The Twelfth Annual Dale E. Benson Lecture in Business and Economic History

Please join the PLU community on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 in the Anderson University Center, Scandinavian Cultural Center (AUC 100), at 7:30 p.m. to hear this year’s Benson lecturer Stephen Mihm, Associate Professor of History from the University of Georgia.  This year’s lecture is entitled “The Futures Business: Standards, Grades, and the Making of the Modern World.”

Professor Mihm discusses how systems of standards, largely invisible to the public, have imposed an astonishing measure of uniformity on the raw materials (a barrel of oil, a bushel of wheat, or a bale of cotton) that move through the global marketplace.  The lecture is free and open to the public. The community will also be welcomed by Associate Professor Michael Halvorson, the incoming Benson Family Chair in Business and Economic History.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Ninth Annual Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education

Women and the Holocaust

Why study women and their experiences in the Holocaust? It was not until the 1980s that historians such as Joan Ringelheim and other academics began to ask the question “Where are the women?” in the story of the Holocaust. This conference is not an attempt to create a competition of suffering between males and females. It is merely an acknowledgement that women’s experiences, because of their gender and socialization, were simply different from men’s.

In the words of historian Myrna Goldenberg, both sexes experienced “different horrors, but the same hell.” Our conference scholars will present their latest research on women in the Holocaust — not as just victims, but as survivors, rescuers, collaborators and even as perpetrators. John Stuart Mill once wrote that the way a society treats women tells us a great deal about how civilized that society is. By exploring the position of women in the Holocaust, we are revealing what half of the world’s population experienced, thereby enhancing our understanding of the chaos and destruction that was the Holocaust.

The Ninth Annual Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education “Women and the Holocaust” will take place Oct. 17-19. We look forward to seeing you all this fall.

The conference is free and open to the public. To register go to:

The Forty-third Walter C. Schnackenberg Memorial Lecture

The Forty-third Walter C. Schnackenberg Lecture will be Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 7:00pm in Xavier Hall, Room 201.

The Department of History has invited Charlotte Gordon, Associate Professor in the School of Arts & Sciences at Endicott College, MA, to be this year’s honored speaker.

Professor Gordon’s lecture is entitled “In Her Mother’s Footsteps: The Lives of Mary Shelley and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft.”  Professor Gordon’s lecture will be accessible to wide ranging audiences, including undergraduates and the general public. The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer period and a reception of light food and drinks.  The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

Charlotte Gordon is an award-winning author whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, SlateHarvard Magazine, and The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry, among other publications. Her latest book, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley (Random House) won the National Book Critics Circle award. She has also published Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Story of America’s First Poet (Little, Brown) and The Woman Who Named God: Abraham’s Dilemma and the Birth of Three Faiths (Little, Brown). An Associate Professor in the School of Arts & Sciences at Endicott College, she has been a frequent guest on NPR and the CBC. Professor Gordon received her A.B. from Harvard College and her Ph.D. from Boston University.  From 1999-2002 she was Elie Wiesel’s teaching assistant at Boston University. For further information on Gordon’s books, see

We hope that you will be able to attend this year.  Please contact Ms. Brenda Murray at or (253) 535-7595 if you have questions concerning this event.

The Annual Raphael Lemkin Lecture and Essay Awards

The Annual Raphael Lemkin Lecture and Essay Awards will be scheduled for Spring 2017.  Watch for updates.

We will also be recognizing this years Raphael Lemkin Essay winners.

A reception will follow the lecture and award ceremony.

The event is free and open to the public.