Tetrault will present a lecture titled “The Myth of Seneca Falls: The Problem of a Beginning for U.S. Women’s Rights.”

Her first book, “The Myth of Seneca Falls: The Problem of a Beginning for U.S. Women’s Rights,” won the Organization of American Historians' inaugural Mary Jurich Nickliss women's history book prize. It uncovers the story behind the U.S. women’s rights movement beginning with the Seneca Falls, New York, meeting in 1848. Exploring the history of this story, rather than the event itself, Tetrault uncovers how this account was manufactured in response to Reconstruction-era politics, some 40 to 50 years after the actual meeting, with broad-reaching implications for the content and direction of the movement.

Tetrault has received long-term fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, the Newberry Library and the Smithsonian Institution. This lecture will be presented as part of the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program.

The Schell Lecture is sponsored by the USD history department and named after Dean Herbert S. Schell (1899-1994), who served the University of South Dakota and the State of South Dakota for more than 40 years. The lecture honors his service by spreading knowledge of history throughout the campus and community to which he was devoted. History department faculty are responsible for choosing a speaker whose research holds interest and importance to the department as well as the public.

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