Montana State University

Ghost Dance survival to be discussed during March 28 Stegner Lecture

March 4, 2014 -- MSU News Service

Subscribe to MSU Newsletters

Bobcat Bulletin is a weekly e-newsletter designed to bring the most recent and relevant news about Montana State University directly to friends and neighbors via email. Visit Bobcat Bulletin.

MSU Today e-mail brings you news and events on campus thrice weekly during the academic year. Visit the MSU Today calendar.

MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN -  Award-winning historian Louis S. Warren will speak on “God’s Red Son: The Survival of the Ghost Dance" when he delivers Montana State University's 2014 Wallace Stegner Lecture at 6 p.m. Friday, March 28, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baxter Hotel, 105 W. Main St. in Bozeman.  

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required due to limited seating. Seating will begin at 5:30 p.m. A reception will follow the lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Baxter Hotel’s Petite Ballroom. 

Warren will examine the manner in which the Ghost Dance of 1890 promised American Indians a new earth and the resurrection of the old ways. According to common belief, the tradition was buried with the dead at the Wounded Knee Massacre, but Warren argues that the Ghost Dance did not die.  It spread, adapted and survived, influencing religious practice among Indian peoples long into the 20th century.  How did it survive?  What did it offer believers that helped them make their way in the modern world? And how have so many historians, writers, and filmmakers been wrong about this American religion? Warren answers these questions with a bold reinterpretation of a pivotal moment in American history. 

Warren is the W. Turrentine Jackson Professor of Western U.S. History at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches environmental history, the history of the American West, California history and U.S. history.  He is author of “The Hunter’s Game:  Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America” (Yale, 1997) and “Buffalo Bill’s America:  William Cody and the Wild West Show” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005). 

Warren has received numerous awards, including the Albert Beveridge Prize of the American Historical Association, the Caughey Western History Association Prize, the Western Writers of America Spur Award, the Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Wrangler Award for Best Non-Fiction Book.  He is currently writing a new booktitled,  “The Rising of God’s Red Son:  The Making of an American Religion and the Road from Wounded Knee” in support of which he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012 – 13.  

The Stegner Lecture is sponsored by the Wallace Stegner Endowed Chair in Western American Studies at MSU. The chair continues Stegner's legacy by focusing on teaching and research in history, literature, and philosophy with a concentration on pressing Western issues. The Wallace Stegner Lecture is hosted each year by the MSU Department of History and Philosophy. Past Stegner lecturers included Terry Tempest Williams, Jane Goodall, and David Quammen. 

While tickets are free, seating is limited. Tickets are available through MSU’s Department of History and Philosophy. Call (406) 994-4396, email or visit Wilson Hall 2-155. 

For more information, contact: Cassandra Balent in the Department of History and Philosophy, or 994-4396.  


Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or