Special Event, Online Video     

Death and the Settling and Unsettling of Oregon

An Oregon Historical Quarterly Symposium

Mythology has painted Oregon as an Edenic wilderness that was peopled through the migration of Oregon Trail pioneers, but the American settlement of Oregon was profoundly unsettling for the region's Native peoples who had lived rich lives here for millennia and continue to do so today. This symposium assessed the role of death in both the settling and unsettling of Oregon as well as in the history and public memory of that era.

This symposium was held on Thursday, November 7, 2013, and was organized by Oregon Historical Quarterly Editor Eliza Canty-Jones and University of Oregon Professor of History and Environmental Studies Dr. Matthew Dennis.

Event Type: Special Event, Online VideoAudience(s): Teachers, Researchers

Evening Keynote

Death with — and without — Dignity: Oregon's Progressive — and Regressive — Attitudes toward Ending Life

Lauren Kessler discusses the history of Oregon's landmark Death with Dignity legislation alongside the state's embracing (and re-embracing) of capital punishment. Lauren Kessler is a Professor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. She is an award-winning author and immersion reporter who has authored seven books, including Dancing with Rose (published in paperback as Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer’s) and Oregon Book Award winner, Stubborn Twig.

Video produced by MetroEast Community Media.

Generously Sponsored by:



Special Thanks to the Following Contributors to this Exhibit

  • City of Portland Archives
  • North Portland Multimedia Center
  • The Oregonian Archives
  • Oregon Historical Society Davies Family Research Library
  • Oregon State University Archives
  • Portland State University Rutherford Collection
  • Thomas Robinson