SUBMITTED BY SHERILYNNE HANSEN, Humanities Nebraska
Humanities Nebraska (HN) selected John R. Wunder, author and historian of the American West, to receive the 2021 Sower Award in the humanities.
A longtime history professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Wunder has written on the Great Plains, Nebraska, Plains Indians, and American constitutional legal history. He has published or edited 22 books and numerous essays and journal articles. His book “Retained by the People: A History of American Indians and the Bill of Rights” (1995) won the Honorary National History Society Phi Alpha Theta award for best history book that year. He has won numerous other awards and scholarships, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from Native American scholars.
“John Wunder’s ability to capture the imaginations of people of all ages, through his teaching, community involvement, and extending his work through his writing, speaks directly to the meaning of the Sower Award and the symbol of excellence. he represents, ”said proponent Ron Hull. Hull is an author, a former CEO of the Nebraska Public Television Network, a former PBS executive, and the 2000 Sower Award recipient.
Wunder is described as an accomplished administrator, educator, mentor and leader. He was director of the Center for Great Plains Studies and president of the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society. He was also the first Nebraska scholar to be chosen as president of the Western History Association, which has 1,300 members.