Humanities Happenings — 01/23-01/25

A diverse, engaging set of humanities happenings make for a lively weekend in Kansas!

Thomas Prasch

Thomas Prasch

Madison: Arab Spring and After

In 2010 most Americans were surprised by the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East. Many Westerners hoped the events would lead to democracy and social change in these countries, and long-term rulers in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya were ousted. However, years later only minor reforms have taken place in other countries, and a full-scale civil war has developed in Syria. This talk explores what led to the Arab Spring, the course of events since then, and the potential for further change in the Middle East. January 24th at 3:00pm at Madison Public Library. Click here for details.

Great Bend: Reflections on Water

“The Waters of Kansas–Cheyenne Bottoms” is the first of several short documentary films that explores the state’s complex relationship with our world’s most important resource. After the film, Cheyenne Bottoms and Avian Programs Manager for the Nature Conservancy will lead a discussion about the film and Kansas’ water issues. The documentary series is funded by the Kansas Natural Resource Council (KNRC) and a KHC Humanities grant. January 25th at 2:00pm at Fort Hays State University, Kansas Wetlands Education Center. Click here for details.

Erika Nelson

Erika Nelson

Beloit: Legend of the Tall Tale

Johnny Kaw shaped Kansas’ landscape with his oversized scythe. Lonesome cowboys first sited the mythical Jackalope while riding the range. This lecture will explore the roadside monuments devoted to our fantastical legends, from the Sasquatch of Washington to the Hodag of Wisconsin and the many commemorations of Paul Bunyan around the country. Our legends reflect our culture, growing out of geographically specific lore, while engaging in a favorite American pastime of Tall Tale telling. This presentation examines the origins of the legends, the people who crafted them, and how they reflect the regions they inhabit. January 25th at 2:00pm at Mitchell County Historical Society. Click here for details.

M.J. Morgan

M.J. Morgan

Newton: Lost (and Found) Towns

Kansas has nearly 9000 disappeared towns and communities, caused by its unusual and spectacularly fast settlement history. The variety of town types–from colony and end-of-line towns to cumulative and rural communities–is as striking as the stories they left behind. Kansas towns are diverse and contain vital human histories of failure and persistence against the odds. This talk will explore research conducted on lost Kansas places and discuss problems of recovery of information. January 25th at 2:00pm at Walton United Methodist Church. Click here for details.

 

Topeka: The Joy Luck Club

One of the four Chinese members of the Joy Luck Club has died, and her daughter June must now fulfill her mother’s lifelong wish. Her journey brings the other members to an unexpected confrontation with their pasts and with their American daughters. 288 pp. January 25th at 3:00pm at Aldersgate Village in Topeka. Click here for details.

 

Jim Gray

Jim Gray

Belleville: Life on the Range

The early days of ranching and trail driving required stamina and determination. The drover of yesteryear had little choice but to face the elements placed before him if he was to get his wild cattle to market. A thousand miles on the trail brought him into contact with all that nature could throw at him: lightning, flooded rivers, hail, tornadoes, and stampeding cattle were constant challenges. Today’s massive beef industry owes its beginnings to the men and women who were bold enough to “head ’em up and move ’em out.” Explore this exciting story of cowboys, cattle, and the steak on your plate. January 25th at 2:00pm at Belleville Public Library. Click here for details.

 

More events can be found on KHC’s Calendar of Events.