Crossroads of Conflict  |

Contested Visions of Freedom & The Missouri-Kansas Border Wars









Workshop Schedule

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The workshop will be offered twice. Forty participants will be selected for each week.

Session I: Sunday, June 25 - Friday, June 30, 2017
Session II: Sunday, July 9 - Friday, July 14, 2017

Applicants should indicate on their application which session they would prefer.
Session I and Session II will follow the same schedule.*


On Sunday evening the workshop will begin with the program orientation and welcome from Mary Ann Wynkoop and Dacia Rzchowski. Academic Director Diane Mutti Burke will briefly discuss the landmarks, introduce the workshop scholars and personnel, setting the stage for the week's activities.

NEH Summer Scholars will visit the Wornall House, where they will enjoy a welcome dinner featuring regional cuisine.


Fault Lines of Freedom: Slavery and Freedom on the Border
The day will begin with a message from Mary Ann Wynkoop, followed by a lecture from Nicole Etcheson on "Bleeding Kansas: Contested Ideas of Liberty on the American Frontier."

NEH Summer Scholars will tour the University of Missouri – Kansas City campus, as well as explore the online archival resources available on "The Civil War on the Western Border" website with the help of content manager and editor, Jason Roe. After lunch, Diane Mutti Burke will discuss Missouri slavery with NEH scholars.

After lunch, NEH Scholars will visit to the Kansas City River Market, including a tour of the Steamboat Arabia Museum.

In the evening, Dacia Rzchowski will hold "office hours" to discuss lesson plans.


Commerce at the Crossroads: The Conflict of Transition
Tuesday morning participants will travel to Watkins Woolen Mill State Park, where they will tour the mill, school church, and house.

Participants will then travel to the Jesse James Farm and Museum where they will explore the outlaw's family homestead before returning to campus in the evening for a screening of the film Ride With the Devil (1991).


Conflicting Visions of Freedom: The Failure of Popular Sovereignty
While en route to Lecompton, Kansas, participants will view the docudrama Free State Fortress. Upon arrival in Lecompton participants will tour Constitutional Hall and the Territorial Capital Museum. In Lecompton, participants will literally meet the historical actors at a performance of Frontier Personalities.

Scholars will then travel to Lawrence, Kansas, where they will tour the site of Quantrill’s Raid and visit the Border Wars exhibit at Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Site. Kristen Tegtmeier Oretel will lecture on “John Brown and Clarina Nichols: Sorting out the Myth and History of Bleeding Kansas Heroes.” Participants will eat dinner in Lawrence before returning to campus.


The Border Wars in Memory
NEH Summer Scholars will travel to Bates County, Missouri, where they will spend the morning participating in a Border Wars era archeological dig of a Burnt District farm.

Diane Mutti Burke will discuss the thousands of Missourians who were displaced by the war in her lecture, "Scattered People: Missouri's Civil War Refugees." Over lunch at the Bates County Museum, there will be time for NEH Scholars to explore the sire and the effects of Order Number 11 on Missouri's civilian population.

Jeremy Neely will provide insight into how border residents reconciled after the conflict ended in his lecture "The Border of Memory: The Promise and Limits of Postwar Reconciliation."

NEH Schoalrs will watch The Battle of Island Mound film before touring the site with a presentation from retired U.S. Army General Donald Scott.

Scholars will enjoy a farewell dinner in historic Butler, Missouri. On the return trip to Kansas City, we will stop at the Burnt District Monument in Harrisonville, Missouri.


From Contention to Warfare: The Uncivil Society
Friday morning Ethan Refuse will provide a guided tour of the Battle of Westport, the largest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River.

NEH Scholars will learn about the guerrilla warfare that scourged the border region in the lecture by Christopher Phillips, "Shadow Wars: Civilians in the Crucible of War."

The Crossroads of Conflict program will conclude with an early afternoon luncheon, where NEH Summer Scholars will have the opportunity to share their proposed lesson plans and reflect on what they have learned and experienced during the week long workshop.

Later in the afternoon, NEH Scholars will have the option of touring the American Collection, including the words of Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

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Contact Us

NEH Border Wars
203 Cockefair Hall
University of Missouri-Kansas City
5121 Rockhill Rd
Kansas City, MO 64110

SUMMER 2017 Workshops
June 25 - June 30
July 9 - July 14

Sponsored by the
UMKC Center for Midwestern Studies

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.