Upcoming Presentations

University of Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma

Merkel Family Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series

Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of the American West

Thursday, February 29, 2024, 5 p.m.

409 W. Boyd St., Norman, OK 73069-4826

Pioneer Woman Museum

Ponca City, Oklahoma

Friday, March 1, 1-4 p.m.

701 Monument Road, Ponca City, Oklahoma 74604

Stay tuned for more upcoming visits to local communities.

Watch/Listen Online

Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory

University of North Dakota

Women’s History Month presentation University Council for Women+

March 27, 2023

KPR Presents: Grandma in a Sunbonnet

How do we remember and honor the women who settled Kansas and the West?  Dr. Cynthia Culver Prescott explores the statues that commemorate them in her book, Pioneer Mother Monuments: Constructing Cultural Memory. 

An interview with Kansas Public Radio

Aired November 27, 2022

Rediscovering Kansas City’s Pioneer Mothers

Kansas City Central Library
Kansas City, Missouri
August 18, 2019

Sponsored by the University of Oregon Department of History and Lane County History Museum
Viking Braggot Company Southtowne
Eugene, Oregon
July 15, 2019

Controversial Monuments of the American West Panel Discussion

Western History Association Annual Meeting
San Antonio, Texas
Friday, October 19, 2018

America’s Pioneer Monuments

There are hundreds of monuments throughout the country honoring the pioneers who settled the American West. But what do these tributes say about our ideas about American exceptionalism, race relations and gender identity?

Interview with Steve Kraske on Up To Date, KCUR (Kansas City public radio). Up to Date focuses on pressing issues, both local and national, including politics, economics, planning and design, history and culture — topics that have an impact on the lives of the Greater Kansas City region. Segment 2, beginning at 24:20: Public sculptures reveal how we have constructed our cultural history.

Monumental Debates: Academic Perspectives on Global Movements to Topple Historical Monuments

Claremont McKenna College
October 8, 2020

Panelists: Ana Lucia Araujo, Daniela Blei, and Cynthia Culver Prescott

In summer 2020, protesters throughout the United States and around the globe demanded the removal of statues memorializing historical figures such as Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Experts who study the meaning behind memorials offer a discussion on why people took to the streets to argue for or against the preservation of certain historical monuments. Drawing from research on the public memory of the Atlantic slave trade, Pioneer Mother monuments, and Nazi monuments after WWII, panelists Ana Lucia Araujo, professor of history at Howard University, Cynthia Culver Prescott, associate professor of history at the University of North Dakota, and writer and editor Daniela Blei provide an engaged discussion of present battles over the past.

Past Presentations

Lawrence, Kansas

Pioneer Mother Monuments

University of Kansas

November 3, 2022

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Pioneer Mother Monuments

Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Colorado Springs, Colorado

August 8, 2020

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Pioneer Mother Monuments and US Cultural Memory

In 1911, Denverites opposed plans for a Pioneer Monument featuring a Plains Indian warrior towering over white settlers. A century later, Colorado Springs residents rejected a conventional covered wagon monument in favor of a modern design celebrating cultural inclusivity. Amid anti-racist protests this summer, Denver removed part of its Pioneer Monument. Cynthia Prescott will recount 100 years of pioneer monument controversies in Colorado, and invite you to consider the future of local statues.

University of Guelph

February 27, 2020

Fargo, North Dakota

Responses to the Past

with Rebecca Weaver-Hightower, author of Frontier Fictions: Settler Sagas and Postcolonial Guilt

How should we remember North Dakota pioneers?
What are our responsibilities as residents of lands taken from previous occupants?

HoDo Restaurant & Lounge
February 16, 2020

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Myth and Memory in Western Pioneer Monuments

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
September 17, 2019

Denver, Colorado

Myth and Memory in Denver’s Pioneer Monuments

Denver Public Library
September 15, 2019

Kansas City, Missouri

Rediscovering Kansas City’s Pioneer Mothers

Kansas City Central Library
August 18, 2019

Eugene, Oregon

Myth and Memory in Oregon’s Pioneer Monuments

Viking Braggot Company Southtowne
July 15, 2019

Cosponsored by the Lane County History Museum and University of Oregon Department of History

Portland, Oregon

The Promised Land? Public Reactions to Portland’s Pioneer Monuments

Presented by Cynthia C. Prescott with Wendell Baskins and Marc Carpenter

Oregon Historical Society Museum
July 14, 2019

Bismarck, North Dakota

Myth and Memory in Western Pioneer Monuments

North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum
May 19, 2019

Tempe, Arizona

Myth and Memory in Arizona’s Pioneer Monuments

Arizona Heritage Center
March 14, 2019

San Francisco, California

Depicting Race in San Francisco’s Pioneer Monuments: 100 Years of Debate

San Francisco Public Library
July 28, 2018