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.
  • 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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  • The Boundaries of Pluralism

    In this installment of the Making Michigan series, Gary Krenz sits down (virtually) with U-M Professor Andrei Markovits and Kenneth Garner to discuss how Jewish students lived at the University of Michigan in the first four decades of the 20th century, how they were integrated, and how they made this a good place for them but also how there were limits to this bliss.

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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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  • Coeducation for Democracy

    2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the admission of women to U-M. Andrea Turpin, associate professor of history at Baylor University and author of the recent award-winning book, A New Moral Vision: Gender, Religion, and the Changing Purposes of American Higher Education, 1837-1917, recently spoke on the struggle for women's admission at U-M and the experiences of women students here during the early decades of coeducation.

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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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  • “We Must Work Off Our Surplus Animal Spirits”

    A lecture by Greg Kinney and Brian Williams of the Bentley Historical Library investigates the 19th-century origins of athletic competition at the University of Michigan.

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  • 150 Years of the University Hospital

    Dr. Joel Howell, professor of internal medicine, recounts 150 years of history of the University of Michigan hospital.

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  • Lilly Stalks, Pounded Murphies and Caramel Ice Cream

    A lecture by Lisa Young of the Department of Anthropology, part of the Lectures on the History of U-M, investigating the food system that fed U-M students.

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