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Department of History

Parrish Lecture Series

The Parrish Lecture

The 2021 Parrish Lecture: Dr. Monica H. Green, "Neolithic to New World: Global Histories of Plague" (Click on the link to watch the recording. NB: We are working on uploading a video that includes closed captioning.)

The 2022 Parrish Lecture: Dr. David Bachrach, "Fortresses, Frontiers, and the Myth of Knightly Dominance in Medieval Warfare." (date TBD)

The Parrish Lecture is a biennial event designed to promote discussions about historical issues of wide public interest. The Lecture is named in honor of Fred Louis Parrish (1893-1980), a former history professor at K-State, who was devoted to fostering the free exchange of ideas and insights in a communal setting. The Lecture, which is run by the Department of History, is free and open to the public.

Fred Parrish earned his masters at Northwestern University in 1922 and his doctorate in the history of religion at Yale University in 1938. He was hired at Kansas State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (Kansas State University’s name until 1959) in 1927 and remained here for thirty-six-years, until his retirement in 1963. He produced several publications, most notably The Classification of Religions: Its Relation to the History of Religions (1941).He also served as head of the Department of History, Government and Philosophy from 1942 until 1959.

Parrish was well known on campus and in the Manhattan community as an avid conversationalist. He was for many years the guiding light for the local Conversation Club, which met monthly to discuss and debate new creative and controversial ideas in religious history. In 1984, four years after Parrish’s death, his daughter, Ethelinda Parrish Amos, and his son-in-law, Wendell Amos, donated money to establish the Parrish Colloquium in honor of the way he promoted lively discussion about history and religion in the Manhattan community. In 2009, the event was renamed the Parrish Lecture.


  • BA, Northwestern University, 1917
  • BD, Garrett Biblical Institute, 1920
  • MA, Northwestern University, 1922
    • Thesis: The rise of Methodism in Kansas, 1830-1861: from its inception to the opening of the Civil War
  • PhD, Yale University, 1938

Select Publications

  • The Classification of Religions: Its Relation to the History of Religions (1941)
  • “The Revolution in Perspective Which Now Faces Historians and Social Science Teachers,” Social Science 19 (1944): 30-32.
  • A Yank in the British YMCA in 1917 (1974).
Parrish Lecture Today:

The Department of History hosts the Parrish Lecture (formerly known as the Parrish Colloquium), a biennial lecture series that highlights top scholars from around the globe. While the Department had planned to bring Dr. David Bachrach to present the 2020 Parrish Lecture, that event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and nation-wide shutdowns. The 2021 Parrish Lecture was held virtually via Zoom. Dr. Monica Green's topic was global histories of plague. If you missed the event, check out the recording linked below.

Previous Parrish Lecture Events: 
  1. Dr. Ben Witherington III – “Was Jesus the first feminist?” – 2009

  2. Dr. John McGreevy - "The Ellsworth Outrage (1854): Or How the Tarring and Feathering of A Jesuit Priest Helps Us Understand the Relationship Between Catholicism and the Modern World.” – 2011

  3. Dr. Juan R. Cole - "Egypt's Rebellion Against Political Islam" – 2013

  4. Dr. Edith Blumhofer – “Aimee Semple McPherson: That Somewhat Different Entertainer” - 2015

  5. Dr. David L.M. Onnekink - "Mission and Empire: Rethinking the Global History of Protestant Missions" - 2018

  6. The 2020 Parrish Lecture scheduled for Friday, March 20, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and nation-wide shutdowns. Dr. David Bachrach, University of New Hampshire, was going to present "Fortresses, Frontiers, and the Myth of Knightly Dominance in Medieval Warfare"

  7. Dr. Monica H. Green - "Neolithic to New World: Global Histories of Plague" - 2021