Humanities Happenings: 10/16-10/18


Larger than Life: Hodag statue, Rhinelander, WI and Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues, Bemidji, MN. Images courtesy of Erika Nelson.

Larger than Life: Hodag statue, Rhinelander, WI and Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues, Bemidji, MN. Images courtesy Erika Nelson.

Did you know October is National Arts & Humanities Month? There’s never been a more perfect time to attend a weekend humanities event in Kansas!

Junction City: Mythical Creatures
Johnny Kaw shaped Kansas’ landscape with his oversized scythe. Lonesome cowboys first sited the mythical Jackalope while riding the range. Erika Nelson, Speakers Bureau, 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. Nelson examines the origins of the legends, the people who crafted them, and how they reflect the regions they inhabit. October 17th at Geary County Historical Society & Museums at 1:30pm. Click here for details.

Topeka: Snow Falling on Cedars
In David Guterson’s book, a fisherman drowns and a Japanese American is charged with his murder, forcing the island residents of San Piedro to come to terms with their past, including the exile of local Japanese families during World War II. 460 pp. This book is from the TALK series, “Community: The Way We Live.” Sandra Wiechert will lead the TALK book discussion. October 16th at Aldersgate Village at 2:30pm. Click here for details.

Osage City: Prairie Law
John K. Burchill, Speakers Bureau, explains 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. Sponsored by Friends of Osage City Public Library. October 16th at Osage City Public Library at 6:00pm. Click here for details.

Lawrence: Recipe for History & Heritage
Community cookbooks have carried the stories of Kansas women over the years, sharing sentiments of home, family, and faith. Louise M. Hanson, Speakers Bureau, provides a survey of Kansas cookbooks from 1874 to the present, which reveal not only changes in foodways but also poems, prayers, personal reflections, and histories. These humble publications show that food, home, community, and faith were the foundation upon which Kansas women constructed their lives. October 16th at Douglas County Extension Office at 1:30pm. Click here for details.

Independence: Remembering Baseball in Independence
Panel discussion and luncheon to commemorate Independence as a professional baseball site. Hear from former players, radio announcers, and community members involved with early baseball in the community. This event supports “Independence, Baseball, & History” a “Hometown Teams” partner site exhibit at the Independence Historical Museum & Art Center, on display through November 21st. October 17th at Independence Historical Museum & Art Center at 10:00am. Click here for details.

Hutchinson: Feeding Those Who Feed Us
Harvest has always been an important element of Kansas culture. Roy Bird, Speakers Bureau, explores the food heritage of one of the most important seasons in farm family life: feeding the harvest crews. Mealtime traditions have both remained as they were–women busy preparing large meals for men and women in the fields–and have adapted thanks to conveniences such as pizza take-out. Bring a dish to share your family’s favorite harvest-time recipe and enjoy learning about your community’s harvest mealtime traditions in this lecture, discussion, and meal. Sponsored by Reno County Genealogical Society. October 17th at Delos V. Smith Senior Citizens Center at 11:00am. Click here for details.

Humboldt: The Kansas City Monarchs & Humboldt
Formed in 1920, the Kansas City Monarchs revolutionized baseball: not only were they charter members of the Negro National League and the first professional team to use outdoor lighting, the Monarchs also sent more players to the major leagues than any other Negro League franchise. Phil S. Dixon, Speakers Bureau, explores the exciting early barnstorming days of the Monarchs, highlights great players such as Wilber “Bullet” Rogan, Satchel Paige, and Jackie Robinson who wore the uniform, and connects the spirit of the Monarchs to the many Kansas communities in which they played. Where possible, specific games and players from your community will be discussed. Sponsored by Humboldt Historic Preservation Alliance, Inc. October 17th at Humboldt High School at 2:00pm. Click here for details.

Meade: Nathan Coulter
Our nation came of age on the family farm. The stories of growing up that comprise this four-part series are interwoven with the story of American agriculture as it evolved from the self-sufficient homesteads of the 19th century to the large mechanized farms of today. Books in this series include Farmer Boy; Winter Wheat; Nathan Coulter by Wendall Berry (128 pp.); and Good Land. Berry’s novel is from the TALK series, “Coming of Age in Rural America.” Sponsored by Friends of Meade Public Library. October 17th at Meade Public Library at 1:00pm. Click here for details.

Lawrence: “Growing Up Grimm” Panel Discussion
What is psychoanalysis and what does it tell us about fairy tales? The panel, moderated by playwright Max Bush, explores moments in childhood when the perception of something familiar suddenly, and uncannily, shifts. This panel discussion supports “The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers,” a contemporary adaptation of a Grimm fable performed at the Lawrence Arts Center. This event is also part of “Uncanny Tales of Growing UP,” a series of panel discussions that explore the works of the Grimm Brothers, Edgar Allen Poe, and E.T.A. Hoffman. October 17th at Lawrence Arts Center at 5:00pm. Click here for details.

Emporia: “La Colonia de Emporia”
Members of the Latino community are invited to participate in intergenerational oral history event to record their stories. The Lyon County History Center will provide training, equipment, and space. Material from the event will be part of a Latino community exhibit. This event is part of “La Colonia de Emporia: Stories of the Latino Community,” a project in which the museum will work this local Hispanic organizations to document the Latino experience in Emporia. The project is part of “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History,” a special initiative supported by the Kansas Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Library Association. October 17th at Lyon County History Center at 9:00am. Click here for details.

Humboldt: The Legacy of “The Big Train”
Join Henry Thomas as he discusses his grandfather Walter “The Big Train” Johnson’s baseball legacy. Johnson, a Humboldt native, is a baseball legend who played for the Washington Senators in the early 1900s. Thomas is the author of Walter Johnson: Baseball’s Big Train. The presentation is part of “Hometown Teams,” a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition on display through November 15th. Sponsored by Humboldt Historic Preservation Alliance, Inc. October 17th at Humbolt High School Auditorium at 2:00pm. Click here for details.

Independence: Mickey Mantle Homerun Derby
A homerun derby at the site of the first night game in the history of organized baseball. The public is invited to compete for prizes by attempting to hit a baseball over the wall where Mickey Mantle hit his first home run. The derby is planned in association with the Independence Recreation Commission. The event supports “Independence, Baseball, & History” a “Hometown Teams” partner site exhibit at the Independence Historical Museum & Art Center, on display through November 21st. October 18th at Independence Historical Museum & Art Center at 1:00pm. Click here for details.

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