“I wanted to be frank about uncertainty…”: An Interview with 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winner Elizabeth Fenn

Erstwhile: A History Blog

In August, Erstwhile conducted an interview with 2015 History Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth A. Fenn on her book Encountersat the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People. We are republishing the interview today in honor of her well-deserved news yesterday. Congratulations, Lil!

Elizabeth Fenn (Ph.D., Yale University) is an associate professor of history and department chair at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her latest book, Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, was published with Hill and Wang. Erstwhile’s Alessandra Link spoke with Fenn about a variety of topics, including her history of the Mandan, pre-contact American history, writing, and the unique challenges/opportunities associated with a scholar’s second book.

Erstwhile Blog: What drew you to write a Mandan history? Smallpox is central character in this historical work as it was in your first book, Pox Americana: The…

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