I am a writer and historian living in Minneapolis, MN. I am an infantryman in the Minnesota National Guard and received my B.A. from the University of Minnesota Morris (2013) and J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School (2019). My nonfiction research interests include Midwest history and literature, law and mental illness, and civic republican political theory. Most of my fiction writing can be classified as fabulist / magic realist. My writing has appeared in Minnesota History, Middle West Review, Popshot Quarterly, and elsewhere.
I am a recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including 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 article “Senator Allen Spear and the Minnesota Human Rights Act” received Minnesota History‘s 2016 Solon J. Buck Award for Best Article of the Year.
I am a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, serving in many capacities including one term on its State Executive Committee (2012-2014). In August 2016, I was appointed to serve as the DFL Party Historian.
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 (Rep, 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).
- 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