Call for KHC Board Members

KHC is currently seeking nominations of Kansans to fill vacancies on its Board of Directors. Nominations are due April 2, 2014.

“Kansas Humanities Council board members play an active role in the cultural life of the state,” said Aaron Otto, chair of the Membership committee. “If you are passionate about the humanities and want to promote the work of KHC, consider a nomination to the KHC Board of Directors.”

KHC is governed by a 22-member volunteer Board of Directors. Nominations must be submitted in writing. Members serve for a three-year term, with the possibility of renewal for a second term. Individuals may nominate themselves or others for board service. Click here for instructions on making a nomination to the Board of Directors or contact KHC at (785) 357-0359.

Humanities Happenings (2/24-2/28)


Commemorate Black History month with events exploring civil rights milestones and stories of Kansas’ African-American communities.

Great Bend: Memories of “South Town”

How do you save the history of a community that has nearly disappeared? Veronica Coons, reporter with the Great Bend Tribune, will talk about her unique experience gathering interviews as part of an oral history project to record the stories of South Hoisington, Kansas, a predominately African-American community established by the railroad in Barton County. Sponsored by the Barton County Historical Society. Feb. 24th at 7:30 p.m. Click here for details. You can also read about South Hoisington in a recent KHC E-News.

Atchison, Kansas City, & Lawrence: Created Equal

“Created Equal” film discussions mark the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and are made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.  Three events are taking place this week:

  •  Naomi Lanney, an author, educator, and pastor, facilitates a discussion of the film, “Slavery By Another Name” at Blue Hills Church of the Nazarene in Kansas City, Missouri. Sponsored by MidAmerica Nazarene University. Feb. 24th at 7 PM. Click here for details.
  • Atchison Public Library is hosting two “Created Equal” events: Historian Anne Hawkins leads a discussion of the film, “The Abolitionists” on Feb. 25th at 6:00 PM. Click here for details. Shawn Leigh Alexander, professor of African American Studies at the University of Kansas, talks about “Slavery By Another Name,” on Feb. 26th at 6:00 PM. Click here for details.
  • The Langston Hughes Center in Lawrence will host a discussion related to the film, “Slavery by Another Name,” and Shawn Leigh Alexander will present, “Worse than Slavery: Race, Violence, and the Defining of the Nation in Post Emancipation America.” Feb. 27th at 7:30 PM. Click here for details.

Topeka: Brown v. Board at 60

It’s been 60 years since Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the landmark Supreme Court decision that declared school segregation unconstitutional. What is the impact of the Brown v. Board decision in the 21st Century? The Washburn University School of Law presents panelists who will discuss historic efforts to desegregate Kansas public schools, cultural factors that contribute to modern de facto school segregation, and Brown v. Board’s impact on current issues such as marriage, voting rights, and employment discrimination. Feb. 27th at 8:30 a.m. at Washburn University, Bradley Thompson Alumni Center. Seating is limited and registration is required. Click here for details.

There are more events exploring the Civil Rights Movement and Kansas’ African-American heritage in February and throughout 2014. Visit KHC’s Calendar of Events for more information.

Banner images: (L to R): The Abolitionists: ©WGBH Educational Foundation/Antony PlattSouth Hoisington residents Fidel Torrez, Jesse Cushinberry, and Charles Gulliford, Jr., circa 1941. Photo courtesy of the Barton County Historical Museum; Slavery by Another Name: Jon Van Amber and Omni Studio; Created Equal signature image: Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, NYWT&S Collection




Humanities Happenings (2/14-2/16)

To My Valentine, 1890Make a date with the humanities this weekend and indulge your love of literature, history, and great conversations with KHC-supported events across the state.

Garden City: Calling All Book Lovers

Good books. Great conversation. There is a lot to love about a Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) book discussion. Martha Ortiz Sanchez leads a discussion of Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat at the Finney County Public Library. The book follows Sophie as she makes the difficult transition from rural Haiti to an impoverished New York. February 15th at 11:00 AM. Click here for details.

