Speakers Bureau: Press Authors | Wisconsin Historical Society

Speakers Bureau: Wisconsin Historical Society Press Authors

The Wisconsin Historical Society Speakers Bureau offers an exciting opportunity for our historians, curators and authors to visit your community and share the stories of our great state.

WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESS AUTHORS

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press creates publications that educate, enlighten, and entertain readers and support the mission of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Through its books and the Wisconsin Magazine of History, the Press shares what "makes Wisconsin, Wisconsin" through traditional histories, stories of previously underrepresented populations, illuminating memoirs, and more. Press authors negotiate their own fees for traveling and speaking.

To find a speaker, browse the listing of Wisconsin Historical Society Press authors below or use the search box at the top of this page: enter the word "speakers" and a topic such as sports or food or architecture (ex. "speakers Civil War"). Read the speaker's profile and when you've found someone you like, click "Request This Speaker" to tell us the date, time, and other details. We'll connect you with the speaker and help arrange what you need for a successful program. To view a listing of Wisconsin Historical Society staff and other experts available to speak, click here.

Please submit speaker requests at least 45 days prior to your desired program date. It typically takes about two weeks to process your request and confirm arrangements. Please note that speakers may be unable to accommodate some requests; in such cases, Press staff will recommend alternative speakers.

For questions about Press speakers, please contact whspress@wisconsinhistory.org or 608-890-2317.


Head shot of Terese Allen.

Terese Allen has written scores of books and articles about the food culture of Wisconsin, past and present, including the award-winning titles The Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State and The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids: A Feast of History, with Stories and Recipes Celebrating the Land and People of Our State; Wisconsin Local Foods Journal; Fresh Market Wisconsin; and The Ovens of Brittany Cookbook. Her columns and features have run in Edible Madison, Isthmus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin Trails Magazine, Edible Door and elsewhere. Terese is co-founder and a longtime leader of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW). Note: Terese is not available in May and has limited availability for weekend and gratis bookings.  Topic Area: Cooking and Food History  Request This Speaker


Mary Elise Antoine

Mary Elise Antoine, author of Enslaved, Indentured, Free: Five Black Women on the Upper Mississippi, 1800-1850 and The War of 1812 in Wisconsin: The Battle for Prairie du Chien and co-author of Frenchtown Chronicles of Prairie du Chien: History and Folklore from Wisconsin's Frontier, is president of the Prairie du Chien Historical Society and former curator of Villa Louis. Her research focuses on the material culture and mix and confrontation of cultures on the upper Mississippi prior to Wisconsin statehood.  Topic Area: African American History, British Fur Trade, French-Canadian Architecture and Furnishings in Wisconsin, Wisconsin French-Canadians, The Dakota People  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Susan Apps-Bodilly.

Susan Apps-Bodilly, author of Seeds in Soil: Planting a Garden and Finding Your Roots and One Room Schools: Stories from the Days of 1 Room, 1 Teacher, 8 Grades and co-author of Old Farm Country Cookbook: Recipes, Menus, and Memories, worked as an elementary and middle school teacher for more than twenty years and recently retired from teaching second-grade students. She has a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is happy to do hands-on activities with familes and kids to demonstrate projects and recipes from any of her books.  Topic Area: Education, Young Readers, Cooking and Food History  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Martha Bergland.

Martha Bergland, author of The Birdman of Koshkonong: The Life of Naturalist Thure Kumlien and coauthor of Studying Wisconsin: The Life of Increase Lapham, Early Chronicler of Plants, Rocks, Rivers, Mounds and All Things Wisconsin, taught English at Milwaukee Area Technical College. After her retirement, she studied Increase Lapham for five years. She has also written two novels and is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Her coauthor, Paul G. Hayes, a former science reporter for "The Milwaukee Journal," typically presents with Martha.  Topic Area: Environment and Nature  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Bill Berry.

Bill Berry, author of Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way, worked more than 20 years as a reporter, columnist, and editor for several daily newspapers. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, he now writes about conservation and agriculture as a freelance writer. He is a columnist for the "Capital Times" newspaper in Madison.  Topic Area: Environment and Nature  Request This Speaker


Robert Birmingham.

