New Augustana University book seeks to fill void in South Dakota history
Essays range from Lakota conquest to food to film making
In his introduction to “Old Trails and New Roads in South Dakota History,” editor Jon K. Lauck laments that research into South Dakota history has lagged behind other states.
While other states have had multi-volume histories produced about them, South Dakota’s standard history was written mostly in the 1950s, with subsequent chapters added later. The state’s university system does not offer a Ph.D. in history, which means the graduate research organic in other state university systems doesn’t exist here.
Nor does the university system in South Dakota have a publishing arm.
The void in the state’s history grew only deeper when former South Dakota State University history professor John E. Miller died abruptly on May 1, 2020. Miller had spent a career laboring to research the state’s history and its major figures. His death left some major projects unfinished.