A History of Roadside Attractions

Erika Nelson

Friday, 25 Apr 2008 at 8:00 pm – South Ballroom, Memorial Union

Erika Nelson is director of the World's Largest Things, a nonprofit corporation for the study of roadside vernacular architecture, including such Iowa attractions as Audubon's Albert the Bull, Adair's talking Happy Chef, Stanton's Swedish coffeepot water tower, and the Pocahontas landmark statue. Nelson is the founder and curator of the traveling roadside museum The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things. Her artist-in-residence projects have covered such topics as storytelling and quiltmaking and Art Car development, and her many installations and exhibits include Domesticated: Deconstructing the American Dream and CanFormations. She has a BFA in illustration from Central Missouri State University and an MFA in textiles from the University of Kansas. This public talk will follow the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society banquet.

Cosponsored By:
  • History
  • Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society
  • Committee on Lectures (funded by Student Government)

Stay for the entire event, including the brief question-and-answer session that follows the formal presentation. Most events run 75 minutes.

Sign-ins are after the event concludes. For lectures in the Memorial Union, go to the information desk in the Main Lounge. In other academic buildings, look for signage outside the auditorium.

Lecture Etiquette

  • Stay for the entire lecture and the brief audience Q&A. If a student needs to leave early, he or she should sit near the back and exit discreetly.
  • Do not bring food or uncovered drinks into the lecture.
  • Check with Lectures staff before taking photographs or recording any portion of the event. There are often restrictions. Cell phones, tablets and laptops may be used to take notes or for class assignments.
  • Keep questions or comments brief and concise to allow as many as possible.