Robert Birmingham, author and editor of many publications on Wisconsin archaeology, including his most recent Society Press books Skunk Hill: A Native Ceremonial Community in WisconsinLife, Death and Archeology at Fort Blue Mounds: A Settlers' Fortification of the Black Hawk War and Aztalan: Mysteries of an Ancient Indian Town, is the former Wisconsin State Archaeologist (1989-2004) at the Wisconsin Historical Society. He teaches anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.  Topic Area: Archaeology  Request This Speaker


Pamela Cameron.

Pamela Cameron, author of the true story for your readers Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes, has been an elementary and middle school librarian and a public librarian in Wisconsin and Michigan. She is a member of the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, and the Great Lakes Historical Society.  Topic Area: Great Lakes Maritime History, Lighthouses, Young Readers  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Richard Carlton Haney.

Richard Carlton Haney, author of 'When is Daddy Coming Home?' An American Family During World War II, is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He earned his Ph.D. in history from UW-Madison and later graduated from West Point's post-doctoral military history program and the Army's National Security Seminar at Carlisle Barracks.  Topic Area: War History (World War II)  Request This Speaker


Photograph of Louis V. Clark wearing a white shirt and blue tie, speaking behind a podium and in front of a blue flag

Louis V. Clark III (Two Shoes), author of How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century and Rebel Poet: More Stories from a 21st Century Indian, was born and raised on the Oneida Reservation in northeastern Wisconsin and turned to poetry to continue the oral tradition of his people, the People of the Standing Stone. A member of the Iroquois Confederacy, his family is of the Bear clan. His first chapbook, "Two Shoes," was published in 2011. He and his wife live in Omro, Wisconsin, where their home is filled with love from six children and nine grandchildren.  Topic Area: Native Peoples of Wisconsin  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Shelia Cohen.

Sheila Cohen, author of Jews in Wisconsin and the Society Press Badger Biographies Sterling North and the Story of RascalGaylord Nelson: Champion for our Earth and Mai Ya's Long Journey, is a former English as a Second Language teacher. She served on the Board of Directors of the United Refugee Services of Wisconsin and works as a freelance writer.  Topic Area: Environment and Nature, Immigration (Hmong), Immigration (Jewish)  Request This Speaker


Photo portrait of Alice D'Alessio wearing a red shirt

Alice D'Alessio is the author of Tending the Valley: A Prairie Restoration Odyssey, which chronicles her and her husband's twenty-five-year quest to return 115 acres of land in Wisconsin's unglaciated Driftless Area to its natural prairie state. After retiring from corporate and nonprofit communications positions, she began writing poetry and has published four books. "A Blessing of Trees" was awarded the Posner Prize from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, and "Days We Are Given" won first place in an Earth's Daughters chapbook contest.  Topic Area: Environment and Nature, Prairie Restoration  Request This Speaker


Photo of author Kurt Dietrich playing trumpet

Kurt Dietrich, author of Wisconsin Riffs: Jazz Profiles from the Heartland, is a professor of music and the Barbara Baldwin DeFrees Chair in the Performing Arts at Ripon College. He is the author of "Duke's Bones: Ellington's Great Trombonists," as well as numerous articles for publications including "Annual Review of Jazz Studies" and "Black Music Research Journal." He is a longtime player of jazz and has performed on numerous recordings.  Topic Area: Wisconsin People and Culture, Music History  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Jim Draeger.

Jim Draeger, co-author of Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin's Historic Bars & Breweries and Fill 'er Up: The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Stations, worked in the field of historic preservation and architecture at the Wisconsin Historical Society for more than 20 years, most recently as the State Historic Preservation Officer. From roadside architecture to Northwoods resorts, Jim celebrates the importance of ordinary buildings to our daily lives through his research, writing, and lectures. Note: Coauthor Mark Speltz is no longer available for speaking engagements.  Topic Area: Architecture, Historic Preservation  Request This Speaker


Dennis Dresang

Dennis L. Dresang is professor emeritus of public affairs and political science and founding director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of the biography Patrick J. Lucey: A Lasting Legacy. His research and scholarly publications have focused on state politics, public personnel management, and community issues.  Topic Area: Wisconsin People, Politics  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Terry Frei.

