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Humanities Iowa

Speakers Bureau Meet the Speakers

Roy R. Behrens, University of Northern Iowa Roy R. Behrens is a professor of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, he teaches graphic design and design history. He is an editor and writer for periodicals and books and his writings have been featured on Nova (PBS), Equinox (BBC), Living in Iowa (IPTV) and BBC Radio. His most recent book is False Colors: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage (2002). He can be contacted at or at (319) 273-2260. Seagoing Easter Eggs: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage Everett Warner, an artist born in Vinton, Iowa, supervised US naval camouflage in World Wars I and II. He made important contributions to the development of "dazzle painting," a method of ship camouflage in which confusing, colored shapes were applied to the sides of a vessel to prevent German submarines from aiming at it accurately from a distance. These deceptively painted ships, which the public likened at the time to Cubism, resembled, as one writer called them, "a flock of sea-going Easter eggs." This and other stories of camouflage artists, designers and architects are told in a slide-illustrated 45-minute talk. Participants will come away with an understanding of the relevance of visual perception to art, the function of protective coloring in nature, and how the principles of camouflage are used in print design, paintings, architecture and more. Grant Wood and Frank Lloyd Wright: Little Houses on the Prairie Grant Wood and Frank Lloyd Wright had similar influences: Japanese-inspired esthetic principles, the Arts and Crafts Movement and Gothic Revival architecture. During this slide-illustrated, 45-minute talk, participants are invited to explore the parallels between the works of Wood and Wright, and how artists express human values, whatever the medium.

Galin Berrier, Des Moines Area Community College Galin Berrier has been an adjunct instructor in history at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny since 1994. He is the author of the chapter on the Underground Railroad in Iowa in Outside In: African -American History in Iowa, 1838-2000, published by the State Historical Society of Iowa in 2001. He interprets the Law Office and the Bank to visitors to the 1875 "Town of Walnut Hill" at Living History Farms and conducts tours at the Des Moines Art Center. He makes interactive presentations on the Underground Railroad for school classes over the Iowa Communications Network. He can be reached at (515) 965-8242. The Underground Railroad in Iowa The Underground Railroad, historians agree, is shrouded in myth and legend. Did it really exist in Iowa, and if so, when and how? Was it highly organized or did its "conductors" and "station agents" mostly improvise? Were fugitive slaves usually hidden beneath trap doors in cellars or were they more likely to be concealed in attics and garrets or outdoors in heavy brush and timber? What part did African Americans themselves play in helping fugitive slaves find their way to freedom? How many fugitives are likely to have passed through Iowa and how do we know if reputed "safe houses" actually existed in our own communities? These are some of the questions addressed in this inquiry into a sometimes controversial but always fascinating episode in Iowa's history. Where did they go from here? The Underground Railroad from Iowa to Canada Where did black freedom seekers go when they left Iowa? Only in rare cases can we trace their steps all the way to Canada, but we can be fairly certain that some were sheltered by Owen Lovejoy at Princeton, Illinois or hidden on board Great Lakes steamships at Racine, Wisconsin or aided by Quakers like Zachariah Shugart in southwestern Michigan. What challenges faced them along the way and what kind of life did they build for themselves after they reached safety in Canada?

Richard Caplan, The University of Iowa Richard Caplan is Professor Emeritus of Dermatology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. While serving for 21 years as Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education, he founded and developed the Program in Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities, where an endowed chair has been established in his honor. Medical ethics, medical history and literatureand-medicine are among his areas of interest, along with matters musical (he is an accomplished performer of piano and clarinet). He is also a recognized expert on Sherlock Holmes and he is the founding leader of the Younger Stamfords, Iowa City's Sherlock Holmes Society. He can be reached by e-mail at, (319) 335-6584 (w) or (319) 338-0394 (h). Medical Ethics, Moral Dilemmas Should you have yourself cloned if you can't have children or need "spare parts" to prevent or repair a fatal illness? If genetic testing reveals a probability of your developing diabetes, would you change your lifestyle? These and many other ethical questions arise frequently for health care professionals. This program offers an opportunity to discuss these important questions with the founder of the Program in Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities at the University of Iowa. Sherlock Holmes in Turn-of-the-Century Britain The stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have inspired generations of readers devoted to Sherlock Holmes. Dr. Richard Caplan, an authority on Sherlock Holmes, recently published a book concerning Doyle's famous detective. This special interest in the subject also allows exploration of life in Britain at the start of the twentieth century, as well as providing much enjoyment. Using his background in medicine and his love of literature, Dr. Caplan explores the persisting phenomenon of the great detective's astounding longevity.

Michael Carey, Poet, Farragut * Michael Carey farms 800 acres in Farragut and is the author of four books of poetry, a teaching manual, and two historical plays. Carey is also a cofounder of Loess Hill Books, a fine-arts subsidiary of Mid-Prairie Books. His work has been published in anthologies and magazines across the United States, Great Britain and Ireland. His life and work have been featured by the Wall Street Journal, Time, and The Associated Press, as well as on Christian Science Monitor Television and Iowa Public Television's "Living in Iowa" and "Touchstone" programs. (712) 2463453 (h). Reading and Writing the Land/Farm Poetry Michael Carey will read from his popular essays, "Reading and Writing the Land" and "Translations," the latter of which concerns his move from New York City to a farm outside the small town of Farragut, Iowa. He will also present selections from "Local History, Poetry and Myth," which deals with how we mythologize our local histories through art. His humorous and insightful prose explores how culture and "agri"-culture cross-pollinate in the fertile Iowa soil. After reading the essays, Carey will read a selection of his poetry from his acclaimed books The Noise the Earth Makes, Honest Effort and Nishnabotna. All three books are inspired by the Iowa farm landscape. Carpenter of Song- Poems of Trees Mr. Carey will read a cycle of poems based on the Celtic alphabet of ancient Ireland. Every letter represents a tree, a month of the year and an aspect of being. Carey gives a rich and personal talk on the redemptive qualities of Irish natural, spiritual and poetic symbolism. He also writes and talks about trees native to the Iowa landscape. The ancient word for "poet" literally translated meant "Carpenter of Song." * Prior to booking Michael please contact our Humanities Iowa office.

Hal Chase, Des Moines Area Community College Hal S. Chase was born in Des Moines during WW2, but grew up in legally segregated Frankfort, KY from eight to eighteen. He teaches U.S., AfricanAmerican, and Iowa history at DMACC, and coordinated and contributed a chapter to Outside In: African-American History in Iowa, 1838-2000. He can be reached at or (515) 248-7250. Outside In: African American History in Iowa The program is a 15 minute audio-visual survey of the major people, organizations, and events in Iowa's African-American history from its territorial beginning in 1838 to the present. It also emphasizes the African-American history of the place where the presentation is made, and Dr. Chase works with local people prior to the presentation to uncover and incorporate this material into the program. In addition, audience members are encouraged to bring their stories, scrapbooks, and family albums to the presentation and share their content. *Additional Resources: Outside In: African-American History in Iowa, 1838-2000 ($40, including shipping, from the State Historical Society of Iowa-Des Moines. 515-283-1757) All receipts from the sale of Outside In go into an account in the State Historical Society Foundation and can only be used to acquire, preserve, and promote the African-American history of Iowa. None of the authors has or will receive any compensation for their contributions.

Robert Dana, Iowa Poet Laureate (2004-08) Robert Dana was born in Boston, served in the South Pacific in the Navy in World War II and came to Iowa in 1950 on a one-way ticket via Greyhound Bus to attend Drake University. He studied poetry there with E. L. Mayo and later at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop with Robert Lowell and John Berryman. Retired after 40 years of teaching at Cornell College where he was the Writer-in-Residence, he has published 12 books of poetry and two prose works. His most recent book of poems is The Other (Anhinga Press, 2009). His book of memoirs and literary essays, Paris on the Flats, will be published in 2010 by The University of Tampa Press. He can be reached at (319) 354-2171. Poetry, Teaching, and the Public Robert Dana is available for readings, workshops, or discussions of the role of poetry and the arts in the 21st century.

