University of Minnesota
Department of History

Department of History's home page.

Brenda J Child

American Studies 209 Scott Hall 72 Pleasant Street SE

Department Affiliations


  • American Indian history
  • multiculturalism
  • native culture

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: History, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, none.
  • M.A.: History, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, none.
  • B.S. Ed.: History & Social Studies, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN, none.


  • Train Time, an excerpt from Boarding School Seasons. Child, Brenda, 2001.
  • Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Experiences, 1879-2000. Child, Brenda, The Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, 2000.
  • Ojibwe Children and Boarding Schools, an excerpt from Boarding School Seasons. Child, Brenda, 2001.
  • Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940.. Child, Brenda, University of Nebraska Press, 1998.

Professional Activities

  • Editorial Board, Ethnohistory: 2001
  • Member, Graduate Studies Committee, Program in American Studies, University of Minnesota: 1997 - 1999
  • Indigenous Language Initiative Program, Department of American Indian Studies and the Department of Maori Studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand: 2003
  • Prize Committee, American Society for Ethnohistory: 2002
  • Prize Committee, American Society for Ethnohistory: 2000
  • Editorial Board, American Indian Education Series, University of Nebraska Press: 2000
  • Local Planning Committee Member, Keeping Our Faculties: Addressing the Recruitment and Retention of Faculty of Color, a conference at the University of Minnesota: 2002
  • Member, Admissions and Awards Committee, Department of American Studies, Univeristy of Minnesota: 2001 - 2002
  • Editorial Board, Native American Studies Series, Michigan State Univeristy Press: 1996
  • Editorial Board, American Indian Lives Series, The University of Nebraska Press: 1998
  • Member, American Studies Executive Committee, University of Minnesota: 1997 - 1998

Outreach Activities

  • Member, Native American Council, The Eiteljorg Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Executive Council, The Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN: 1998
  • Board of Directors, The Division of Indian Works, Minneapolis, MN: 1999
  • Board of Directors, The Circle, the newspaper of the American Indian community of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN: 1998


  • The North American Indian Prose Award for Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940, 1998
  • Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program, 2000 - 2001
  • Minnesota Book Award Nominee for History for Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940, 1999
  • The President's Muticultural Research Award, University of Minnesota, 2002
  • University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid of Research, 1999 - 2000

Courses Taught

  • AmSt 1907W - Freshman Seminar - After Wounded Knee: American Indians
  • AmSt 3113W - America's Diverse Cultures
Alternative Output Formats Alternative Output Formats

Featured Faculty

  • Prof. Ruggles Chosen to Lead Population Association of America (PAA)

    Prof. Steve Ruggles has been chosen president-elect of the Population Association of America (PAA) He will be the first historian ever to lead that organization (more typically its presidents have been sociologists or economists). Steve will serve as PAA president-elect in 2014 and president in 2015.

    This honor is recognition of the great work that Steve has done both in his own research and in supporting the work of other scholars through his work with the Minnesota Population Center. Congratulations, Prof. Ruggles!

    Learn more about the Population Association of America (PAA)

    March 15th, 2014
  • Digital Research Projects by HIST 3959 Students

    In Fall 2013, HIST 3959 - How to Do History was taught by Prof. Donna Gabaccia with a focus on digital history research projects. One additional feature of HIST 3959 this fall was that six graduate students earned graduate credit by working with the undergraduate groups as "project managers."

    Here is a sample of innovative projects from class:

    The Pacific Railroad Surveyors
    Jewish Life in 1930s/40s Minneapolis
    Why Public Education?
    Rustication in the Chinese Cultural Revolution
    Early Scandinavian Cartography
    Korea, Forgotten War?
    Political Leadership and Masculinity

    December 13th, 2013
  • Major Awards for History Profs. Kevin Murphy, Barbara Welke, Donna Gabaccia (2), Kay Reyerson, Elaine Tyler May

    It has been a season for great honors and accomplishments for our faculty. Congratulations to all!

    Donna Gabaccia is one of the recipients of the 2013 University Outstanding Community Service Award
    Donna Gabaccia has been awarded the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Award of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society for Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective.
    Elaine Tyler May has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2013 by The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
    Kevin Murphy is a 2013 recipient of the UofM's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.
    Kay Reyerson has been awarded the Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies by the Medieval Academy.
    Barbara Welke has been named one of the new Distinguished McKnight University Professors.

    April 3rd, 2013

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