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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Last modified: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Indiana history journal delves into 'Creation, Betrayal, and Rescue' at Conner Prairie

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In its March 2012 issue, the Indiana Magazine of History offers a roundtable discussion centered on the recent struggles of Earlham College and Conner Prairie Interactive History Park.

Four experts in public history and philanthropy discuss the recent book "Twilight at Conner Prairie: The Creation, Betrayal, and Rescue of a Museum," written by Berkley Duck III, one of the ousted museum board members. Duck became a founder of Save the Prairie, the group that helped bring about the museum's independence in 2005.

Roundtable participants consider the lessons of the Conner Prairie conflict for other museums and public history sites: the proper role of a board in running an institution of public history, the instability of institutional memory, the importance of establishing donor intent and the necessity of written contracts to undergird donor/institution relationships.

Elsewhere in the issue, Modupe Labode, assistant professor of history and museum studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, considers the Indiana Repertory Theater's recent production of "The Gospel According to James." Playwright Charles Smith based his drama on the infamous 1930 Marion, Ind., lynchings of two black teenagers. Labode discusses how Smith carried out his theme of "the ambivalent nature of memory" by creating a meeting between a third teen who survived the lynching and the white woman who had been at the center of the controversy.

Finally, author Krista Kinslow rediscovers the supporting role played by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Indianapolis in the struggle for black civil rights from the late 1940s through the mid-1960s. Kinslow examines the council's work with black community groups and their leaders to fight for desegregation in public accommodations, education and housing.

The Indiana Magazine of History is published quarterly by the history department of Indiana University Bloomington, in cooperation with the Indiana Historical Society. For general information on the articles, contact the editorial office at 812-855-4139.


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