Winter Lectures Coming Soon!

We’ve got two fascinating Winter Lectures lined up for 2022. Both will take place in the Interpretive Center’s Iseminger Auditorium. Our featured lecturers are Julie Zimmermann, PhD, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Dr. Jacob Holland-Lulewicz, PhD, Washington University St. Louis. Be sure to check out each lecture to learn about the most current research into Cahokia Mounds. 

The first installment of this year’s Winter Lecture series is by Dr. Julie Zimmerman. This lecture will take place January 16 at 2 pm in the Iseminger Auditorium. Dr. Zimmerman discusses Cahokia as a state focused on storytelling. The abstract of Dr. Zimmerman’s lecture, “Storytelling in the Creation of Cahokia,” follows.

Dr. Zimmerman states, “I have argued that Cahokia might best be understood as the capital of a Native American theater state, which drew people to it and spread its influence by attracting followers through theatrical rituals. In current research I argue that storytelling was primary among those rituals. All humans define and create the perceived world through language and stories, and storytelling is a central ritual in oral societies, the foundation for all other rituals. Traditional Native American beliefs indicate that words form the world; contemporary Native American viewpoints also suggest that stories are essential and create the world. Cahokian stories were remembered and commemorated with Braden-style artworks made at and disseminated from Cahokia. Primary among these stories was that of a great hero who wore human head earrings. Other stories were told at Cahokia, but the stories of heroes are those most often depicted in Braden-style artworks found far from Cahokia. The dissemination of hero stories supports the notion that Cahokia was a state; heroic storytelling was central to the growth of the state. Cahokians created their world through stories, but it was through hero stories that they grew their authority in far-flung societies.”

This year’s second lecture, “The Western Flank Survey: From Mississippian to Modern-Day in the Shadow of Monks Mound,” will be given by Dr. Jacob Holland-Lulewicz on February 20 at 2 pm in the Iseminger Auditorium. Read the abstract below.

Dr. Holland-Lulewicz explains, “In this talk, I summarize recent results from the Western Flank Survey, an extensive shovel-test survey of the area immediately abutting the western flank of Monks Mound. Though small in geographic extent, this seemingly insignificant slice of Cahokia has played host to over 1,000 years of human activity: from the moundbuilding and landscape modifications of the original Indigenous occupants, to French missionaries and monks, nineteenth century farmers, and most recently a century’s worth of heritage-making and tourism. Using recent survey results, carefully narrated artifact biographies, and a wealth of historical maps and documents, we will explore a millennium of regional history as reflected, assembled, and staged in the western shadow of the great Monks Mound.”

These lectures are the result of meticulous archaeological research and brought to you by the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society. If you wish to ensure that the society is able to continue helping research the city of Cahokia, please consider  joining as a member or donating to our Annual Fund Drive. If you chose to give to the Annual Fund Drive, a one time donation of $125 or a sustained monthly donation of $10  will get you one of our yearly, one of a kind AFD shirt.

The funds generated by these memberships and donations go to research like these lectures, as well as educational outreach, cultural events,  new programs like our “Back to the City of the Sun” augmented reality project, and land acquisition efforts. Please consider us during this giving season.