Terry Frei, author of Third Down and a War to Go, is the son of 1942 Badgers guard Jerry Frei, a decorated WWII P-38 fighter pilot. After his father's death, he set out to learn about the men in the team picture that hung in a place of honor in his father's den. He is a reporter and columnist for ESPN.com and "The Denver Post." He lives in Denver, Colorado.  Topic Area: Sports and Recreation, War History (World War II)  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Eloisa Gómez.

Eloisa Gómez,co-author of Somos Latinas: Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists, was the director of the Milwaukee County UW–Extension Office. From 2008 to 2012, she was the vice president of the Latino Historical Society of Wisconsin, and she served on the Somos Latinas Advisory Committee from 2012 to 2015.  Topic Area: Exploring Latina Community Activism in Wisconsin   Request This Speaker


Sergio Gonzalez

Sergio González, author of Mexicans in Wisconsin, one in the Society Press's People of Wisconsin Series, is an assistant professor of Latinx Studies in Marquette University's Departments of History and of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of History with a dissertation entitled, "'I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me:' Latino Immigration, Religion, and Community Formation in Milwaukee, 1920-1990." His teaching and research interests include U.S. labor and working-class and immigration history and the histories of Chicano and Latinx communities and religion.  Topic Area: Latinx History, Immigration (Mexican)  Request This Speaker


Portrait of John Gurda.

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer and historian who has been studying his hometown since 1972. He is the author of twenty-one books, including histories of Milwaukee-area neighborhoods, churches, and industries. He wrote the Wisconsin Historical Society Press books Brewtown Tales: More Stories from Milwaukee and Beyond, Milwaukee: A City Built on Water, and Cream City Chronicles: Stories of Milwaukee's Past, recently re-released in paperback. He is also a photographer, lecturer, and local history columnist for the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel." Gurda is an eight-time winner of the Wisconsin Historical Society's Book of Merit Award. The common thread in all his work is understanding history as "why things are the way they are."  Topic Area: Milwaukee History and Culture  Request This Speaker


Photo portrait of Kathleen Harris wearing a teal shirt

Kathleen Harris is the author of From the Lookout: Memories of Peninsula State Park's Summer Camp for Girls. She was a naturalist at Peninsula State Park for almost thirty years. She is the editor of "The Centennial Reader: A Collection of Stories and Histories," a book commemorating the centennial anniversary of Peninsula State Park.  Topic Area: Wisconsin Culture, Environment and Nature  Request This Speaker


George Hesselberg

George Hesselberg, author of Dead Lines: Slices of Life from the Obit Beat, was a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal for forty-three years. He covered every beat, wrote hundreds of news obituaries of the famous and the not-so-famous, and was a columnist for eighteen years.  Topic Area: Obituaries, Wisconsin People  Request This Speaker


Headshot of Mike Hoeft wearing a collared shirt and glasses

Mike Hoeft is the author of The Bingo Queens of Oneida: How Two Moms Started Tribal Gaming in Wisconsin. The book tells the story of Sandra Ninham and Alma Webster, the Oneida women who, in 1976, introduced bingo to the Oneida Indian Reservation outside Green Bay as a way to pay a few bills. Hoeft earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of New Mexico and worked as a reporter and copyeditor for 30 years on daily newspapers. For 23 of those years, he was on staff in the newsroom of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. He lives with his family in Oneida and currently works as a paralegal for Oneida Nation Family Services.  Topic Area: Native Peoples of Wisconsin  Request This Speaker


Nicholas Hoffman.

Nicholas Hoffman, coauthor of Wheel Fever: How Wisconsin Became a Great Bicycling State, is Administrator of Museums and Historic Sites at the Wisconsin Historical Society and has written history articles for the Wisconsin Magazine of History. An avid cyclist, he has a master's in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Nick is also available to speak on the Wisconsin Historical Society's historic sites and museums. Nick is based at the Society's headquarters in Madison.  Topic Area: Sports and Recreation, Wisconsin Culture, Wisconsin Historical Society  Request This Speaker


Color photo of B.J. Hollars.

B.J. Hollars, author of Hope Is the Thing: Wisconsinites on Perseverance in a Pandemic, is an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and the founder and executive director of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild. He has written ten books and edited three anthologies.  Topic Area: Hope, Pandemic Culture, Wisconsin People  Request This Speaker


Jensen.

