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Press Release

September 25, 2020

Contact: Steve Hawkins
Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-0754

Oklahoma History Center to Host Smithsonian’s “Fear and Scapegoating during a Pandemic” Virtual Program

OKLAHOMA CITY — On September 29, 2020, at 3 p.m., the Oklahoma History Center will join the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in a Zoom event to present “Fear and Scapegoating during a Pandemic,” a free, virtual program in the museum’s Pandemic Perspectives: Stories Through Collections series. The blame game associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is nothing new. Drawing on museum collections, speakers will explore the history of government leaders, the media and the public at large blaming immigrants and underserved communities for epidemics, and will discuss how to break this pattern for the future. This hour-long webinar will include the opportunity for audience members to submit questions in the chat. 

This session will be moderated by Dr. Alexandra Lord, chair of the Medicine and Science Division at the National Museum of American History. The panelists are Dr. Erika Lee, regents professor of history and Asian American studies and director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota; Dr. Natalia Molina, professor in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California; and Dr. Theodore Gonzalves, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The Pandemic Perspectives: Stories Through Collections series combines questions raised by the current pandemic and historic objects in the national collections. Curators and historians will virtually share objects, using them as a springboard for a lively discussion that explores how the past can help us better understand the present. Audience members will have the opportunity to pose questions and help guide the conversations. 

The presentation will be simultaneously broadcast to select Smithsonian Affiliate partners across the United States. The program is free, but registration is required. To register, visit www.okhistory.org/pandemic. For additional information, please contact Torie Taylor at 405-522-0793 or ttaylor@okhistory.org.

The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


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