Speak Your Piece | Season 1, Episode 9 (Part 1): Brenden Rensink, Mobile App “Intermountain Histories,” Podcast “Writing Westward”

Guest Bio
Brenden Rensink is one of Utah’s brightest and most digitally savvy young historians. A true scholar at heart; he understand nonetheless how and why scholarly products–studies, books, presentations, etc.–need to make their way into the everyday life and interests of the general public. 

An of the North American West (borderlands, indigenous peoples, public , and Western wilderness and the environment), Rensink earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He spent his early life in the Pacific Northwest. He is Associate Director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies.

Rensink first describes the main argument of his award winning book: Native but Foreign: Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands (Texas A&M University, 2018), noting what he learned can also relate to Utah, regarding its Indian tribes, and its immigrants and refugees. 

Next he describes the Charles Redd Center’s “Intermountain Histories (IH),” a free mobile app and website that provides interpretive history about Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. IH is GIS based, and offers succinctly written historical narratives with tours, photos, videos, etc. 

He offered a number of case studies of historical tours including: The Utah Homefront during World War II, Chinese Immigrants in Idaho and The Topaz Japanese Internment Camp, among others. 

Rensink also explains the beginnings of, why his ’s is named “Writing” a play on “Riding” Westward, then offers a few examples of podcast guests, including Leah Sottile, who produced the NPR podcast “Bundyville,” a seven-part series chronicling Nevada’s Bundy (Cliven and Ammon) family.  

Do you have a question or comment, or a proposed guest for “Speak Your Piece?” Write us at “ask a historian” – askahistorian@utah.gov

URLs (book purchase links, associated exhibit, products, links, etc.)

Intermountain Histories Digital Public History Project.

Writing Westward

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