Symposia & Lectures

Collected here are videos of lectures, panel discussions, seminars, and more, in which scholars from U-M and elsewhere examine a wide range of topics in the University’s history.
  • Michigan Football Game Films, 1930-1986: Digitizing Game-Day History

    Join Brian Williams and Greg Kinney as they delve into the process of digitizing over 400 game films, dating from 1930 to 1986, that are now available online. These game films serve as the first phase of a two-phase digitization project at the Bentley Historical Library.

  • Undermining Racial Justice at the University of Michigan

    Tune in for a discussion with Associate Professor Matthew Johnson from Texas Tech University about the University of Michigan's history of sacrificing racial equality to other university values. In this installment of the Making Michigan Lecture series, Professor Johnson delves into the history of racial justice approaches at U-M and the remnants of elitism in these approaches.

  • University of Michigan campus 1937

    Pathways to Greatness

    In this installment of the Making Michigan lecture series, Bentley Director Terry McDonald discusses U-M's rise to becoming a top-ranked university, and what has been gained—and lost—in the process. Learn about who rates universities, how they do it, and what the impact has been.

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  • Constructing Gender

    Learn why the Union and League were designed as highly gendered spaces and how the architects achieved their vision of separate spaces for men and women. Featuring Bentley Associate Director Nancy Bartlett and Bentley Project Archivist Sarah McLusky.

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  • Anti-fascism poster from the Spanish Civil War

    Anti-Fascism at U-M

    U-M Professor Juli Highfill discusses defending democracy during the Spanish Civil War, including the impact of the Great Depression and the rise of fascism on the U-M student body. Hosted by the Bentley Historical Library as part of its Making Michigan series.

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  • Protest on U-M's campus, March 1970

    Radical Roots, Contested Place

    U-M Professor Stephen Ward discusses the impact of the Black Power movement and struggles around race, nationally and locally, at U-M during the 1960s and 1970s. Hosted by the Bentley Historical Library as part of its Making Michigan series.

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  • A Conversation with Willis C. Patterson

    Celebrate the legacy of Willis C. Patterson as the Bentley Historical Library receives his donation of papers. This conversation was hosted by Bentley Director Terrence McDonald, with greetings from U-M President Mark Schlissel, and remarks from Vice Provost Robert Sellers, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Dean David Gier, and School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Professor Louise Toppin.

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  • Stars Rising: Why U-M’s Detroit Observatory Matters and Where It’s Going

    Why is an observatory in Ann Arbor named for Detroit? What made the Detroit Observatory a milestone for the University of Michigan and American higher education? How was the Observatory central to the growth of American astronomical science, when did it lose that role, and how did it get it back? And who were some of the people who made it all happen? Gary Krenz of the University’s Bentley Historical Library will explore these and other questions in this talk held at the Ann Arbor District Library in October 2019.

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  • Telling the Truth About the Liberal Arts: Histories and Futures

    A lecture by Terry McDonald, Director of the Bentley Historical Library and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of History at the University of Michigan, in which he discusses how understanding of "liberal arts" evolved over time and where it stands now, with implications for where it might be headed.

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