People of the heartland are much more likely than people of the Coasts to say, ‘Why do they hate us?’ If Iraq and Pakistan seem a long way from America anywhere in the United State, they seem particularly far away in the Heartland. Thus the Heartland has a particularly hard time making sense of why terrorists from somewhere far, far away  would want to commandeer planes and fly them into the two towers of the World Trade Center and into the Pentagon.
- Clay S. Jenkinson, BSC Distinguished Humanities Scholar and Director, The Dakota Institute

On September 9 and 10, 2011, Bismarck State College and The Dakota Institute of the Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation will host a two-day symposium to observe and examine the effect of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the Heartland of America. The first day of the symposium will explore what happened. The second day will explore how it affected us and how we changed as a result of what happened.

Our goal is to explore the 9/11, 2001 attacks from a humanities perspective, to deepen our understanding of the cause of the attacks, and the impact they have had on our politics, our world standing, our sense of place in the world, our pop culture, our national psychology, our laws, our military and our military families, and above all our sense of identity 1500 miles between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

We will not be focusing on commemorating the events of 9/11. The sole, purely commemorative event will occur on Sunday, September 11, 2011, at Double Ditch Indian Village Historic Site.  Nor will the symposium be a critique of the politics of the two post-9/11 administrations.



Bismarck State College, an innovative community college, offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities.

Join your friends, family and co-workers for a friendly, on-campus experience at North Dakota’s third largest college. Bismarck State College is a uniquely Bismarck enterprise. In 1939, the people of Bismarck wanted a college and created one with a core mission to provide liberal arts transfer and technical programs. Today, BSC continues to serve the education needs of its home city while reaching beyond to the national and world community. The college also offers personal exploration and enrichment in non-credit classes, music and theater events, visual art exhibits, athletic competitions, and more.


The Dakota Institute is a new initiative of the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation of Washburn, ND.

Directed by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson, the Maximilian and Bodmer symposium was the first of many to follow, in a wide range of topics related to our sense of place.

The Institute is intended to foster a statewide “conversation,” using a humanities-based approach to addressing current events and what the future holds. Book publishing, film documentaries and development of new interpretive exhibits and programs at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan are all part of The Dakota Institute’s mission.



Contact information:
Phone: 701.224.5600
Toll Free: 1.877.846.9387