John Odin Jensen, author of Stories from the Wreckage: A Great Lakes Maritime History Inspired by Shipwrecks, has studied North American maritime frontier shipwrecks from the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to the edges of the Bering Sea. Born into a Norwegian-American seafaring family in Alaska, he began his maritime career working alongside his father and brother in the commercial fisheries. As a former crab boat captain and a shipwreck survivor, Jensen brings deep professional experience and personal sympathy to the study of the North American mariners, ships, and shipwrecks. His more than thirty years of Great Lakes experience began with a position as an engineer/deckhand aboard the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee research vessel Neeskay and continued surveying shipwrecks as a professional underwater archaeologist with the Wisconsin Historical Society. Jensen earned a BA in history from Lawrence University, an MA in maritime history and underwater archaeology from East Carolina University, and MS and PhD degrees in history from Carnegie Mellon University. He is on the faculty of the department of history at the University of West Florida. Note: John lives in Pensacola, Florida, and is available for virtual programs only.  Topic Area: Maritime History, Shipwrecks  Request This Speaker


Gary Jones.

Gary Jones, author of Ridge Stories: Herding Hens, Powdering Pigs, and Other Recollections from a Boyhood in the Driftless, has written professionally as a freelancer since the 1970s, publishing in the Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee Magazine, and several Door County publications. He taught high school English for many years and in retirement has taught college composition courses at University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Gary Jones earned a bachelor of science degree from UW-Platteville, a master's from UW-Madison, and a PhD from UW-Milwaukee.  Topic Area: Agriculture, Wisconsin Culture  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Tom Jones.

Tom Jones, coauthor of People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942, is an assistant professor of photography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his work may be found in the National Museum of the American Indian and the Chazen Museum of Art. His coauthor Mike Schmudlach is also available for speaking engagements. Schmudlach has a lifelong relationship with the Ho-Chunk.  Topic Area: Native Peoples of Wisconsin, Native American History  Request This Speaker


Barbara Joosse.

Barbara Joosse, author of The Fishermen, the Horse, and the Sea, is an award-winning author of more than fifty books for children. She lives in Port Washington, Wisconsin. Topic Area: Maritime History, Young Readers  Request This Speaker


Jenny Kalvaitis.

Jenny Kalvaitis is the co-author of We Will Always Be Here: A Guide to Exploring and Understanding the History of LGBTQ+ Activism in Wisconsin, which draws on a rich collection of primary sources to highlight the powerful stories of LGBTQ+ activists and allies who worked to make a positive change in the world. She has a master's degree in Public History from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, and she has worked in informal education and museum education for over ten years. Her co-author, Kristen Whitson, typically presents with Jenny.  Topic Area: LGBTQ+ history and activism, primary source analysis  Request This Speaker


Black and white photo portrait of Jeff Kannel wearing a plaid shirt

Jeff Kannel is the author of Make Way for Liberty: Wisconsin African Americans in the Civil War. He has been a volunteer and tour guide at the Civil War Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin, since 2012 and speaks around the state about the role of Wisconsin African American soldiers and employees during the Civil War.  Topic Area: War History (Civil War), African American History  Request This Speaker


Joe Kapler

Joe Kapler is lead curator in the Wisconsin Historical Society's division of Museums and Historic Sites. He gives presentations on folk artist Paul Seifert, based on his book Wisconsin in Watercolor: The Life and Legend of Folk Artist Paul Seifert, and on the Evergleam aluminum Christmas tree. Joe is based at the Society's headquarters in Madison.  Topic Area: Wisconsin Culture, Wisconsin People  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Jonathan Kasparek.

Jonathan Kasparek, author of Proxmire: Bulldog of the Senate and Fighting Son: A Biography of Philip F. La Follette and co-author of Wisconsin History Highlights: Delving into the Past and Voices & Votes: How Democracy Works in Wisconsin, served as a researcher and editor for the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Max Kade Institute and the Wisconsin State Capitol Historic Structure Report project. He received his master's degree and Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Wisconsin and teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.  Topic Area: Wisconsin People, Politics  Request This Speaker


J P Leary

JP Leary, author of The Story of Act 31: How Native History Came to Wisconsin Classrooms, is an associate professor of humanities, First Nations studies, and history at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He is also a member of the graduate faculty in education and a faculty affiliate with the Professional Program in Education Center for First Nations Studies. He served as the American Indian Studies Consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction from 1996 until 2011. Leary earned a master's in American history from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. in educational policy studies from UW-Madison.  Topic Area: Education, Native American History  Request This Speaker


