OLLI at MSU Winter/Spring Reception with Keynote Address by MSU Historian Robert Rydell

Online via Webex

Upcoming Dates & Times


Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 4:00pm - 6:00pm

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Montana State University, formerly MSU Wonderlust, will host its annual winter/spring semester reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 6, via Webex featuring keynote speaker Robert W. Rydell, a professor of history and director of the American studies program at MSU.

Rydell’s keynote, “I Have Seen the Future: Reflections on World's Fairs and their Imprint on the Modern World,” will be followed by brief presentations, a Q&A session with winter/spring semester instructors and highlights of the upcoming side trip speaker series.

The reception is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, visit www.montana.edu/olli/register. Upon registration, participants will receive an email with the Webex link and instructions how to join.

Since the first world's fair in 1851, these spectacles of modernity have attracted well over a billion visitors. In his keynote address, Rydell will discuss the history of world's fairs, focusing on American exhibitions and examine some of the reasons why world's fairs have recently fallen out of favor in the U.S. but may be on the cusp of making a comeback.

Robert W. Rydell is one of the leading authorities on the history of international exhibitions (sometimes called world expos or world’s fairs). He is the author of multiple books and essays about the subject. Rydell has served as guest curator for “Designing Tomorrow,” an exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. about world’s fairs and the history of modern design. He has held the John Adams Chair in American Studies at the University of Amsterdam, served as a fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, and been involved with multiple documentary film and museum-based projects about the significance of universal expositions. He is also the author, with Rob Kroes, of “Buffalo Bill in Bologna” (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2005). He is the recipient of the Mary C. Turpie Prize from the American Studies Association and of a Humanities Heroes Award from Humanities Montana for his work promoting the humanities in Montana.

OLLI at MSU is a lifelong learning program of MSU Academic Technology and Outreach offering a variety of noncredit courses, lectures, book discussion groups and other activities for the intellectually curious. OLLI at MSU members receive course discounts and free entry to the Side Trip Lecture Series, which are two-hour lectures on selected topics. To purchase an OLLI membership or to register for winter/spring programs, visit www.montana.edu/olli/.

For more information, please contact MSU Academic Technology and Outreach, 406-994-6550, ato@montana.edu.