Hayden L. Nelson is a Ph.D. student at the University of Kansas. Hayden is interested in the history of the nineteenth-century United States, particularly instances of conflict and cooperation over access to and usage of land, resources, and the environment in western borderlands. Hayden is also interested in the historical memory of "The West" through popular culture and the overall creation and evolution of an indelible western identity rooted in settler colonial discourse.
Hayden is committed to making history more accessible and exciting to public audiences. During his M.A., Hayden worked at the University of Montana's Archives and Special Collections. In this position, Hayden collaborated with other archivists and Crow tribal members to create a display for the Crow medicine woman, Pretty Shield (see below). At the University of Kansas, Hayden has received a grant to conduct research with Dr. Sara Gregg and other historians into Lawrence's "Big Red Rock," a sacred boulder stolen from the area's Indigenous groups and co-opted into a settler colonial monument.
Hayden is passionate about making history more accessible to the greater public. In so doing, he derives great pleasure in sharing his love of history with diverse audiences. Below are some of Hayden's experiences in Public History.
Biichiweé / I'll Tell A Story
Poster Exhibit. Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at the University of Montana. Missoula, Montana. Exhibit displayed October 2019-September 2020.
This exhibit centers on the Crow medicine woman, Shitchísh, otherwise known as Pretty Shield, utilizing her perspective to track the monumental shifts that she witnessed in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Northern Plains. Some of these changes in Crow society included: consequences of increased warfare, the introduction of horses, first-hand accounts of smallpox epidemics, the introduction of guns, as well as some personal relationships that Shitchísh developed during her life, especially to her husband, Goes Ahead, and the writer and ethnographer, Frank Bird Linderman. Exhibit created by Hayden Nelson, Aaron Brien, and Hannah Soukup.
Nature / Travel
As an environmental historian, Hayden is passionate about enjoying nature, traveling, and experiencing new cultures. Please enjoy some of his favorite images that showcase the beauty and diversity of both the environment and human cultures. All photographs are unedited and were taken by Hayden Nelson on his iPhone X.