I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota Morris (2013; Political Science & History) and University of Minnesota Law School (2019). My scholarship is divided between (1) Midwest history and literature, (2) law and mental illness, and (3) “neurolaw.”

Walter Mondale Joshua Preston 2017

As an award-winning historian, I’ve had the honor of crossing the paths of so many great people — including Vice President Walter F. Mondale’s.

In addition to presenting on these topics at more than a dozen conferences, I am a recipient of the Humphrey School’s Mondale Research Fellowship (2013), a Springboard for the Arts Hinge Arts Residency (2016), and a Minnesota Historical Society Legacy Research Fellowship (2017). My work has appeared in Minnesota History, Rain Taxi ReviewMinnPost, Popshot Magazine, and elsewhere.

Lastly, as a student at the University of Minnesota, I served as chairman of the Student Senate (2012) and two terms as a student representative to the Board of Regents (2012-13; Chair , 2017-18). Of these experiences, I am most-proud of pushing the University to publicly support same-sex marriage (its most-controversial stand since opposing the Vietnam War). Additionally, I am also a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, serving in many capacities including one term on its State Executive Committee (2012-2014). Since August 2016 I have served as the DFL Party Historian.


  • My article on “Senator Allan Spear and the Minnesota Human Rights Act” received Minnesota History‘s 2016 Solon J. Buck Award for “Best Article of the Year.”
  • I am the creator of Giraffes Drawn By People Who Should Not Be Drawing Giraffes, a high-brow conceptual art project and/or absurdist conversation starter (depending on who you ask). It’s been recognized by both The Huffington Post and way too many people I’ve run into at parties.
  • In 2018, after Ilhan Omar decided to run for U.S. Congress, I was one of several candidates who ran for her open District 60B State House seat in the DFL Primary.
  • In 2019, I ran to serve as a Regent of the University of Minnesota. Although the Regent Candidate Advisory Committee recommended me to the legislature’s Joint Higher Education Committee, I was not selected.

Curriculum Vitae (CV): [Email me]

Email: JoshuaPPreston [at] Gmail [dot] com

Twitter: @JPPreston


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