Pao Lor

Pao Lor joined thousands of Hmong who fled for their lives through the jungles of Laos in the aftermath of war as a five-year-old boy. After more than two years in Thai refugee camps, Pao and his surviving family members journeyed to the United States, eventually settling in Green Bay. His memoir Modern Jungles: A Hmong Refugee's Childhood Story of Survival recounts the challenges he faced navigating a frightening and unfamiliar new world while struggling to fulfill the hopes his parents had once held for his future. Today, Pao Lor holds the Patricia Wood Baer Professorship in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he also chairs the Professional Program in Education.  Topic Area: Hmong Culture and Society, Hmong American Diaspora  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Marnie Mamminga.

Marnie Mamminga, author of On a Clear Night: Essays from the Heartland and Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts (also available as an audio book) is a freelance writer and columnist who has vacationed every summer of her life on Big Spider Lake near Hayward, Wisconsin. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she earned a master's degree in English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has published articles in the "Chicago Tribune," "Reader's Digest," "Christian Science Monitor," "Lake Superior Magazine," and "Chicken Soup for the Soul." She lives near Chicago, Illinois.  Topic Area: Wisconsin Culture  Request This Speaker


Photo of Peggy Marxsen wearing a black puffer vest and red and black plaid shirt.

Peggy Marxen, author of The Farm on Badger Creek: Memories of a Midwest Girlhood, taught fourth grade for thirty-three years. She lives in Middleton, Wisconsin.  Topic Area: Farming, Rural Life, Women's History  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Dennis McCann.

Dennis McCann is the author of The Wisconsin Story: 150 People, Places, and Turning Points that Shaped the Badger StateThis Storied River: Legend & Lore of the Upper MississippiThis Superior Place: Stories of Bayfield and the Apostle Islands and Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story. A University of Wisconsin-Madison journalism graduate, he joined the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" in 1983 as farm writer and state rover. He is now a freelance writer. Note: Dennis is permanently located in Bayfield, so event acceptance is dependent upon location and travel time.  Topic Area: Wisconsin History and People, Wisconsin Culture  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Ann Michler Lewis

Ann Michler Lewis, author of Ship Captain's Daughter: Growing Up on the Great Lakes, grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, where she lived from 1944 to 1967. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and taught English at Duluth East High School, her alma mater. Since 1972, she has lived with her family in Saint Paul, Minnesota, making periodic pilgrimages back "home" to Lake Superior. She has privately published a book of poems and sailing stories called "My Duluth," now out of print.  Topic Area: Maritime History  Request This Speaker


Photograph of author Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell, author of Wisconsin on the Air: 100 Years of Public Broadcasting in the State that Invented It, was the head of Wisconsin Public Radio for twenty-one years. He is currently a professor emeritus in the University of Wisconsin's School of Journalism and Mass Communication and serves on the boards of the Wisconsin Center for Journalism Ethics and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.  Topic Area: Wisconsin Culture, Communications (Radio)  Request This Speaker


Portrait of James K. Nelsen.

James K. Nelsen, author of Educating Milwaukee: How One City's History of Segregation and Struggle Shaped Its Schools, has a Ph.D. in urban history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and teaches high school social studies at Golda Meir School in Milwaukee. As a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, he finds the history of the city fascinating, from its early days in the mid-nineteenth century to the modern challenges of urban life today. As a teacher, he enjoys researching the history of education from colonial times to the present. When not teaching or researching, he enjoys volunteering with youth groups, exploring his city, and following his beloved Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.  Topic Area: Education  Request This Speaker


Janet Newman.

Janet Newman, author of Letters from Clara: One Intrepid Woman’s Travels on the Eve of War, 1936-1939, participates in four book clubs and a writers’ circle. Her writing, which shines a light on fascinating people, has appeared in the anthology Mondays at Ten and various news publications. In her retirement, Janet and her husband split their time between Wisconsin’s Northwoods and St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.  Topic Area: Women's History  Request This Speaker


Rick Pifer.

