Event Detail

Abigail Markwyn: Ethnic and Racial Communities at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition
9
March
2015
Monday
at 6:00 PM
Status:
Closed

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The Panama-Pacific International Exposition was a world fair held in San Francisco in 1915. Positioned in time just after the 1906 earthquake and before World War I, it was supposed to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal, but it was widely viewed by San Franciscans as a means to demonstrate their full recovery from the earthquake. Poised just before the “Great War,” it marked the end of an era.

The Panama-Pacific International Exposition not only welcomed almost 19 million visitors through its gates, but also offered an unprecedented opportunity for local communities to participate in an international spectacle. Because the fair depended on local, rather than national, funding, fair directors eagerly engaged local ethnic, racial and religious groups in supporting the fair.  But, not surprisingly, a group’s ability to control its representation on the fairgrounds very much depended on its access to local power structures. Irish, Germans, and Catholics, for instance, claimed space far more successfully than African Americans or Native Americans.  And fair officials’ desires to attract China and Japan as major exhibitors offered local Chinese and Japanese communities significant leverage with the fair.  Dr. Abigail Markwyn will discuss the varied ways that Bay Area racial, ethnic, and religious groups used the PPIE to claim their stake in American society. 

Santa Rosa native Abigail Markwyn is an Associate Professor of history at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where she teaches U.S. and Latin American history. She is author of Empress San Francisco: The Pacific Rim, the Great West, and California at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and co-editor of Gendering the Fair: Histories of Women and Gender at World’s Fairs


This event was sponsored by The Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries and by an anonymous donor.

Lecture sponsor receives two tickets and credit in the Museum's marketing materials.  Lecture sponsorships are tax-deductible.

Meet-the-speaker RECEPTION begins at 6:00pm, at the Sonoma County Museum
The TALK begins at 7:00pm and will be held at the University of San Francisco's Santa Rosa Campus located at: 

416 B Street 
Santa Rosa, CA 95401 
(two blocks away from the Sonoma County Museum)