Rudolph Daniels, Western Iowa Tech Community College Rudolph Daniels is Assistant Dean, Department Chair of Railroad Operations Technology and instructor of railroad history at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, Iowa. He likes to travel throughout Iowa. Dr. Daniels has written the official history of US railroads, Trains Across the Continent. He may be reached at (712) 276-3185 (h) or (712) 490-4881 (cell). Trains Across Iowa Rudy Daniels describes the past, present and future of the Hawkeye State's railroads. The program explores Iowa's unique position in the construction of the first transcontinental railroad and Iowa's great contribution to railroad safety. The talk also describes the famous streamliners that rode Iowa's rails. All aboard for an Iowa rail adventure! *Additional resources: Tales of the Rails (Video)

Debra DeLaet, Drake University Debra DeLaet is a Professor of Politics and International Relations at Drake University. Professor DeLaet holds a Ph.D. in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She has written several publications on international migration, US immigration policies and human rights. Professor DeLaet can be reached at or (515) 271-1844 (w). Justice, War Crimes, and Human Rights Abuses War-torn societies face several difficult questions as they seek to pursue justice in the aftermath of violent conflict. To what extent shall individuals guilty of war crimes and human rights abuses be punished? How should new leaders balance potential tradeoffs between the goals of justice and peace? How can renewed cycles of violence best be prevented? This presentation will explore these questions while providing an overview of the wide variety of mechanism that have been used in an effort to pursue justice in war-torn societies, including trials, truth commissions, reparations, and official apologies. Universal Human Rights The idea of human rights first achieved a prominent place on the international agenda of states in the aftermath of World War II. Since that time, a large body of international human rights law has been created. Nevertheless, states with egregious human rights records are often parties to major human rights documents, and human rights abuses continue to be perpetrated across the globe. This presentation will present an overview of international human rights law and will consider the current status of universal human rights in international relations.

Darrel Draper, Omaha Darrel Draper, a fifth generation Nebraskan, retired Navy Officer, and graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, uses his talents as a storyteller and actor to educate and entertain. He has performed for national and state government agencies, museums, schools, youth groups, festivals, and is a popular banquet and luncheon speaker. Darrel specializes in costumed portrayals of historical figures that played major roles in the events that shaped our state and nation. Having personally retraced thousands of miles of the Lewis and Clark Trail by canoe and on foot, Darrel is considered an expert on the history of the expedition. His George Drouillard reenactment has received standing ovations from coast to coast. Audience members themselves are invited onto the stage during the presentation to dramatize various episodes of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Darrel is the most requested performer on the Nebraska Humanities Council's Speakers Bureau. He and his wife JoAnne, live in Omaha. Darrel can be reached at (402) 553-8117 (h) or George Drouillard: Hunter, Interpreter, and Sign Talker for Lewis and Clark Drouillard (1774-1810?), half French and half Shawnee Indian, was the most valuable member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. When the two Captains needed someone who could shoot straight, talk to Indians who had never seen white men before, provide the 400 pounds of game needed each day, bring back a deserter, or stand his ground in the face of a wounded and raging grizzly bear, they almost always chose this amazing frontiersman. Adapted from the James Alexander Thom novel, SignTalker, this 45 minutes presentation, in full costume and French accent gives the audience a taste of Shawnee culture and spiritualism as you join Drouillard in the excitement of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. The Life and Times of J. Sterling Morton This two-act living history program introduces the audience to the life of J. Sterling Morton, from his birth in New York to his death in Nebraska City. Within five years after his arrival at Bellevue, Morton was twice elected to the Territorial Legislature, appointed Clerk of Supreme Court, became Territorial Secretary and was made acting Governor at the age of 26. The founder of Arbor Day would later become secretary of agriculture. Draper lends insight into Morton's failures and successes.

O.J. Fargo, Green Valley Education Agency, Creston O.J. Fargo has recently retired as the Director of Media Services and a Social Studies consultant for the Green Valley Area Education Agency in Creston. He is the author of two books on Iowa history, a book on the everyday life of a Civil War soldier and 27 booklets on all aspects of Iowa and Western US history. In addition to this writing and work, he is also president of an Iowa regiment of Civil War Re-enactors. He can be reached at, (641) 782-8625 (h). Just Before the Battle Mother- A Visit from a Civil War Soldier After a brief overview of Iowa's involvement in the Civil War, the audience is introduced to a returning Civil War soldier (played by O. J. Fargo). The audience is encouraged to ask questions and engage in a dialogue with the "soldier" who will stay in character while answering. The speaker will bring along a full roster of all men who served in and from Iowa in the Civil war to enable the participants to check for ancestors who served. Mr. Fargo dresses in full Union Army regalia for the presentation and focuses the presentation on an individual soldier's experience. Greyhounds and Hawkeyes- Iowa in the Civil War The program details Iowa's involvement in the Civil War from Ft. Sumter to the surrender at Appomattox. Although he focuses on the everyday experiences of a soldier in the field, Mr. Fargo also describes the situation on the home front and politics of the era. Audience questions are welcomed.

Dennis Goldford, Drake University Dennis Goldford has been at Drake University since 1985, teaching in the areas of political and constitutional theory. With his active interest in American politics, Professor Goldford regularly serves as a political analyst for KCCI-TV in Des Moines and is asked frequently to comment on current political matters by various media organizations. Dr. Goldford can be reached at, or (515) 225-7291 (h) or (515) 271-3197 (w). Prayer in the Schools- Religion and Politics in America Despite, or perhaps even because of, the lack of an established church in the United States, religion has always been a factor in American politics. Is a truly secular society possible? Does a government have the capacity to be neutral regarding religious belief, or does any government in effect amount to the establishment of a set of religious beliefs? Additionally, in what sense and to what extent is it legitimate to appeal to religious doctrine and belief when engaged in political argument? Audience members are invited to discuss these questions and raise other issues. Politics and Elections 2008 With the end of the two-term Bush presidency, the 2008 elections will mark a significant change in the American political landscape. With an eye toward the meaning of these elections for American democracy, this talk will explore the electoral dynamics and the historical and political context of the 2008 races for control of the presidency and Congress.

Michael P. Harker, Photographer, Iowa City Michael P. Harker has been a professional photographer for over thirty years. The first twenty-five years of his career he worked as a commercial industrial photographer and the last six years as an ophthalmic photographer at the University of Iowa Hospitals in the Ophthalmology Clinic. He began working on his documentary, the "Barns of Iowa" project in November, 1993. Mr. Harker has published a book from his documentary, Harker's Barns: Visions of an American Icon through the University of Iowa Press (2002). Contact him at (319) 384-9022 (w) or Visions of an American Icon Iowa's barns are disappearing and with them a way of life. Michael Harker drove past old barns on gravel roads and blacktop highways for years. He generally dismissed them as obsolete outbuildings until November 1993, when he felt compelled to photograph a windmill in Clutier, Iowa. This single photograph launched him on a seven-year mission to document Iowa's barns and all they represent. Harker's photos capture the glory and impending demise of one of rural America's most enduring icons. In his slide-illustrated talk, Harker provides insights into the quality of agrarian architecture in Iowa, the many forces at work in the loss of Iowa's barns and the histories that the barns can tell us.

