted on Thursday and Friday nights, and Saturday lunch at GVSU’s downtown campus.

On Thursday at 7PM, at the Loosemore Auditorium, Pulitzer Prize winner Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, Frank W. Thompson Professor of History and African American studies, will give a presentation entitled “The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Why it Matters Today.”

On Friday at 7PM, at the Loosemore Auditorium, National Book Award winner Dr. Kevin Boyle, William Smith Mason Professor of American History at Northwestern University, will give a presentation entitled “Blood Ties: An Intimate History of Political Violence in Twentieth Century America.”

On Saturday at 1PM, at the Loosemore Auditorium, Dr. Randal Maurice Jelks, Professor of African and African American Studies and American Studies at the University of Kansas, will be presenting on “Meditations on Democracy in Black America” and will explicate how “creative maladjustment” is a way for democracies to flourish.

Location Information

GVSU Devos Center
401 West Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI

See room numbers in Conference Program or visit our website:

View on Google Maps

Contact Information

Questions? Contact:

History Department Coordinator, Elizabeth Kovacs [email protected]

Conference Chair, Scott Stabler [email protected]

Conference Co-Chair, Joshua Morris [email protected]

Hosting Department, Organization, or Business

History Department


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This event was added to the calendar by Elizabeth Kovacs ( on Thursday, September 14, 2023 and was last updated on Monday, September 18, 2023 at 10:07 a.m.