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The Mellema Program: Public Events

2013-2014 Events

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3:30 pm, Meeter Center Lecture Hall

Larry Eskridge (Wheaton College)

"'Jesus Knocked Me Off My Metaphysical Ass': LSD, Counterculture, and the Origins of the Jesus People Movement in the Summer of Love"

The Jesus People movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, with its sunny images of beach baptisms and well-scrubbed, "One Way" button-wearing youth, had a tremendous impact upon the evangelical subculture's relationship to youth and popular culture. The movement paved the way for the spread of the come-as-you-are, "seeker-friendly" megachurch model that dominated the 1980s and beyond. This lecture will explore the less well-known origins of the Jesus Movement in the heart of San Francisco's Haigh-Ashbury amid the promise and squalor of 1967's "Summer of Love," and the unlikely combination of hip and square that triggered a "Jesus Revolution."

Larry Eskridge is the Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals (ISAE). He has been with the ISAE since 1988 and served as adjunct faculty in the history department at Wheaton College since 1992. He is the author of a book on the Jesus People movement of the 1960s and 1970s, God's Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America (Oxford University Press, 2013), which won Christianity Today's "Book of the Year" award and took the top spot in the history/biography category.

Cosponsored by the Mellema Program and the History Department.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013:

Robert Schoone-Jongen (Calvin College)

"Immigrants in No-Man's Land: Two Tales of Land Deals, Waterproofing, Big Pots, and the Great War"

3:30 pm, Meeter Center Lecture Hall

Theodore F. Koch and his erstwhile partner, Nicolaus Jungeblut, both came to the United States during the great Minnesota land boom of the 1880s. They fared well financially and became naturalized American citizens, but they remained deeply connected, both socially and economically, to German financiers. When the United States entered the First World War in 1917, Jungeblut found himself trapped in Germany, while Koch rode out the war years in Texas. Both of them had their assets confiscated by their adopted country. both were twice cursed--as traders with the enemy and as immigrants married to German wives. Their stories spotlight the shadowy transfer of wealth the Great War precipitated, economic scars that never healed, and the chasm between idealistic wartime rhetoric and the thievery it cloaked.

Professor Robert Schoone-Jongen was on sabbatical in the fall of 2012 and spent the time researching and writing a biography of Theodore Koch. He visited archives in the Netherlands, Germany, Texas, Illinois, and Minnesota and traveled to Koch's European homes and the sites of his American colonies. Find out more about Robert Schoone-Jongen and his work here.

Co-sponsored by the history department.


Recent Events

Monday, March 11, 2013: Jane Stadler (University of Queensland)

"Landscape and the Western Genre in Australian Cinema"

Jane Stadler is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at the University of Queensland. Her recent research focuses on landscape in Australian cinema, and she is chief investigator for the Cultural Atlas of Australia, a federally funded research project that maps the locations of Australian films, novels, and plays. She is author of Pulling Focus: Intersubjective Experience, Narrative Film and Ethics (2008), co-author of Screen Media (2009) and Media and Society (2012), and co-editor of an adaptation studies anthology, Pockets of Change: Adaptation and Cultural Transition (2011).

Co-sponsored by the CAS Department and the Calvin Film Forum.


Friday, April 5, 2013: P.J. Hill

“Geography Colloquium: The Not So Wild, Wild West"

As part of Calvin's Geography Colloquium, P.J. Hill will discuss his book The Not So Wild, Wild West, written with Terry Anderson, which challenges many traditional theories of how the West was settled. Dr. Hill, professor emeritus of economics at Wheaton College in Illinois, holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, and his undergraduate degree is in Agricultural Economy from Montana State University. He is an economic historian by training and has written on institutional change and the evolution of property rights. He is currently a senior fellow with the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, Montana. Read more about Dr. Hill and his lectures and research..

Co-sponsored by the Geography Department and the Henry Institute.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012: William Katerberg

"Other Manifest Destinies: Globalizing American Creation Stories"

American "creation stories" emphasize our nation's "manifest destiny." For example, myths about the U.S. frontier depict settlers migrating into the wilderness, with ingenuity and courage adapting to new circumstances and building new lives, thus generating the unique American character and freedom. But what about he Native Americans and Mexicans already living in the land? And how did U.S. frontiers compare to those in Canada, Argentina, south Africa, Australia, and more? These issues are not only historical, but ethical. What does it mean to love our neighbors as ourselves when it comes to historic national identities? Answering these questions won't end angry debates in the U.S. over legal and illegal immigration. But it might reorient how we as Americans think about ourselves and others in these debates.

Co-sponsored by the Calvin College History Department.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012: William Van Vugt

“British Isles Music on the American Frontier - Some Early Explorations"

During the 18th century, many of thousands of people left England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland for the North American frontier, and they brought along their culture, including their music. On the frontier their culture adapted to the new American environment. This colloquium presents music from the British Isles and demonstrates how the melodies, keys, and lyrics were affected by life on the American frontier. The music will be presented on guitar, fiddle, and mandolin, with Bruce Ling of Hawks and Owls String Band.

Co-sponsored by the Calvin College History Department.

Find out more about past events.


Go Deeper

Our programs and centers enable students to minor in diverse areas including Archaeology, African Studies, Asian Studies, Gender Studies, Latin American Studies, Medieval Studies, and International Development.

Calvin also hosts the H. Henry Meeter Center, North America’s premier research collection devoted to the writings of John Calvin and early Calvinists; the Colonial Origins Collection, a rich store of materials pertaining to Dutch emigration, the Christian Reformed Church, and related institutions; and the new Mellema Program in Western American Studies for studies in the American and Canadian West.

Find out more

The Mellema Program
Public events
Library materials


Mellema Program
in Western American Studies

History Department
Calvin College
1845 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, MI

Director: William Katerberg
(616) 526-6047