Phil Hey, Briar Cliff College Phil Hey, winner of the Literacy Award from the Iowa Council of Teachers of English, teaches English and writing at Briar Cliff College in Sioux City. His interests in the field range from poetry writing and natural history to business communication, and he has been a frequent presenter for Humanities Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. He owns and manages a native prairie in the Loess Hills, and he teaches several classes using the Internet. Contact him at, (712) 277-8211 (h), or (712) 2795477 (w). From Clay Tablets to Chatrooms: Writing, Society, and Technology Would society be better if all our poems and documents were written with quill pen on parchment, as the Declaration of Independence was? Could Dashiell Hammett have written "The Maltese Falcon" on a word-processor instead of a manual typewriter? What we can be sure of is that our writing media make more difference than we can measure. Phil Hey, an Iowa writer and "writing coach" for over thirty years, demonstrates the unique qualities of writing instruments such as quill pens, rubber stamps, and calligraphy pens and talks about the history of writing and how its technology has changed our society. Learning Where We Are: Natural History as Science for the Common Reader Twentiethcentury science has increasingly become abstract, theoretical and removed from experience—a subject "not for amateurs." However, an older, more direct view of the world—natural history—is an area of science where the average person may easily explore the questions and values that have made science a great adventure for the human mind. This presentation introduces some of the most interesting questions raised by natural history writers and by the study of science.

Beverly Hinds, Sioux City Beverly (Bev) Hinds of Sioux City is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Nursing, and a devoted Lewis and Clark historian. She has followed the Lewis and Clark Trail since 1974, and has been a member of the Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail Foundation (LCHTF) since 1971. Bev is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, and is president of the local Sgt. Floyd Tri-State Chapter of the LCHTF, Inc. Her personal L&C library greatly facilitates her research. She can be reached at (712) 252-2364 and at Sacajawea and the Lewis and Clark Expedition Sakakawea, Sagagawea, “Bird Woman”, or “Janey”: Shoshoni Girl/Woman of History however you pronounce it or spell it, this strong young woman had a unique place in the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806. What is myth? What is fact? What is fiction? One Sacajawea, or two? Guide, Interpreter, Wife, or slave? A fascinating young woman and what the past almost 200 years and the records have told us about her. Sgt. Charles Floyd: Who Was or Wasn't He, and His Untimely Death One of the "9 Young Men From Kentucky" who joined the Lewis and Clark Expedition in Oct. of 1803, time and genealogical studies have given us more insight into his parentage and his life. The first American soldier to die West of the Mississippi, buried on a bluff (4 times!) near what is now Sioux City, IA, Sgt. Floyd has a never to be forgotten place in the history of the 1803-1806 Expedition. The Medicines of Lewis and Clark The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806 that took approximately 28 months, covered nearly 8000 miles and lost the life of only one member, had a very interesting medical supply list. What were the medicines and the medical practices of the time? Why didn't Thomas Jefferson send a doctor along? What allowed the members to survive the incidents that occurred? Could this feat be accomplished again today? What we know, what we surmise, and what time and records have given us, can make history fun.

Edwin Holtum, University of Iowa Ed Holtum has been a librarian at the University of Iowa for over 35 years and is currently the curator of the John Martin Rare Book Room at the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences. The Hardin Library houses one of the finest collections of historical medical books in the country. Ed's passion is making Iowa citizens aware of the rich resources that are to be found in these rare works that date from 1470 to the present. In doing so, he offers audiences a lively and up-close view of the volumes themselves- an opportunity to handle the books and to literally turn the pages of medical history. His presentations are enhanced by the development and use of animated views of some of the more striking images in the collections and of video clips of Dr. John Martin. He will begin taking bookings in late November and can be reached at (319) 335-9154 and Revealing an Iowa Gem - The John Martin Rare Book Room The history of medicine comes alive as audiences see the images of and hear the stories behind the most important works in the collection, including Andreas Vesalius' epoch-making 1543 anatomy atlas and the first edition of William Harvey's humble little book on circulation that overturned years of entrenched tradition and authority. Modern medicine is the story of bold initiatives, blind alleys, outlandish notions, discouragement and perseverance. Seeing the works and learning their significance engenders in us a much needed sense of wonderment, humility and gratitude. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made The human body has been a source of mystery, curiosity, and amazement since antiquity. Our curiosity continues today as evidenced by the interest we take in displays such as Gunther von Hagens' widely attended "Body Worlds." This presentation offers a glimpse at the human body as depicted by anatomists and artists through a firsthand look at images taken from the great anatomical atlases of the past. From the sometimes crude drawings of the early incunables to the lavish and striking engravings and lithographs of subsequent generations, these depictions parallel our increasing understanding of the structure and function of the most complex of all creations.

Gail Geo. Holmes, Historical Writer Gail Geo. Holmes, has worked as a reporter and editor for The Minot (ND) Daily News, The Leader-Post, Regina, Saskatchewan, and The World Herald, Omaha. An avid historical writer, he is Past President of Kanesville Restoration Inc., Board member of the Nebraska Mormon Trails Association, Advisory Board member to the Western Historic Trails Center, and Nebraska Chair of the Lewis & Clark Heritage Trail Foundation. Mr. Holmes can be reached at or (402) 558-4081 (h). Lewis and Clark's Perilous 1804 Middle Passage The Middle Missouri Valley between Iowa and Nebraska and halfway through South Dakota was a severe 1804 test for Captain's Lewis and Clark. Burdened with the responsibility of informing Indian tribes of the shift from French and Spanish to American government oversight, they found it was difficult to find tribes at home during the hunting season. Here they experienced their only desertion and death of the entire expedition and, unbeknownst to them and due to their prompt dispatch, they escaped a Spanish military attempt to arrest or destroy the Lewis and Clark Expedition in Nebraska or Iowa. With the aid of audiovisual material, audiences at this presentation will learn many facts about the expedition in the Middle Missouri Valley that are traditionally overlooked or dismissed. Lewis and Clark's Footprints in the Middle Missouri Valley Many famous men have traveled up and down - and across- the Middle Missouri Valley in the last 300 years. Few have left more than a reported note of their passage. American Captains Lewis and Clark, however, left foot prints which are still visible or calculable 200 years later. Burial sites of American presidents are hardly known, but the one Corps of Discovery burial is popularly known and constantly visited yet today. These good captains casually noted a good Nebraska spot for a fort overlooking the Missouri River. The next generation of U.S. military built a fort there - and it has been restored in our day as a memorial. Lewis and Clark broke a native blockade in south central South Dakota which had prevented the French and later the Spanish from reaching the American northwest by way of the Missouri River. Native American and United States history yet today reverberates from that showdown. The Lewis and Clark legacy still generates historic keelboats, visitor centers, and the trooping of numerous school children, families and history enthusiasts. Historic Pioneer Trails Bleeding West Out of Iowa Fur traders, explorers, scientists, and artists first reached the American West in boats by way of the Missouri River. That river traffic continued, but covered wagons crisscrossed southwestern Iowa and blazed trails over the Missouri River into the land of sunset. Iowa's pioneer history was engraved on the land by wheels and etched in sweat and blood. Those willing to sacrifice all in their travels were hoping for trade, discovery , a new home, refuge, speculation or military achievement. Fifteen distinct Iowa trails were cut by wheels. Three only by horse, mule, or human footprints. Historic Pioneer Trails Through Southwestern Iowa This presentation on trails of southwestern Iowa covers the explosive years between 1804-1857 for the still relatively new American republic. Descriptions of great river traffic and covered wagon trails of Southwestern Iowa will demonstrate how broad Iowa's heritage really is. Some of the trails to be discussed include the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Trail, 1811 Overland Astorian's Trail, 1837 US Dragoon Trail, 1846 Mormon Trail, 1846 Mormon Battalion Trail, 1849 California Gold Rush Trail and the 1856-1857 Handcart Trail. American Indians & Mormons in the Middle Missouri Valley, 1700-1866 The seven-year stay in southwestern Iowa of migrating Mormons, 1846-1853, is a watershed in its history. Indian fur trade business, 1700 -1850, was replaced in those seven years by farming, milling, light manufacturing, and massive merchandising to Gold Rushers, Oregon migrants, etc. in more than 90 temporary Mormon communities. After the Mormons moved west to the Great Salt Lake Valley, permanent settlers flooded in and Indians were moved to small reservations. Gail Holmes, for 50 years, has lectured, written about, and helped memorialize this history.

