The humanities are the talk of several Kansas towns this weekend. Read on to find a KHC-sponsored event near you.
The public is invited to the opening of “Drift & Drag: Reflections on Water,” a special exhibit that examines Kansans’ perceptions of and experience with water. The reception will feature a dance performance by Ellie Goudie-Averill entitled “Ladies of the Lake.” February 6 at 5:30pm at Washburn University, Mulvane Art Museum. Click here for details.
Derby: Life on the Homefront
When the United States entered World War I in the spring of 1917, the civilian population was aware of the high casualty rates from trench warfare and the resulting low morale. It was necessary to inspire and inform people in ways that were both heroic and practical. This presentation will highlight posters, pamphlets, and sheet music that encouraged Americans to buy Liberty Bonds; raise, conserve, and send food to Europe; and promote the importance of books and libraries as a vital component of democracy. February 7 at 2:00pm at Derby Public Library. Click here for details.
Greensburg: Journey to Freedom
Before homesteading as free men in the African American settlement of Nicodemus, Kansas, Tom Johnson and John Samuels were enslaved by U.S. Vice President Richard M. Johnson (1837-1841) and his daughter Imogene Pence. Johnson became a controversial figure when he married Julia Chinn, a biracial woman and mother of his two daughters. This presentation follows Tom and John’s journey from enslavement in Kentucky to freedom experienced in an all-Black town. Learn about their lives on the Johnson plantation, the tragic split of their families, and their migration and settlement at historic Nicodemus. February 7 at 2:00pm at Kiowa County Senior Center. Click here for details.
Lyons: Rice County’s “Hometown Teams”
The public is invited to the opening of “Hometown Teams in Rice County,” an special exhibit that features stories of local sports heritage from Geneseo, Chase, Little River, Sterling, and Lyons.
Larned: Patrolling the Prairie
Kansas was once the center of operations for many organized bands of horse thieves. In reaction, many independent anti-horse thief societies were formed, with the national Anti-Horse Thief Association especially strong in Kansas. By 1910 Kansas held the most members, was home to The Anti-Horse Thief Weekly News, and consistently had residents hold offices in the national order. So effective were these organizations that local law enforcement were often the first to join, and the Kansas Bank Commissioner called for their assistance to help fight bank robberies that plagued the state. February 8 at 2:00pm at Santa Fe Trail Center. Click here for details.
Kinsley: Out of the Dust
Fort Hays State University history professor Leo Oliva discusses “Letters from the Dust Bowl,” a collection of writings authored Caroline Henderson in the heart of Dust Bowl in the 1930s. Her work was regularly published in the Atlantic Monthly magazine. Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns used Henderson’s letters in his 2012 film “The Dust Bowl.”
Guest musician Thad Beach will provide songs and stories that explore the Dust Bowl era, including seven songs inspired interviews with Western Kansas Dust Bowl survivors.
Ellinwood: Father Basketball
“Hometown Teams” Tour Scholar Michael J. Zogry examines the influence of James Naismith’s religious beliefs on his life, including the creation of basketball, and on the commemoration of his legacy. February 8 at 1:30pm at Ellinwood School and Community Library. Click here for details.
North Newton: Race in America
Each year, twelve percent of drivers in the United States are stopped by the police; the figure is almost double among racial minorities. Charles Epp, professor of public administration at the University of Kansas, will explore what personal narratives tell us about the experience of being stopped.
This event supports “Sorting Out Race,” a special exhibit that uses thrift store race-related objects as a starting point for conversations about race and racial identify. February 8 at 3:00pm at Kauffman Museum. Click here for details.
Click here to mark your calendars for Humanities Happenings later this month.