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Riv-Ellen Prell Presents "A Campus Divided"

September 6, 2017 - 7:30pm

Temple Israel
2324 Emerson Avenue South
Minneapolis MN

An exhibition on the 1930s at the University of Minnesota opens in August at Andersen Library.  Co-curated by Riv-Ellen Prell and Sarah Atwood-Hoffman, it explores both the inspiring and disturbing story of campus life.

Student activists worked hard for change as they confronted the United States entering war again, on campus racism, and the rights of students to protest and hold a range of political views.

At the same time student housing was segregated, and off-campus boarding houses' refusal to accept Jewish and African American students was sanctioned by the University. The long-time dean of students spied on students for Republican political operatives to claim the University as a hot bed of communism headed by Jewish students. The exhibition tells the story of many of these forgotten activists who went on to remarkable careers and continued commitment to change.  It asks questions about how we tell history, and how we can draw on memory to think about the future.

Riv-Ellen Prell, an anthropologist, is Professor Emerita of American studies at the University of Minnesota, and past director of the Center for Jewish Studies.  She has written extensively about American Jewish culture from the late 19th century to the present. Among her publications are her books, Fighting to Become Americans: Jews, Gender, and the Anxiety of Assimilation, Prayer and Community: the Havurah in American Judaism (winner of the National Jewish Book Award), and Women Remaking American Judaism, in addiition to nearly a hundred articles, reviews, and essays.

The exhibit, A Campus Divided: Progressives, Anti-Communists, and Anti-Semitism at the University of Minnesota, 1930-1944, opens August 14 and runs through November 30, 2017 at the Elmer L. Andersen Library Atrium Gallery.