Loren Horton, Independent Scholar, Iowa City Loren Horton was employed by the State Historical Society of Iowa in 1972. Prior to that he was a teacher in various levels. Since his retirement in 1996, he has concentrated on research in 19th century social history and comparative funeral and burial customs in the United States. He may be contacted at (319) 466-3092 (h). Through the Eyes of Pioneers: Iowa As Described in 19th Century Diaries Hundreds of thousands of people immigrated to Iowa during the 19th century. Additional hundreds of thousands of people crossed Iowa on their way to new homes farther west. Many of these pioneers kept diaries and wrote letters, which offer a wonderful view of this period. These documents describe the land, the people, the towns, and the experience of traveling across the prairie. This program presents 19th century Iowa in the words of the people who actually traversed the state. *Additional Resources: Emily and Sarah (Video): Presentation of the diaries of mother-daughter Emily Hawley Gillespie and Sarah Gillespie Hufalen This is Your Heritage During the past 150 years many aspects of life in Iowa have changed. These aspects include, among others, the origins of the people, the technology, the occupations and social customs, as well as the economy and politics. This presentation examines the significant factors among these topics, and analyzes the causes and effects of the changes. Sponsoring organizations may select the topics that best suit their interests.

Danuta Zamjoska Hutchins Danuta Zamojska Hutchins, of Storm Lake, was born in Warsaw, Poland and experienced the ravages of Nazi occupation, their reprisals for the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and Polandยนs fall to communism after its liberation by the Soviet Army. Dr. Hutchins left Poland in 1962 to study American literature and language at the University of Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. in Modern Languages, Education and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Dr. Hutchins has taught Slavic Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Buena Vista College (now University) at Storm Lake, Iowa, Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana, Iowa State University at Ames, Iowa, and Ohio State University at Columbus, Ohio. She has also taught courses in German Language, Literature and History and Russian Language and Literature at Teikyo-Westmar University and Westmar University at Le Mars, Iowa from which she retired at its closure in 1995. She has authored many papers and book chapters in her field and has written four books of general interest. Her early retirement enabled her to devote full time to her artwork, resulting in several successful group and solo exhibits of paintings, etchings, and sculpture. Dr. Hutchins and her husband, professor of Chemistry at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, have two grown children, Edward and Maria. She can be reached at (712) 732-6779 or Presentations offered include: The Butterfly Effect Why Do We Feel Empathy with the Victims of War, Hunger, Terror and Natural Disasters? Referring to her book "Torn Out Memories", Dr. Hutchins tells the experiences of a child living under the Nazi occupation of Poland and during the Warsaw Uprising. She relates her personal trauma to the terrors suffered by the victims of 9/11 attacks. Herbert Hoover's Role in Distributing Food in Post WWI and WWII in Europe As a child, Dr. Hutchins experienced firsthand President Hooverยนs distribution of food in Poland after WWII. A chapter in her book "Torn Out Memories" gives details of those experiences and her connection with the Hoover birthplace in West Branch. Sacred and Profane Art Presented in Power Point are the issues and images of human body in European art of the Middle Ages through the present. Images selected include examples of figurative paintings, drawings, and caricature as well as sculpture. Discussion centers on both the aesthetic and the philosophic considerations of human image as a vehicle of veneration and beauty versus that of scorn and distortion. Flowers of the Prairie With a copy of the "Prairie and Woodland Flowers Coloring Book" as reference this presentation identifies prairie wildflowers, their common English names and Linnaeus based classification in Latin. It informs when they blossom, where they grow, and in what medicinal and food uses have they served during the times of early pioneers and Native American Peoples. With the "hands-on" component of drawing/coloring images of those flowers this presentation can be taken to the local prairies or prairie gardens and tailored to specific ages and interests upon request. Understanding and Reading Slavic Poetry in English Translation Recitation and discussion of poems and short poetic works written by the most outstanding contemporary Slavic authors has centered especially on women poets. Discovering some intimate details in their biographies and significant events surrounding them and their epoch enhance the understanding of selected works and bring those poets to life. Some humorous commentaries on the idiomatic and cultural differences between the worksยน original language and that of the English translation provide a glimpse into the task of literary transposition from a very personal vantage point by Danuta Hutchins herself a poet and published translator of many poetic works into and from English language.

Martin Kelly Martin Kelly, a former plant manager of Thomas & Betts and President of Iowa City Area Development Corp. has been a collector of cowboy movie memorabilia for over 45 years. He recently was guest curator for the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library's exhibit of "Hollywood Cowboys." He not only shared some of the objects he has collected, but also shared his many stories - to the delight of visitors and audiences. He can be reached at (319) 338-3003 or Hollywood Cowboys Remember singing cowboys? Western serial movies? Shane? Hopalong Cassidy? Roy Rogers and Dale Evans? Even if you are too young to have experienced the era of Westerns in movie theaters, you will "thrill" to the tales of heros, villains, stuntmen and the many characters that portrayed the pioneer days on the silver screen. Wayne Kobberdahl Dr. Wayne Kobberdahl is an educator, author, and researcher who spent most of his professional career at Waldorf College, the University of Nebraska and Iowa State University. Dr Kobberdahl was recently appointed by Governor Vilsack to the Iowa State Board of Education. He is currently retired and lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa. His new "career," portraying Captain William Clark, keeps him busy as a tour guide and speaker at many events in Iowa and Nebraska. He can be contacted at (712) 323-9363 or The Lewis and Clark Expedition: Captain Clark's Perspective Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark were real people. They had their faults, and they made mistakes but their perseverance and dedication to the ideals of President Thomas Jefferson and a new America culminated in a saga of historic proportions that will be told and retold. It has particular relevance for Iowans because this multicultural Corps of Discovery traversed western Iowa from one end to the other. This presentation will give special emphasis to Captain William Clark, as Dr. Kobberdahl reenacts, in costume, segments of the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He has a dramatic flair and a great sense of humor that enables him to connect very well with his audiences.

Bill Koch Bill Koch received a Ph.D. in American Studies from St. Louis University and is an adjunct professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Northern Iowa. He has been a Whitman reenactor since 1997, appearing at various Civil War encampments in Iowa, and presenting his show "Walt Whitman Live!!" in numerous venues, including the Old State Capital in Springfield, Illinois. A portion of this show can be seen online at Mickle Street Review website, He can be contacted at or by calling (319) 830-0847 or (319) 319-6231. Walt Whitman Live!! In this one hour program, Walt Whitman, portrayed by Dr. Bill Koch, will highlight major poems from his collection Leaves of Grass, as he celebrates 2005 as the 150th anniversary of the publication of Leaves of Grass. In addition, Whitman will pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln, on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination, with a description of the nation's obsequies, and recitations of the Gettysburg Address and "O Captain, My Captain." Prairie Whitman Walt Whitman's poetry of nature is highlighted. In this presentation, we see an older Whitman, as portrayed by Koch, hobbled by a stroke and watch him as he finds strength from his contact with trees, babbling brooks, the prairie and the night sky. The show can be done with little technical support, though it can be staged in theatre like settings.

