Montana State University

MSU American West series begins Oct. 3 with lecture by Stegner Chair Mark Fiege

September 20, 2016

Mark Fiege, the Wallace Stegner Chair in Western American Studies in the Department of History and Philosophy at Montana State University, will lecture about "A Country Without Illusions: Wallace Stegner in His Time and Ours" at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, in the Museum of the Rockies’ Hager Auditorium. The talk will be Fiege’s inaugural lecture as the Stegner Chair and will kick off the 2016 College of Letters and Science’s Western Lands and Peoples: Perspectives on the American West Lecture Series. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

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Mark Fiege, the Wallace Stegner Chair in Western American Studies in the Department of History and Philosophy at Montana State University, will lecture about "A Country Without Illusions: Wallace Stegner in His Time and Ours" at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, in the Museum of the Rockies’ Hager Auditorium. The talk will be Fiege’s inaugural lecture as the Stegner Chair and will kick off the 2016 College of Letters and Science’s Western Lands and Peoples: Perspectives on the American West Lecture Series.

Fiege’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be preceded by a reception at 5:15 p.m. in the museum’s lobby.

The American West lecture series features experts from around the country discussing the history, literature and culture of the West; issues affecting the wildlife and fisheries of the region; and the West’s geography, geology and resources.

Fiege said that nearly a quarter-century after his death, Stegner remains a towering figure in Western American letters.

“Possessed of uncommon literary gifts and an insightful mind, he illuminated the beauty and folly of the region that he loved and from which he derived a clear-eyed sense of self, community and land,” Fiege said.

Fiege said his lecture will discuss the ways Stegner speaks to us still, and reflect on the enduring significance of a writer who did much to shape a realist vision of a region that continues to defy easy explanations.

Before coming to MSU, Fiege spent 22 years as a faculty member at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where he co-founded the Public Lands History Center. His published work includes “Irrigated Eden: The Making of an Agricultural Landscape in the American West,” “The Republic of Nature: An Environmental History of the United States” and “National Parks Beyond the Nation: Global Perspectives on ‘America’s Best Idea,’” co-edited with Adrian Howkins and Jared Orsi. He is now working on a history of the U.S. national parks and the National Park Service, with emphasis on the far West and the Pacific.

The Western Lands and Peoples: Perspectives on the American West Lecture Series is cosponsored by the Burton K. Wheeler Center and is part of the College of Letters and Science’s Western Lands and Peoples Initiative, a collection of programs and events highlighting interdisciplinary research within the college that is focused on the places and peoples of the Western United States and Canada.

Jody Sanford (406) 994-7791, jody.sanford@montana.edu

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