Humanities Happenings: 08/24-08/28


James Naismith, c. 1930. Michael J. Zogry, Hometown Teams tour scholar, presents “Religion and Basketball:  Naismith’s Game” this Sunday in Perry. Photo courtesy of, Kansas Historical Society. Copy and reuse restrictions apply.


From west to east: Dodge City, Cedar Point, Perry, and Lawrence host this weekend’s Humanities Happenings events.

Lawrence: “Four Days in Cornville”
Cornhusking – now a relatively unknown sport – was once considered the next big wave in athletic competition. By the early 1900s, after school clubs and county fair contests were started to encourage youth involvement in agricultural activities. Cornhusking combined athleticism with daily chores and drew large crowds in the 1940s. In 1939, a national competition was held in Lawrence. This exhibit supports “Of Two Minds: The Conventional and Unconventional Sides of Lawrence Sports,” a series of public events. The project is part of “Hometown Teams,” a statewide initiative exploring the way sports build and unite communities. Exhibit is on display through December 7th. August 28th at The Watkins Museum of History. Click here for details.

Dodge City: The Worst Hard Time
Timothy Egan’s book, The Worst Hard Time, describes the first of the new storms that would come to define the Dust Bowl: “Wasn’t a sandstorm . . . . And it wasn’t a hailstorm, though it certainly brought with it a dark, threatening sky . . . It rolled, like a mobile hill of crud, and it was black.” Egan provides a masterful overview of the dust storms and their consequences for agriculture and people on the Great Plains. 312 pp. This book is from the TALK series, “The 1930s.” Thomas Prasch leads the TALK book discussion. August 29th at Dodge City Public Library at 4:00pm. Click here for details.

Cedar Point: Prairie Songs
Cowboy folksongs were more than entertainment on the lonely prairie: they told the story of a way of work that has since changed radically. 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. Join Jim Hoy, Speakers Bureau, as he presents on the important folk tradition of the prairie. Sponsored by Kansas Farmers Union. August 29th at Flying W Ranch at 7:00pm. Click here for details.

Perry: Naismith & Religion
“Religion and Basketball: Naismith’s Game” explores how and to what extent religion played a part in James Naismith’s life. Michael J. Zogry, “Hometown Teams” Kansas tour scholar, will make connections between Naismith’s faith and his creation of the game of basketball, and Naismith’s historical and cultural legacy. Part of “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition on display in Perry through September 27th. Sponsored by Perry Pride. August 30th at Highland Community College, Perry Center at 2:00pm. Click here for details.

For information about upcoming KHC-supported events, visit KHC’s calendar.