Brooks Landon, The University of Iowa Brooks Landon, Chair of the University of Iowa Department of English, is an expert on science fiction literature and film. He not only wrote the book Science Fiction After 1900: From the Steam Man to the Stars, but also created the Humanities Iowa library reading and discussion series "Journey to the Future." During the 80's he hosted "Watch the Sky" on Iowa Public Television, a series on science fiction film. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Contact him at (319) 335-0454 or Nanotechnology in Science Fiction As Michael Crichton's recent bestselling novel, Prey, suggests it's high time we start thinking about nanotechnology—about what it can do and about how it can go wrong. Of course, science fiction has been thinking about nanotech long before Crichton got there. Nanotechnology is the mechanical or biological engineering of incredibly tiny, self-replicating machines that can rebuild the human body from the inside out. Indeed, some visionaries claim that nanotechnology can rebuild or reshape everything, changing every aspect of the world around us. Advances in the sciences of nanotechnology are coming so quickly that it's hard to keep straight the line between nanotech fictions and nanotech realities. While nanotech researchers strive for the next big breakthrough, nanotech science fiction writers strive to imagine the wonderful and the terrifying possibilities this technology may create. This presentation will explore both the ways in which science fiction has imagined the impact of nanotechnology and the ways in which nanotech gives new life to some of science fiction's oldest dreams. Current science fiction novels and short stories may be recommended for reading prior to the presentation, but the reading will not be required for audience members to participate in this futuristic discussion. We have met the Aliens and they are us: Sex & Gender in Science Fiction It took a long time for science fiction to confront directly issues of sex and gender, but once it did the results were incredibly provocative. Feminist science fiction transformed the genre in the 1970s and turned what had been a "boy's club" into one of the most celebrated areas in literature for exploring our cultural constructions of and assumptions about sex and gender issues. This discussion will focus on the importance of the implicit and explicit attempts in science fiction to think through issues of sex and gender. This will also involve a consideration of the ways in which women have been portrayed in science fiction and of the ways in which women science fiction writers have shaped the genre. Participants may be given a list of suggested readings to prepare them for the discussion, but pre-reading of the texts is not required for there to be a potential for a lively discussion.

Helen Lewis, Western Iowa Tech Community College Helen Lewis ,an Eastern transplant to the Midwest, teaches at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City. She has taught English and Humanities courses since 1971, and her special interests include Westerns, women artists, Medieval mysteries, and square dancing. Ms. Lewis portrays Jane Addams for the Great Plains Chautauqua Society, Inc. Ms. Lewis can be contacted at or (712) 274-8733, ext. 1423 (w). Voicing a Cause, Voicing a Self: Jane Addams at the Hull House Throughout her long career advocating the needs of impoverished immigrants, exploited laborers, youth criminals, and war victims, Jane Addams valued Hull House, her settlement house in Chicago, as the center from which she and her colleagues could assist others, improve society, and benefit themselves. She trusted social democracy to restore dignity to the marginal. Her many publications reveal a person finding identity and purpose through her causes. The presentation, done in costume of the period, helps the audience to understand the path chosen by this Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Women of Warmth, Wisdom and War: Images of Native American Women in Westerns Although film critics and viewers frequently dismiss Native American women in Westerns as stereotypes providing background for the action, a reexamination of Westerns reveals that Native American women characters often have more than a mere setting or sexual purpose. Despite the lack of Native American actresses in the films, the Westerns have depicted the Native American cultures with women as healers, counselors, and even warriors. This presentation considers those Westerns readily available on video in order to offer the audience a new way to view old Westerns. (Includes film clips.)

Living History Farms Historical Interpreters Living History Farms is a 600-acre outdoor agricultural museum in Urbandale where historical interpreters recreate the daily routines of Iowa's rural heritage. Three or four costumed performers weave passages from diaries, letters, and Midwestern poetry into presentations at the Farms and around the state. The cast is drawn from Living History Farms historical interpreters at (515) 278-5286 ext. 157. A Year with a Pioneer Family Pioneers often saw the passing of times as cycles of reoccurring activities—planting, summer, harvest, winter—each coming around again with its chores and pleasures. "A Year with a Pioneer Family" explores the rhythms of farm life and those who settled Iowa's fertile prairies through readings from their diaries, newspapers, and journals. Characters dress in typical pioneer clothing.

Barbara Lounsberry, University of Northern Iowa Barbara Lounsberry is a Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. She was named the University's Distinguished Scholar in 1994. She is particularly interested in the subjects of Midwestern life and literature. Born and raised in Iowa, Professor Lounsberry believes Iowa culture, like its soil, is incredibly rich. She can be contacted at, (319) 268-0502 (h), or (319) 273-2639 (w). Yup...Nope...and Why Midwesterners Don't Say Much The writer Ernest Hemingway made a virtue of Midwestern reserve. Reticence became part of the Hemingway "code" and the strong, silent type came to be associated with honor and heroism. This half-in-jest, whole-in-earnest presentation (with slides) explores the historical roots of Midwestern reserve, along with contemporary illustrations. As one Midwesterner deadpanned on return from the East: "We think we are being polite; they think we are slow-witted." Nancy Drew: Iowa's Heroine to the World Nancy Drew is the most popular female detective in fiction. Few know, however, that Nancy is an Iowa heroine and that her creator was Mildred Augustine of Ladora. Because of this secrecy and neglect, 75th and 100th birthday parties for Nancy and her creator are in order throughout 2005. Nancy Drew and Mildred Augustine are extraordinary role models for Iowa girls and boys, women and men. An academic pioneer (the first woman to earn a master's degree from the University of Iowa's School of Journalism), Augustine earned 6 airplane pilots' licenses, including one for seaplaning; wrote 130 stories for young people; and continued her newspaper column "On the Go" through her 98th and last year of her life. Augustine wrote in the first Nancy Drew volume, The Secret of the Old Clock published in 1930, "Nancy Drew took pride in the fertility of her state and saw beauty in a crop of waving green corn as well as in the rolling hills and the expanse of prairie land."Celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first Nancy Drew mystery and the centennial of Mildred Augustine's birth with Barbara Lounsberry's multi-media presentation.

Kenneth Lyftogt Kenneth Lyftogt is a lecturer in the Department of History, University of Northern Iowa and author of Left For Dixie: The Civil War Diary of John Rath and From Blue Mills to Columbia: Cedar Falls and the Civil War. Mr. Lyftogt spent many years as a Civil War re-enactor. He can be contacted at (319) 266-8121. Iowa Stories of the Civil War The program has two major themes: The first is that one can understand both the causes of the war and the battle history of the war by studying Iowa's role in that struggle. The second is that the stories of Iowa's participation are too often overlooked. Stories are gleaned from diaries, letters and personal accounts and include soldiers such as John Rath, George Butler and Matthew Mark Turnbull as well as influential citizens like Annie Turner Wittenmyer and Zimri Streeter. To tell such stories is to address the major issues of the war: slavery, racism, heroism, tragedy, politics and patriotism. Iowa ranks second to none in this part of the nation's history.

Steve McGuire, The University of Iowa Steve McGuire is an Associate Professor in Curriculum and Instruction and in The School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa where he teaches "What Is Storytelling For?" He is a contemporary traditional storyteller and has performed across the United States and in Mexico and Canada. He can be reached at (319) 335-3011. You can email Steve at Brimming with Stories Iceland exists as a landscape thick with place names, many dating from the Age of Saga, approximately 930-1030. In 2002 and 2003 Steve traveled Iceland by cycle, completing 1400 miles along the route of the "ring road" and into the North Fjords, West Fjords, and SnĂŚfellsnes Peninsula. Along the way residents shared their stories. For instance: Axel, a farmer at the farmstead Bjarg, dating back to before the year 1000, took Steve to the place on his farmstead where saga hero Grettir The Strong's head is buried; Einar, whose family has lived on Hofsnes farm since before 1400, told him of Ingolfshofdi, where Ingolfur Arnason, Iceland's first settler made landfall; at Helgafell on the north of SnĂŚfellsnes Peninsula Steve was taken to the grave of saga heroine Gudrun dating 1085. What is remarkable is that every person Steve visited with wove place and saga, their daily experience of the relationship between landscape and story. In this presentation, Steve will tell these stories and show some of the still images and video of Iceland. The American Discovery Trail: Iowa Route This program consists of stories of Iowans and the landscape of the 504 miles of the American Discovery Trail, part of Iowa's Millennium Legacy Trails system.