Richard L. Pifer, author of The Great War Comes to Wisconsin: Sacrifice, Patriotism, and Free Speech in a Time of Crisis, retired in 2015 from his position as Director of Reference and Public Services for the Wisconsin Historical Society's Library-Archives Division. He received a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His historical research was focused on homefront history in Wisconsin during the First and Second World Wars. Dr. Pifer is also the author of A City at War: Milwaukee Labor During World War II.  Topic Area: War History (World War I, World War II)  Request This Speaker


Portrait of William Povletich.

William Povletich, author of Some Like It Cold: Surfing the Malibu of the MidwestGreen Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs and Tradition and Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak, is an award-winning television producer and producer of Milwaukee Public Television's documentary A Braves New World. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, he has written about the Milwaukee Braves, the Packers, Surfing in Wisconsin, and Liberace for the "Wisconsin Magazine of History" and is the 2009 recipient of the William Best Hesseltine Award. He lives in Los Angeles, California, and has limited availability.  Topic Area: Sports and Recreation, Wisconsin People  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Matthew J. Prigge.

Matthew J. Prigge, author of Damn the Old Tinderbox: Milwaukee's Palace of the West and the Fire that Defined an Era and Milwaukee Mayhem: Murder and Mystery in the Cream City’s First Century, is a freelance author and historian from Milwaukee and the host of "What Made Milwaukee Famous," a weekly local history segment on WMSE 91.7. His work has been featured in both local and national publications and has won multiple awards, including the 2013 William Best Hesseltine Award from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Since 2011, he has led sightseeing historical tours of Milwaukee's rivers and harbor for the Milwaukee Boat Line. In 2013, he created the Mondo Milwaukee Boat Tour, an evening historical tour of some of the city's most infamous sights. He writes a history blog for Milwaukee's "Shepherd Express" and has also authored several articles for the "Wisconsin Magazine of History."  Topic Area: Culture, Milwaukee History and People, Crime  Request This Speaker


Photograph of Press author Melanie McManus

Melanie Radzicki McManus, author of Thousand-Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail, has been a news reporter at a Green Bay radio station, a press secretary at the Wisconsin State Capitol, and editor of two Wisconsin publications. Since 1994, McManus has worked as a freelance writer and editor, specializing in travel and fitness. She has won numerous awards for her writing, most notably the prestigious Lowell Thomas Gold and Grand Awards for travel journalism.  Topic Area: Sports and Recreation  Request This Speaker


Photograph of author Robert Root

Robert Root, author of Walking Home Ground: In the Footsteps of Muir, Leopold, and Derleth, has long been immersed in the nonfiction of place. He is the editor of "Landscapes with Figures: The Nonfiction of Place" and the author of twenty books including "Recovering Ruth: A Biographer's Tale," named a Michigan Notable Book in 2004, the memoir "Happenstance," and the craft studies "E. B. White: The Emergence of an Essayist" and "The Nonfictionist's Guide: On Reading and Writing Creative Nonfiction." Root teaches courses in nonfiction writing and editing family manuscripts for the Loft Literacy Center in Minneapolis and the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.  Topic Area: Environment and Nature  Request This Speaker


Patti See.

Patti See, author of Here on Lake Hallie: In Praise of Bar Flys, Fix-It Guys, and Others in Our Hometown, is a columnist, radio contributor, and writer. Her work has appeared in Salon Magazine, The Southwest Review, Brevity, Wisconsin People & Ideas, and Volume One Magazine, among many other publications, and she has been a regular contributor to Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Radio.  Topic Area: Lake Culture, Northwoods, Wisconsin People  Request This Speaker


Photograph of Peter Shrake

Peter Shrake is the archivist at the Robert L. Parkinson Library at Circus World and the author of the book The Silver Man: The Life and Times of Indian Agent John Kinzie, published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. He teaches the workshop "Paper, Pictures, and Patrons: The Basics of Managing an Archives" and can speak on a variety of historical topics including early 19th century Wisconsin, Indian agents, and Wisconsin's circus history. Peter is based in Baraboo.  Topic Area: Wisconsin Culture, Wisconsin People  Request This Speaker


Photo portrait of Robert Silbernagel wearing a green vest and blue button-down shirt

Robert Silbernagel is the author of The Cadottes: A Fur Trade Family on Lake Superior. He studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin and was the editorial page editor for The Daily Sentinel newspaper in Grand Junction, Colorado, for nineteen years. Now retired, he continues to write a history column for the Sentinel. Silbernagel's previous books include "Troubled Trails, Historic Adventures on the Colorado Plateau," and "Dinosaur Stalkers: Tracking Dinosaur Discoveries of Western Colorado and Eastern Utah." Silbernagel has written a number of history articles for periodicals, including the Wisconsin Magazine of History and Colorado Heritage.  Topic Area: Fur Trade, Great Lakes History, Wisconsin French Canadians, Native American History  Request This Speaker


Photograph of WHS Press author Scott Spoolman.

