Director’s Cut


Martin Scorsese 

In April, Martin Scorsese — Academy Award winning film director, producer, film historian and preservationist — delivered the 42nd annual Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities in Washington, D.C.

Established by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1972, the Jefferson Lecture is the federal government’s most prestigious honor for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

Scorsese’s lecture “Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema” is available for viewing here. Read more about Scorsese’s work and its place in American cultural history in the March/April issue of NEH’s Humanities magazine.

Gaga for Gatsby!



2013 has been a great year for The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel is a hot topic these days, thanks to Baz Luhrmann’s big screen blockbuster. Closer to home, the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library featured The Great Gatsby as their 2013 The Big Read book.

Looking for more ways to get your Gatsby fix this weekend, old sport?  Here are some thought-provoking and fun options:

American Icons: The Great Gatsby

This one-hour Studio 360 podcast explores why The Great Gatsby is the “great American story of our age” and features interviews with Jonathan Franzen, Patricia Hampl, and Azar Nafisi. Funding for the podcast was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Gatsby Meets Nintendo

“The Great Gatsby for NES” lets you navigate Gatsby’s party, dodging waiters and collecting martini glasses for points. It’s the computer video game that gives digital humanities a whole new meaning.

Walking the Cheyenne Road of Life

Dr. Henrietta Mann

Dr. Henrietta Mann

UPDATE! The Kinsley Library posted Dr. Mann’s May 5th presentation on YouTube. Click on the links below to view “Walking the Cheyenne Road of Life” in its entirety.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Original Post: On Sunday, May 5th, the Edwards County Historical Society in Kinsley hosts the last event in its series, Kansas Military Forts and the Indian Wars, with “Walking the Cheyenne Road of Life,” a presentation by Dr. Henrietta Mann, president of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College.

Dr. Mann’s presentation concludes the five-part series of lectures, readings, and discussions exploring the impact of the 19th-century conflict between Native Americans, settlers, and the U.S. Army. Readings in literature, history, and primary sources, along with tours of Kansas military forts, invite participants to consider the topic from multiple perspectives. Click here for event details.

Kansas Military Forts and the Indian Wars is supported by a KHC Humanities grant.

Townley named Poet Laureate of Kansas

Wyatt Townley Photo by Terry Weckbaugh

Wyatt Townley
Photo by Terry Weckbaugh

Wyatt Townley of Shawnee Mission has been named the 2013-2015 Poet Laureate of Kansas. As Poet Laureate of Kansas, Townley will promote the humanities as a public resource for all Kansans through public readings, presentations, and discussions about poetry in communities across the state. Click here to find out how you can request a Poet Laureate event in your community.

Wyatt Townley is a widely published, nationally known poet and a fourth-generation Kansan. Her work has been featured on National Public Radio’s The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, in US Poet Laureate Emeritus Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry column, and published in journals ranging from The Paris Review to Newsweek. She has published three collections of poetry: The Breathing Field (Little Brown), Perfectly Normal (The Smith), and The Afterlives of Trees (Woodley Press), a Kansas Notable Book and winner of the Nelson Poetry Book Award. More information can be found on her website.

Support for the Poet Laureate of Kansas has been provided by the Friends of the Humanities. Donate Now and add your support to the Poet Laureate of Kansas program.