Tom Milligan, Professional Actor, Des Moines Tom Milligan an award winning professional actor, portrays Grant Wood and Henry Wallace. Tom has appeared in literally hundreds of plays across the state, and for ten years, appeared at Charlie's Showplace, Iowa's first dinner theater. Tom also offers workshops on acting throughout Iowa, and also appears on Iowa Public Television. He can be contacted at (515) 7799775 or The Not So Quiet Librarian. What state fired the shot heard round the world - the library world, that is? Iowa! Who was the man that fired that shot? Forrest Spaulding. In 1938, Forrest Spaulding wrote the Library Bill of Rights, which was adopted by the American Library Council in 1938, and in Spaulding's own words "means as much today as it did yesterday and will tomorrow." Spaulding served as director of the Des Moines Public Library from 1917 to 1919 and again from 1927 to 1952. His story, however, is bigger than Des Moines, bigger even than Iowa. A recognized leader in the library world, Spaulding's words and his life touched everyone who loves not just books, but freedom of expression. This one man play about Spaulding, written by Cynthia Mercati, nationally known playwright, and performed by Tom Milligan, runs about 30 minutes and portrays Spaulding with the gentle, good humor, he was known for, as well as his devotion to the library and to civil rights. Spaulding was a very unquiet librarian and the play shows what good one man can do in the world. Grant Wood: Prairie Rebel In this 45-minute, one-man show, Grant Wood chats with the audience as if talking to an old friend across the backyard fence, or maybe at his home at Five Turner Alley in Cedar Rapids. He tells us about his life and how he changed the art world forever with his work. It is the man behind American Gothic that we hear and see, and the story of how he took the moments, the memories, and the people of our state, and showed the whole world the specialness of this Iowa. After the presentation, the audience is encouraged to ask questions of the actor about Grant Wood and his life. American Dreamer: The Life and Times of Henry A. Wallace In this one-act play based on the award-winning book of the same name by Senator John C. Culver and John Hyde, actor Tom Milligan portrays Henry A. Wallace, the agricultural innovator and founder of Pioneer Hi-Bred seed corn company who became US Secretary of Agriculture and later Vice President under Franklin Roosevelt. Admired by many and later branded as a Socialist during his controversial 1948 campaign for the presidency, Wallace always held out a vision for the future.

Tom Morain, Graceland University * Tom Morain is a native of Jefferson, Iowa and is currently Vice Provost at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. He was director of history at Living History Farms from 1981-1995 and then served as administrator of the State Historical Society for five years. He is author of three books on Iowa history. Prairie Grass Roots won the 1989 Benjamin Shambaugh award as the year's most significant book on Iowa history. In 2002 he received the Distinguished Service Award from Humanities Iowa. He can be reached at (641) 784-5053 or Hymns and Herds: A Year on the Iowa Frontier While a slide show takes the audience through the planting, cultivation, harvest and winter seasons on the 1850 Pioneer Farm at Living History Farms, Morain plays a background of popular 19th century folk hymns that would have been familiar to Iowa pioneer families. Following the 20minutes slide show, Morain leads a discussion that compares the strengths and challenges of pioneer and contemporary life. Dr. Morain provides the slides and projector and asks the local site to furnish a piano and screen. * Prior to booking Tom please contact our Humanities Iowa office.

Lisa Ossian, Des Moines Area Community College Lisa Ossian is associate professor of history at Des Moines Area Community College in central Iowa. She earned her Master's Degree in women's studies at Eastern Michigan University and her doctorate at Iowa State University in agricultural history and rural studies. Ossian has conducted research on Iowa during the early Depression era along with the WWII home front years. She also did a national survey of children's experiences during the Second World War. She has been elected twice to the State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees as well as the Herbert Hoover Presidential Education Committee and also serves on the National Education Association's review panel for its academic journal Thought and Action. She participates in the Organization of American Historians' Speakers' Bureau and its Committee on Community Colleges. Her forthcoming book, The Home Fronts of Iowa, 1939-1945 will be published in the fall of 2009 by the University of Missouri Press. She can be reached at (515) 250-8542 or The Home Fronts of Iowa, 1940-45 The home front contributions of Iowans and Americans divided into four historical fronts: the farm front, the production front, the community front, and the kitchen front. Food for Freedom directed American farmers in the all-out production needed for the war effort and the Allies' relief, and Iowa farmers lead the nation in crop and livestock production. Iowa's small businesses and industries such as Maytag added to the "Arsenal of Democracy" by filling many military sub-contract orders while the two newly constructed ordnance plants in Burlington and Ankeny produced thousands of bombs and millions of machine gun bullets. Iowa's small towns and cities matched and exceeded records in the eight War Bond Drives as well as the numerous scrap drives for iron, paper, rubber, and tin, and Iowa's women met the rationing and production requirements demanded from the federal government in all home kitchens. The Early Depression Dilemmas of Rural Iowa, October 1929 to November 1932 The early depression years from October 1929 through November 1932 during President Herbert Hoover's administration marked the depths of the Great Depression for the United States. For Iowa and other Midwestern States, these years actually marked the middle of two decades of agricultural depression which began shortly after the Great War. The years imply desperation—both economically and emotionally—but Iowans—rural and urban—met the challenges often with great wit, humor, and intelligence. Rural Iowans especially wrestled with several economic and social dilemmas—the aftermath of the 1929 New York Stock Exchange crash, the increasing tariffs and agricultural consequences, the politics of farm children's health, the continuation and effectiveness of Prohibition, the demise of the soft coal mining industry in Iowa's District 13, increasing rural violence, changing perceptions of rural artistic creations, and the consequences of the 1932 presidential election for rural Iowans. Iowans not only met the challenges but developed different ideas and plans which proliferated in the agricultural landscape—truly depression dilemmas. *Equipment required: overhead projector

Kristy Raine, Reference Librarian and Archivist, Mount Mercy College Kristy Raine serves as the reference librarian and archivist at Busse Library, Mount Mercy College, in Cedar Rapids. She researches and maintains the online project about Grant Wood’s eastern Iowa art experiment titled, When Tillage Begins: The Stone City Art Colony and School, the definitive history of the regionalist school’s appearance in the tiny community and its impact on the lives of the colony’s teachers and students. Raine also serves as the original artwork coordinator for the annual, Grant Wood Art Festival, held each June in Anamosa. She can be reached at (319) 368-6465 (w), (319) 462-5696 (h), or When Tillage Begins: The Stone City Art Colony A 45-minute, multimedia presentation that captures the history of the Stone City art colony from its genesis to its financial collapse in the fall of 1933. Primary, historical documents and photographs relate the colony’s daily operations and provide biographical details about students and staff considered the core of individuals who attended both summers (1932 and 1933). Three Men and a Painting: Eldon, Iowa, the summer of 1930, and the Birth of American Gothic A 45-minute, multimedia presentation that intertwines the lives of the three men who contributed to the history of this classic painting. Through photographs and primary, historical documents, the audience learns the life stories of (1) Edward Rowan, founder of the Little Gallery in Cedar Rapids (now known as the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art); (2) John Sharp, the Eldon, Iowa painter and Stone City art colony student who showed Grant Wood the iconic house; and (3) Grant Wood, the artist. For each presentation, the lecturer will also demonstrate the online project fostering her Grant Wood research and take questions from visitors. Special emphasis will be shown for local artists or regional artists who participated in the colony, when applicable. Equipment required: computer (preferably, with external speakers), multimedia projector, and microphone.

