Cultural Encounters: People on Display at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition | Virtual Quirky Northwest Lecture

Join us virtually for our first lecture in our new Quirky Northwest Lecture Series. This talk by Scott Magelssen explores the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the 1909 World’s Fair in Seattle. The AYP Exposition famously told the story of the Pacific Northwest on the world stage—highlighting the burgeoning forestry industry, the goldrush, and trans-Pacific commerce—and dramatically reshaped the landscape of Seattle in the process. We’ll look at the ways the Exposition shaped the current footprint and architecture of the University of Washington’s Seattle campus and U-District neighborhood. We’ll also look at the Exposition’s more controversial legacy of exhibiting human beings for fairgoers, from “Eskimo” and Filipino communities in living, working villages, to live, prematurely born babies in incubators in an attraction on the “Pay Streak” (now 15th Avenue).

About Scott Magelssen

Scott Magelssen is Associate Professor and Donald E. Petersen Fellow in the School of Drama at the University of Washington, where he teaches Theatre and Performance Studies. His most recent book, Performing Flight: From the Barnstormers to Space Tourism, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2020. He is the author of Simming: Participatory Performance and the Making of Meaning (University of Michigan Press, 2014), and Living History Museums: Undoing History Through Performance (Scarecrow, 2007).

How to Join:

This is a free lecture offered via zoom. Please RSVP to join us using the form below. A zoom link will be sent out to the week of the event. If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Carroll-Bolger at

  • April 24, 2021 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm