Annual Local History Roundtable

9th Annual Local History Roundtable: "Returning to our Roots: Explorations of Western Michigan’s Diverse Communities”

This year’s roundtable reflects the Kutsche Office’s mission to give voice to diverse communities through history and Paul Kutsche’s legacy and deep commitment to support local historians and cultural heritage organizations. We look forward to celebrating those whose history is sometimes unwritten, paying special attention to the dynamic individuals that call West Michigan home.

2204 Kirkhof Center, GVSU ALLENDALE CAMPUS


8:30-9:00 am            Check in and Registration
9:00-10:00 am          Opening Remarks/Welcome
10:00-11:15 am        Morning Keynote:  Ronald J. Stephens, Purdue University
                                 Entrepreneurial Exchanges among African American Leaders in Western Michigan
11:30 am-12:30 pm  Community Collaboration Grant Recipient: Kathryn Remlinger
                                 How Much Dutch? The Linguistic Landscape of Holland, Michigan
12:30 -1:15 pm         LUNCH
1:15 -2:15 pm           Afternoon speaker: Andrea Riley-Mukavetz, Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies, GVSU
                                 Stories for the next generation: an indigenous approach to oral history 
2:30-3:30 pm            Tribute to Paul Kutsche

We’re excited to announce our keynote speaker is Ronald J. Stephens, an authority on the African American resort community of Idlewild, Michigan. Stephens’ research focuses on African American rural and urban communities, as well as 20th century African American culture, identity, history, and political thought. He is author of Idlewild: The Rise, Decline and Rebirth of a Unique African American Resort Town (University of Michigan Press, 2013); Idlewild: The Black Eden of Michigan (Arcadia Publishing, 2001), as well as co-author of African Americans of Denver (Arcadia Publishing 2008). In addition to authoring books and articles, and serving as a media consultant on Idlewild and other topics in African American Studies, he is co-curator of Welcome to Idlewild, a Michigan State University Museum traveling photographic exhibition (2003-present).

We are happy to also feature  the scholarship of Dr. Kathryn Remlinger and Dr. Andrea Riley-Mukavetz. Dr. Remlinger is the recipient of the inaugural Kutsche Office Community Collaboration Grant.


Local History Roundtable

Past Roundtables

  • 2017 ("Reconstructing Home"): Held at GVSU's Mary Idema Pew Library and Information Commons; featured speakers included Professor Bich (Beth) Minh Nguyen (author of Stealing Buddha's Dinner), Julie Tabberer, Head of the Local History Department and Special Collections at Grand Rapids Public Library, and Nathan Nietering of Saugatuck-Douglas History Center. 
  • 2016 ("Changing Communities"): Held at GVSU's Mary Idema Pew Library and Information Commons; featured speakers included Todd Robinson (author of City Within a City), Tim Gleisner (now of Herrick District Library), and Delia Fernandez (Michigan State University)
  • 2015 ("Food, Farm, and Table"): Held at the Grand Rapids Public Library, featured speakers included Hank Meijer (Meijer, Inc.) and Ellen Messer (Tufts University).
  • 2014 ("Immigration and Civil Rights"): Held at the Holland Museum, featured speakers included Bing Goei (State of Michigan) and Nora Salas (GVSU)
  • 2013 ("Natives, Settlers, and Founders: Our Shared Community History"): Held at the Grand Haven Community Center, featured speakers included Eric Hemenway (LTBB), Wallace Ewing, and Marjie Viveen
  • 2012 ("Transportation and Waterways"): Held at the Annis Water Institute in Muskegon, featured speakers included Kevin Finney (Jijak Foundation), Carl Bajema (GVSU), Daniel Yakes (MCC), Christine Byron (GRPL), and Tom Wilson
  • 2011 ("Meaning of the 150th Civil War Commemoration"): Held on GVSU's Allendale campus
  • 2010 (General meeting): Held on GVSU's Allendale campus 

Page last modified February 15, 2018