Denny Rehder, Author, Musician and Photographer, Des Moines Denny Rehder, is a local historian. His avocation for nearly fifty years has been music. Now that musical ability is combined with another avocation Iowa railroad history - to offer a program on this overlooked part of Iowa's past. Rehder has been involved as author, editor, publisher, photographer or researcher in the publication of seven books on subjects from Iowa history. A native of Gladbrook who grew up watching the trains of the Chicago Great Western mainline, Denny Rehder may be reached at home at (515) 277-4354 or Grass Between the Rails The program celebrates Iowa's railroad heritage with a unique blend of stories and original folk songs about the development of railroads in Iowa. The subjects cover events of national importance such as the race across Iowa to connect with the transcontinental railroad to the West, and local history, including the poor service offered by the "Slow Norwegian." Other topics include the somber "Worst Wreck Ever," a farm boy's remembrance of "The One Elephant Circus," and the rollicking "Doodlebug." *Additional Resources: Tales of the Rails (Video)

Mary Kay Shanley, Author, West Des Moines Mary Kay Shanley is the author of nine books, including She Taught Me to Eat Artichokes and The Memory Box. She is a regular contributor to numerous magazines, a public speaker and an instructor at the University of Iowa's Summer Writing Festival. She can be reached at or (515) 225-8425. For more information visit the website at The Magic of our Memories Iowans are a people with roots. We grow well in the black soil that blankets our state, in this land between two rivers. Here are our homes, our families, our memories. This program will discuss the importance of our memories, delighting in the commonality we share, and we'll discuss ways of interpreting the past - through oral histories, story telling and journalizing. Our State Fair is a Great State Fair, but then you already knew that! Our State Fair - Iowa's Blue Ribbon Story is the book that chronicles 150 years of Iowans who have made up that unique August experience. Read their stories and you'll discover a bit of yourself - from watching two locomotives collide in front of a packed Grandstand to riding the Roller Coaster or sneaking a smooch with your sweetheart while gliding through Ye Old Mill, from parading your Charolais around the ring to watching judges test your piecrust, from camping in Tent City to eating your noon meal beside your car. Join author Mary Kay Shanley in a discussion of some of the book's very best tales, then share some of your own. Everybody, after all, has a great State Fair story to tell.

Bill Sherman, Des Moines Bill Sherman worked as a publications/public relations specialist for the Iowa State Education Association for more than 35 years. Now retired he continues to research, write and speak nationally and internationally on topics related to country schools. Sherman has organized annual conferences on country school preservation for the Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance since 2000. He works with the groups to localize his presentations to include information about significant schools that remain as museums in their area. Audiences are encouraged to share experiences they have had with country schools and to bring teaching certificates, maps showing locations of country schools, books, photographs, diaries and related items which can be displayed and shared with participants. He can be reached at 1-800-434-2039 or Media Coverage of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy In 1963 Bill Sherman started collecting newspapers published immediately following the assassination of President Kennedy. That collection evolved into an instructional kit of materials sold by Visual Education Consultants, Inc. of Madison, Wis. Those materials were converted into power point presentations featuring newspaper front pages and cartoons from American and Canadian publications. This program can also include an audio presentation by Jack Shelley describing how the broadcast media reported the death of JFK and interviews by Lee Kline and with David Belin and Hugh Sidey who reflect on the JFK assassination. Equipment required: projector to connect to an Apple Macintosh computer The Recycling of Iowa Country Schools This presentation provides a historical overview of Iowa country schools and how these buildings are being used today. More than 180 schools have been preserved as public museum facilities and 1,000 more have been converted to homes. A screen or a clear white wall is required for this presentation. Iowa Country School Milestones This program reviews important dates and persons who had a significant impact on country schooling in Iowa and the nation. How "Good" Were Iowa Country Schools? Major research that compares academic performance as measured by standardized tests of elementary students in graded schools and ungraded one-room schools will be reviewed. How country schooling impacts education today also will be discussed. Starting the Day in a Country School This presentation describes how teachers prepared students to begin their studies in country schools. Included is a description of how and why the pledge of allegiance was created and adopted as a school ritual.

Donald G. Shurr Donald G. Shurr, is a Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist and Physical Therapist who has lived in Iowa since 1964. An author of many articles and books, Don has taught at the University of Iowa in Physical Therapy for 25 years. In addition, Don was trained in St. Charles, Missouri, to pilot the reenactment boats which will during the Bicentennial commemoration of the Corp of Discovery expedition. He can be contacted at (319) 356-2420 or Lewis and Clark in Iowa "Lewis and Clark in Iowa" begins with the story before the expedition: the sale of the Louisiana Purchase to the United States and why. Tracing the 1803 course from Elizabeth, Pennsylvania to St. Charles, Missouri, Shurr discusses the background of the many "players" of the expedition including York, the engages, and Seaman. Moving up the Missouri River focus shifts to events occurring in Iowa such as the death of Sgt. Floyd. An accompanying PowerPoint presentation shows the keelboat and the pirogues with actual photos taken in St. Charles and at the Onawa Lewis and Clark State Park. The audience will be exposed to the many "firsts" that occurred in Iowa, the true peril of this journey, and the return of Lewis & Clark to civilization at journey's end. *Equipment required: computer and projector needed for power point presentation

Jeff Stein, Wartburg College Dr. Jeff Stein holds the position of R.J. McElroy Chair and Executive-inResidence in Communication Arts at Wartburg College in Waverly teaching broadcasting and media law and ethics courses. He also serves as executive secretary of the Iowa Broadcast News Association and president of the sixstate Northwest Broadcast News Association. An award-winning broadcaster, Dr. Stein currently works as political analyst for KWWL-TV Waterloo and is the administrator of the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting collection. His book, Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting, is the first comprehensive history ever published of radio and television and their impact on the state of Iowa. Dr. Stein can be reached at (319) 230-8988 or Visit for more information. Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting Radio and television exploded onto the scene in the 20th century and completely changed our lives. Today, we can hardly imagine a day without broadcasting. The development of radio and TV in Iowa was ground breaking, and became the model followed by the rest of America. In his presentation "Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting", journalist and educator Jeff Stein takes us back to the earliest days of both radio and television, highlighted by original broadcasts, photos and memorabilia. The presentation is also specifically tailored for different geographic areas of the state, and is designed to allow audience members to recall special memories and shared experiences.

Mary Swander, Iowa Poet Laureate (2008-10) Mary Swander, poet, playwright, and non-fiction writer, draws her inspiration from the landscape and its people. From the Iowa Amish to the New Mexico mystics, she has captured the extraordinary folkways and idioms in the ordinary person's life. She can be reached at 515-294-3136 or Visit for more information. Discussions, Readings, and Maybe a Banjo She will talk and discuss the state of poetry in contemporary society, illustrating her ideas with her original work including the classic Driving the Body Back and her recent collection The Girls on the Roof, a Mississippi River flood saga. The author of twelve books, numerous plays and radio commentaries, Swander brings energy and humor to the page and to her audiences. And sometimes she even brings her banjo.