Scott Spoolman, author of Wisconsin Waters: The Ancient History of Lakes, Rivers, and Waterfalls and Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History, is a science writer who has focused on the environmental sciences, especially those stories of natural science and the environment related to Wisconsin and surrounding states. After earning a master's degree from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism, he worked for several years as an editor in the publishing industry, specializing in textbooks and other educational materials. Since 1996, he has worked as a freelance writer and editor for a variety of outlets and has co-authored several editions of a series of environmental science textbooks.  Topic Area: Environment and Nature  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Wisconsin Historical Society Press author Michael Stevens.

Michael E. Stevens is Wisconsin State Historian Emeritus. He has published fifteen books and more than thirty articles on various historical subjects. His most recent book, The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin: Voices of Early Settlers, was published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. A Milwaukee native now living in Fitchburg, Stevens earned his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His other Wisconsin Historical Society Press books include The Family Letters of Victor and Meta Berger, 1894-1929Letters from the Front, Remembering the Holocaust, Voices from Vietnam, and Women Remember the War, 1941-1945.  Topic Area: War History (Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War), Wisconsin History and People, Wisconsin Pioneer Experience, Women's History  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Stuart Stotts.

Stuart Stotts, author of Father Groppi: Marching for Civil RightsLucius Fairchild: Civil War Hero, and Curly Lambeau: Building the Green Bay Packers, all books for young readers in the Society Press's Badger Biographies Series, is a songwriter, storyteller, and author. He performs throughout the Midwest.  Topic Area: Wisconsin People, Young Readers  Request This Speaker


Photograph of Madeline Uraneck

Madeline Uraneck, author of How to Make a Life: A Tibetan Refugee Family and the Midwestern Woman They Adopted, is an educator and writer who has visited sixty-four countries through her role as International Education Consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, several Peace Corps assignments, and her passion for world travel. Her presentations include, when possible, a guest from the Tibetan American family featured in her book and slides from their refugee settlement in India and Tibetan cultural traditions today.  Topic Area: Immigration, Refugees, Traditional Celebrations, Tibet, Gender Roles, Oral History  Request This Speaker


Ken and Barb Wardius.

Ken and Barb Wardius, coauthors of Wisconsin Lighthouses: A Photographic and Historical Guide, Revised Edition, are lighthouse historians and photographers. They offer several lectures that highlight Wisconsin's historical beacons. The presentations comprise stunning images, both historic and contemporary, in a combination of history and storytelling. Narrated live, the shows conclude with a question and answer segment. Programs can also be tailored to your individual group.  Topic Area: Historic Preservation, Wisconsin History and People, Wisconsin Maritime History  Request This Speaker


Photo portrait of Kristen Whitson wearing a blue scarf.

Kristen Whitson is the co-author of We Will Always Be Here: A Guide to Exploring and Understanding the History of LGBTQ+ Activism in Wisconsin, which draws on a rich collection of primary sources to highlight the powerful stories of LGBTQ+ activists and allies who worked to make a positive change in the world. She has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she has worked in digital preservation, community and indigenous archives, and LGBTQ+ archives. Her co-author, Jenny Kalvaitis, typically presents with Kristen.  Topic Area: LGBTQ+ history and activism, primary source analysis  Request This Speaker


Portrait of Robert Willging.

Robert Willging, author of On the Hunt: The History of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin and History Afield: Stories from the Golden Age of Wisconsin Sporting Life is a freelance outdoors writer whose work has appeared in such publications as "Boundary Waters Journal," "Deer and Deer Hunting," "High Country News," "Wisconsin Natural Resources," and "Wisconsin Outdoor News." A wildlife biologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he is an ardent sportsman.  Topic Area: Outdoors, Hunting  Request This Speaker