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Got big questions about America? Ask a historian.

Let us consider the humble essay.

A "Freedom Bus" in flames, six miles southwest of Anniston, Alabama, May 14, 1961. (Birmingham Public Library/Oxford University Press)

What could a 26-year-old white guy from Indiana possibly know about the black experience in America, past or present? 

Happy 100th birthday to a founding father of USGS hydrology.

Photos by Jill Metcoff.

Conservation biologist Curt Meine shares the secret lives of the apples of the Badger Army Ammunitions Plant. Photos by Jill Metcoff.

Testify spotlight image

Our culture is obsessed with productivity. How many times have you answered the question “How have you been?” with “Really busy, and you?” And so, we invent tools to help us get things done.

Before I joined the Academy’s staff last fall, I believed it was rare to witness an individual experience an epiphany—a profound moment of insight, or the connection of dots pointing to a new way of looking at a problem.

Otto Rindlisbacher, folk singer and maker of stringed instruments, sitting in his shop holding a Hardanger fiddle. Photo ca. 1941 by folklorist Helene Stratman-Thomas. Reprinted by permission of the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS: #25413).

Wisconsin Academy Fellow and folklorist James P. Leary guides us through a brief musical history of America’s Upper Midwest.

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Phone: 608.733.6633


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Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25