Humanities Happenings (8/16-8/21)

Celebrate the start of the school year by attending a humanities event in Kansas. You’ll be sure to learn something new, but you won’t have to do any homework!

Hiawatha: Mail & Murals

Cattle Roundup, Eureka

“Cattle Roundup,” 1938 by Vance Kirkland. Eureka Post Office.

Between 1936 and 1942, the federal government’s Fine Arts Section of the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department partnered with local citizens in Kansas and professional artists and architects to select images for post office murals. Join Lorraine Madway as she discusses how the murals preserved local autonomy while projecting the New Deal values of optimism and communal progress in “Images of Depression-Era Work in Kansas Post Office Murals” at the Frances Sewell Plamann History Center. August 16 at 7:00 PM. Sponsored by the Brown County Historical Society. Click here for details.

Montezuma: A Mighty Fine Line

Perceived as transient laborers and barely mentioned in railroad oral histories, ethnic crews not only worked the rail lines, they also impacted the cultures of rural Kansas communities. In “Ethnic Labor and Small Towns on the Rock Island Line,” M. J. Morgan draws on oral histories of residents who remember when Mexican and town women exchanged recipes, Mexican workers lived in boxcars near the rail lines, and the sounds of Greek music echoed over the fields at twilight. August 17 at 2:00 PM at Stauth Memorial Museum. Click here for details.

Park City: Waiting on Dignity

Waiter in Washington, D.C.In 1820’s urban America, free black men prized the position of restaurant waiter, instilling pride, status, and dignity into their work. In “Waiting on – and for – Dignity: Black Waiters before the Civil War,” Kelly Erby explains how black waiters’ efforts to raise the status of their labor sheds light on the enduring centrality of work to the American identity. August 17 at 7:00 PM at Park City Public Library. Click here for details. Image via Library of Congress.

Council Grove & Topeka: Lots of TALK

Two great communities, two great Talk About Literature in Kansas book discussions. Dennis Etzel leads a discussion of John Irving’s “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” on August 18 at 3:00 PM at Aldersgate Village in Topeka. Click here for details.

“The Last Cattle Drive” by Robert Day is the featured book at the Council Grove Public Library on August 20 at 7:00 PM. Steven Foulke lead the discussion. Click here for details.

Lawrence: Tweet Like it’s 1863

bleeding kansas bleeding moThis week in Lawrence, the big news is the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid. On the eve of the raid’s anniversary, KU professor of history and former KHC Speakers Bureau presenter, Jonathan Earle and co-author Diane Mutti Burke launch their book “Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border,” August 20 at 7:00 PM at the Carnegie Building. Sponsored by the Lawrence Public Library. Click here for details.

Don’t forget to follow #QR1863 on Twitter for KHC’s daily tweets from the “Quantrill’s Raid and Order No. 11” Shared Stories of the Civil War script and as Lawrence residents and historians “live tweet” the events of Quantrill’s Raid now through August 21st. Join Jonathan Earle and Jeremy Neely, professor of history at Missouri State University, as they lead a community discussion about the raid at 5:30 PM on August 21 at the Watkins Community Museum of History. Click here for details. A full schedule of 1863 Lawrence events can be found here.