Concordia: I Like Ike

Roy Bird presents “The Kansas Work Ethic of Dwight D. Eisenhower,” in this Speakers Bureau event at Cloud County Historical Society Museum. Learn how Ike’s parents worked hard to feed and clothe their family of six boys and how young Ike worked various jobs, from selling vegetables and his mother’s hot tamales door-to-door, to laboring as a farmhand and working for several years at the Belle Springs Creamery. How did he manage these jobs while earning good grades in school and participating in sports and community activities? This talk will explore how Ike’s Kansas work ethic prepared him for military and presidential greatness. February 15th at 2:00 PM. Click here for details.

Park City: Music to Their Ears

Cowboy folksongs were more than entertainment on the lonely prairie: they told the story of a way of work that has since changed radically. In “Singing the Cattle North,” Jim Hoy explains that through trail-driving songs, night-herding songs, and bunkhouse/chuckwagon songs, cattle drovers produced a musical culture that still appeals to today’s ranchers who have traded their horses for four-wheelers and six-guns for cell phones. February 15th at 7:00 PM at the Park City Public Library. Click here for details.

Hays: Lincoln’s Likeness

Just in time for President’s Day! Brian Craig Miller examines how the image of Abraham Lincoln evolved over time in “The Tattered Lincoln Album: Lincoln’s Likeness and Image in History and Memory” at the Hays Public Library. Using over fifty photographs, paintings, and drawings, participants will learn about Lincoln’s quest to secure the presidency, his interaction with the public, and finally his death and ultimate legacy. While you’re at the library, be sure to visit the current exhibit, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” produced by the National Constitution Center. February 16th at 2:00 PM. Click here for details.

That’s just this weekend! There are more events throughout February on the KHC Calendar of Events.

Image: To My Valentine, 1890, via the Library of Congress.

Humanities Happenings (2/7-2/9)

Relieve your cabin fever and warm up to humanities events taking place throughout the state this weekend.


DeSoto: Bird Paparazzi

Kansas has produced some of the nation’s foremost experts on birds, men and women who have devoted their lives to studying and portraying avian life with a passion that few might understand. In his Speakers Bureau talk, “Ornithologists, Artists, and Bird Paparazzi of Kansas,” David E. Seibel examines the rich and colorful history of ornithology as a profession in Kansas and the significant contributions of artists, photographers, and cinematographers who focus on birds as their subjects. Find out if there is a particular psyche that drives “bird people,” and learn about the unique interplay between professional and amateur bird people. Feb. 8th at 11:00 AM at the DeSoto Branch of the Johnson County Library. Click here for details.


Carnival sideshow in West Virginia, 1938, by Marion Post Wolcott. Image via Library of Congress.

Dodge City: Ladies and Gentlemen, Step Right Up!

See! and Hear! how the hucksters, barkers, and sideshow workers of Kansas plied their craft when Erika Nelson presents “Hucksters, Barkers, and Sideshows” at the Boot Hill Museum. This Speakers Bureau talk explores the businessmen, eccentrics, and entrepreneurs who took their work to the smallest communities across the country with transient show-based setups, selling entertainment, promise, and miracle cures and shaping how we hype, advertise, and “turn the tip.” From the carnival and sideshow culture of Kinsley (Midway, USA) to the infamous “goat gland doctor” John R. Brinkley of Milford, you’ll be Amazed! and Awed! at their inventiveness and chutzpah. Feb. 8th at 2:00 PM. Click here for details.


"The Scout Buffalo Bill" by P. Frenzeny. Image via Library of Congress.

Kinsley: Freight Lines and Buffalo Hunting

The “Kansas Trails and Rails” series explores 19th century human migration through Kansas over the overland trails and railroads. This week, Fort Hays State University history professor Leo Oliva leads a discussion about early trails in Kansas, including the Leavenworth & Pikes Peak Express Company, Central Overland California & Pikes Peak Express Company, Smoky Hill Trail, and the Pony Express. History professor Juti Winchester, also of Fort Hays State University, discusses Buffalo Bill Cody and explores how buffalo hunting fueled the railroad industry. Feb. 9th at 2:00 PM at the Kinsley Library. Click here for details.

More KHC-supported events are taking place throughout Kansas this February. Click here for the KHC Calendar of Events.

Image credits (top to bottom): Western Meadowlark by Margaret Whittemore, 1925. Image from, Kansas Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply; Carnival sideshow in West Virginia, 1938, by Marion Post Wolcott. Image via Library of Congress; “The Scout Buffalo Bill” by P. Frenzeny; Forbes Co., Boston & N.Y. Image via Library of Congress.