Rich Tyler, University of Iowa Rich Tyler has been restoring the Secrest farmstead and octagonal barn near West Branch. He has researched the history behind the property, including the golden age of farming, the Depression, and the architecture of barns. Rich is a Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and Speech Pathology and Audiology at the University of Iowa. He can be reached at, (319) 337-2544 (h), or (319) 356-7357 (w). If Barns Could Talk Old barns are more than just solid functional buildings. They represent the soul of our farming heritage, and perhaps more! What is a barn, architecturally and emotionally? Barn design was based on experience, needs and ambition. Their function indicated both the farm operation and the farmer's personal touch. Barn construction was a community affair comprised of hard work, huge meals, and a barn dance. Few of us today have the products of our labor on display for all to see, appreciate and criticize. But what's happening to our old barns? Will metal replace wood? Can we smell and touch the metal in the same fashion? What does our interest in barns tell us about ourselves? Why should we care about old barns today? These and other questions discussed as we explore the history and current importance of barns. Your Grampa and Gramma's Farm Farming in the late 1800s and early 1900s represents a lifestyle of hard work, inventions, prosperity and depression. This presentation focuses on a typical farmer, Joshua Secrest, who developed a successful livestock farm. It also reviews the dramatic development of ingenious farm machinery and tools that enabled growth and prosperity. Secrest built a large octagonal barn in 1883. The barn and farmstead were lost in the depression. Old farm tools are shared as part of the presentation. Some you won't recognize. Why Save an Old Barn? Should we let them fall down? What is the real value of preserving our past? The example used in this presentation is the restoration of The Secrest 1883 Octagonal Barn. A story is told about how individuals and organizations rallied around Iowa farm history, to contribute to the saving of this barn. The barn is open to the public, and photographers, artists and school children have all played an important role. How can you save your barn? What will they mean to future generations who grow up without them? Additional Resources: Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern (Video) 1. When We Farmed with Horses (Video) Call Me a Farmer (Video): Women tell their side of the farming story

Sarah Uthoff, Iowa City Sarah Uthoff received both her history education BA and her Masters of Library Science from the University of Iowa. An active Wilder researcher, Sarah is a regularly featured speaker at the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered Day at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch. She has also been featured at the Laura Ingalls Wilder: New Perspectives Conference and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Teacher Day, both sponsored by the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, SD. Sarah's consulting work has included designing the Laura Ingalls Wilder Girl Scout Patch Day at Usher's Ferry Historic Village in Cedar Rapids and a training session for the staff at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Burr Oak, Iowa. Her unique programs can be customized for the type of group (adults, children, mixed), and the type of presentation desired, (scholarly or crafty). Sarah can speak as a modern day researcher or costumed as either a young or older Laura. She can be reached at (319) 351-2100 or by email at Available programs include: General Laura Program The basic Laura program gives a general overview of Laura's life. It features slides taken at all the Laura sites and is good for any age group. Packing Up This twist on the general program has us looking in on Laura as she is packing up to move to Missouri. Each artifact in the old chest holds a story. Laura's Life in Mansfield This in-depth program answers the question, "What happened next?" and picks up after her books. It examines Laura's role as farmwife, businesswoman, beginning writer, and famous author. Following in Laura's Footsteps Having visited many of the Wilder sites multiple times, Sarah gives inside information about what there is to see at the main Wilder sites and the best way to see it. A Visit With Laura Have an interactive visit with Laura using some of Laura's own words. Questions will be culled from actual letters written to her. What's My Story? This session shares stories of Laura's life. Audience members are invited to pick an object from a nearby table and hear its story. There are lots of opportunities for everyone to take part. Stories from Pa's Big Green Animal Book This specialized storytelling session focuses on animal stories. These stories come from Laura's life and other historic animal tales. Also, a copy of Popular and Tropical Worlds (Pa's Big Green Animal Book) will be brought along for everyone to see. Presentations on other topics include: A Day in a One-Room School A set of slides takes you through a typical day in a one-room school house.

Michael Vogt, Curator, Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, Johnston, Iowa Michael Vogt is curator for the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge, in Johnston, Iowa. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in history education and a Master's Degree in history from the University of Northern Iowa and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Museum Association, the State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees, and was co-chair for the Iowa Battle Flags Preservation Committee. He has served as an adjunct history instructor for Simpson College, Grand View College, and taught a course on the Spanish-American War for Buena Vista University in 1998. He is author of "From Cornfields to Cuba: The 49th Iowa Volunteer Infantry in the Spanish-American War" in the November/December 2007 issue of The Iowan and "The Fighting 51st Iowa in the Philippines" in the Fall 2003 issue of Iowa Heritage Illustrated. Mike also co-edited for publication in 2007 the Spanish-American War diary of 50th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Private Walter C. Laughead and in 2009 co-authored a centennial history titled Images of America: Camp Dodge. A native of Gladbrook, he currently resides in Des Moines and can be reached at (515)-252-4531 or Soldier's Voices: The Iowa National Guard and the Spanish-American War Forty-five minute presentation utilizing excerpts from diaries, letters, and recollections of Iowa veterans to provide a synthesis of experiences on combat, overseas duty, military service, disease, food, camp life and quarters, and other facets of soldiering in the late nineteenth-century. The presentation includes an accompanying slide show of period photographs of Iowa National Guard troops from around the state and color images of surviving artifacts that are part of the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum collection. Camp Dodge: Home Away From Home, 1917-1918 Forty-five minute presentation utilizing excerpts from diaries, letters, and recollections of Iowa veterans to provide a synthesis of experiences on combat, overseas duty, military service, disease, food, camp life and quarters, and other facets of soldiering in the late nineteenth-century. The presentation includes an accompanying slide show of period photographs of Iowa National Guard troops from around the state and color images of surviving artifacts that are part of the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum collection. The Battleship USS Iowa at the Battle of Santiago Bay, 1898 Forty minute presentation on the participation of the US Navy’s first “sea-going” battleship USS Iowa in the pivotal 3 July 1898 Spanish-American War battle of Santiago Bay, Cuba. Combining veterans’ eyewitness accounts with period images, the presentation provides a rousing illustrated narrative detailing the significant role played by the USS Iowa in one of the most celebrated victories in US Navy history. *Equipment required: Slide Projector and screen

Phillip E. Webber, Central College Phillip E. Webber is Professor of German and Linguistics at Central College in Pella, where he has taught since 1976. A primary focus of his research has been patterns of ethnicity and language use in Iowa communities. He can be reached at, (515) 628-5255 (w), or (515) 628-4271 (h). Iowa's Cultural Kaleidoscope In this program, Phil Webber presents a rich variety of photographic images that suggest some of the major historical settlement patterns in Iowa, and current trends in new immigration from areas as diverse as Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America

Layton Zbornik Layton Zbornik, an Iowa native born and raised in Albia, began singing on the radio at the age of 8. While still a teenager, he wrote and recorded Iowa's first Rock & Roll record titled Janet, under the name of Jerry Martin. Layton went on to make several more recordings during his teen years. In 1960, he left the stage, got married and supported his new bride by playing pool. In 1961 he began what would become a very successful radio career that made him one of the top DJ's in America. Eventually he went into broadcast management and owned his own PR firm while living in Nashville. At the age of 45, he returned to Iowa and started going to college. He then taught Language Arts for 15 years in northern Iowa. He wrote a book, Power to the Young People and designed a peer mediation program that garnered him national attention for his work in bringing peace into the schools. In 1998, he was inducted into the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Today, Layton still performs with his band and has two CDs out, Life in 4/4 Time, and On the Road with Ike. He is featured on five CDs in Europe and is working on an anthology CD to be released in Sweden and then Europe. He and his wife of 45 years, Marla - who is also a performance artist - live in an old store in Rudd, Iowa. He can be reached at (641) 3952638 or Juke Boxes, Pool Halls and Ducktails This program is an entertaining look at those good old days of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, seen from the perspective of a young man who grew up in rural small town Iowa and experienced the cultural changes to his society brought on by the music of the time. This fun and entertaining program is full of great memories and music and good for all ages. The 4Rs (Readin', Ritin', Rithmatic and Rock & Roll) This program has proven itself a winner with students and teachers alike. It is designed for students from grades four through 12 and fits into any curriculum as it is extremely versatile. The 4Rs can be given in a classroom setting to a small group, or in an auditorium. There is even a "Build Your Own Band" feature that gives talented students a chance to be in their own rock band and actually perform. Opportunities for questions are welcomed.

Speakers Bureau: Meet the Speakers  

Meet Humanities Iowa's speakers for the Speakers Bureau program. Each speaker has a photo, bio, and description of his/her program(s).

Speakers Bureau: Meet the Speakers  

Meet Humanities Iowa's speakers for the Speakers Bureau program. Each speaker has a photo, bio, and description of his/her program(s).