Student Voice


June 12, 2024

Conzen will be UWRF Peterson Lecture Series keynote speaker

October 17, 2013

Kathleen Neils Conzen, Ph.D., Thomas E. Donnelley Professor Emerita of American History at the University of Chicago, will speak at UW-River Falls on Thursday, Oct. 24, as part of the annual Edward N. Peterson Lecture Series.

The lecture will begin at 4 p.m. in the Kinnickinnic River Theater of the University Center and will be preceded by a reception at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Conzen’s lecture, “German Immigrants, Transatlantic Ties and the Perils of American Pluralism, 1840-1940,” will address the German immigrant experience to explore the links between migration processes and community formation; the construction and reconstruction of ethnic identities; the relationship between religious, ethnic, and regional cultures; and the political integration of immigrants into the national community.

The lecture is one of many events at UWRF this year focusing on Germany as part of the global initiative of the University’s strategic plan. The Year of Germany program uses a multidisciplinary approach in order to understand and appreciate other countries and

Peterson taught history at UWRF from 1954 until his death in 2005. Among the many courses he enjoyed teaching were those focused on the 20th century, especially World War I, World War II and the Cold War. Peterson wrote 10 books on Germany in the 20th  century and devoted his scholarly life to issues surrounding war, peace and power.

To honor the memory of Peterson, and to address the vital issues of our time, the History and Philosophy Department established the series to emphasize the issues that were the focus of his academic life:  war and peace, abuses and limits of power and the struggle for democracy in the 20th century. The series is funded by an endowment made possible by the generous donations of students, alumni, faculty and friends, collected over many years.

Additional information on the Edward N. Peterson Lecture Series and this year’s event is available at
For more information, contact or call 715-425-3164.