• Give
  • Subscribe
    Fill out the info below to sign up for our E-Newsletter.

Subjects

Browse Presentations by Subject

Browse by Speakers in alphabetical order | Browse by subject (current) | Browse by Speakers in the Schools Presentations

Click on the + symbol to expand and view presentations. For speaker contact information, please go to the Browse by Speakers page and expand under each Speaker Bio.

Archaeology

408 Years of Immigration to America: Ethnicity, Public Opinion and Policy, 1607 to 2015

Immigration constitutes an ideology central to our national identity, but the American public has rarely welcomed strangers.  Images, census data, and video allow Dr. Gratton to present  changing views across four centuries.  Immigrant ethnicities shifted sharply, from English and African, to German and Irish, to Italian and Jewish, and to Mexican and Asian. Public reaction reveals the long, difficult history of immigration, persistent debate over its value, and government policies that rarely reflected popular will.  Concluding with a review of immigration and policy in the contemporary period, Gratton lets the audience judge whether history has lessons to teach us for the current debate.

  • Speaker – Brian Gratton
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Ancient Native American Astronomical Practices

Throughout history, the ability of a people to survive and thrive has been tied to environmental conditions.  The skill to predict the climatic change of the seasons was an essential element in the ability to “control” those conditions.  Seasonal calendars thus became the foundation of early cultures: hunting and gathering, planting and harvesting, worshiping and celebrating were activities dictated by specific times of the year.  All of these activities have fostered the identity and strength of cultures.

  • Speaker – Kenneth Zoll
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Arts and Culture of Ancient Southern Arizona Hohokam Indians

The Hohokam Native American culture flourished in southern Arizona from the sixth through fifteenth centuries. Hohokam artifacts, architecture, and other material culture provide archaeologists with clues for identifying where the Hohokam lived, interpreting how they adapted to the Sonoran Desert for centuries, and explaining why their culture mysteriously disappeared. In this presentation Dart illustrates the material culture of the Hohokam and present possible interpretations about their relationships to the natural world, time reckoning, religious practices, beliefs, and deities, and possible reasons for the eventual demise of their way of life.

  • Speaker – Allen Dart
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
A Boot in the Door: Pioneer Women Archaeologists of Arizona

The men who explored Arizona are legends in the history of the region and of anthropology, but what about the women who accompanied them or explored by themselves?  Did you know that Matilda Coxe Stevenson was a member of the first official government survey of Canyon de Chelly or that Emma Mindeleff surveyed ruins in the Verde Valley while Theresa Russell helped her husband locate Hohokam sites? Probably not, for none are listed in “official” histories. Learn about the hidden pioneer archaeologists of the 19th century and honor Arizona’s unsung heroines of science.

  • Speaker – Nancy Parezo
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Eagle and the Archaeologists: The Lindbergh’s 1929 Aerial Survey of Southwest Prehistoric Sites

Description – Pilot Charles Lindbergh (the “Lone Eagle”) is best known for his famous 1927 flight across the Atlantic Ocean.  But Lindbergh, and his wife Anne, also played an important role in southwestern archaeology.  During the summer of 1929, they worked with noted archaeologist Alfred Kidder to conduct the first extensive aerial photographic survey of southwestern prehistoric sites; taking numerous photos and even landing at remote Canyon de Chelly.  The presentation features many of their historic photographs and describes this important – but little known – early partnership between aviation and archaeology.

  • Speaker – Erik Berg
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Landscape of the Spirits: Hohokam Rock Art of South Mountain Park

The South Mountains in Phoenix contain more than 8,000 ancient petroglyphs. This program will discuss Dr. Bostwick’s long-term study of these Hohokam petroglyphs and will describe the various types of designs, their general distribution, and their possible meanings. Interpretations of the petroglyphs include the marking of trails, territories, and astronomical events, as well as dream or trance imagery based on O’odham (Pima) oral traditions. Most of the trails currently used by hikers contain Hohokam rock art, indicating that these trails date back at least 800 years. This talk will be illustrated with numerous slides and drawings of that rock art.

  • Speaker – Todd Bostwick
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Meteorites Among Ancient Native American Cultures

The occurrence of meteorites on archaeological sites in North America has been known since the early 19th century. From the Hopewell culture in the eastern United States, to the Polar Eskimo, to the Indians in the American Southwest and northern Mexico, meteorites have been found on these ancient sites. Much like meteorite hunters of today, ancient Native American cultures actively engaged in meteorite collecting.  Although we cannot know if a meteorite fall was ever witnessed, the discovery of meteorites  at ancient sites and the artifacts made from meteoritic iron appeared to have been reserved for ceremonial purposes.

  • Speaker – Kenneth Zoll
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Southwestern Rock Calendars and Ancient Time Pieces

Native Americans in the Southwest developed sophisticated skills in astronomy and predicting the seasons, centuries before Old World peoples first entered the region. In this presentation Dart discusses the petroglyphs at Picture Rocks, the architecture of the “Great House” at Arizona’s Casa Grande Ruins, and other archaeological evidence of ancient southwestern astronomy and calendrical reckoning; and interpret how these discoveries may have related to ancient Native American rituals.

  • Speaker – Allen Dart
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
When Romans Visited Tucson: The Lead Cross Controversy

In 1924-1925, a collection of unusual lead artifacts which contained mysterious inscriptions were discovered deeply buried near Silverbell Road in Tucson. These artifacts —  crosses, crescents, batons, swords, and spears — generated considerable interest  around the world when it was learned that the inscriptions contained Christian, Muslim, Hebraic, and Freemasonry symbols.  The artifacts were initially interpreted as evidence that Europeans had come to America hundreds of years before Columbus, but some scholars questioned their authenticity. This talk tells the story of their discovery and the controversies that continue to surround them.

  • Speaker – Todd Bostwick
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Working in the Salt Mine: Native American Salt Mining In Arizona

Salt has been a valuable trade item throughout human history. Native American salt procurement in the Southwest involved dangerous journeys across sacred landscapes associated with a deity called Salt Woman. This presentation describes the history of a famous salt mine in Camp Verde, Arizona, where prehistoric Sinagua tools used for mining salt were discovered in the 1920s by historic miners deep inside tunnels dug into a thick, fresh-water salt deposit. Numerous photographs are shown of these well-preserved, 700-year old tools to illustrate the story of this unusual discovery.  Comparisons are made with other Native American salt mines in the Southwest.

  • Speaker – Todd Bostwick
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar

Art, Architecture and Music

The Beatles “From Liverpool to Abbey Road”

This session examines a chronological historic account of the lives, works and influence of The Beatles on contemporary society.  We will discuss their phenomenal achievements from a musical and cultural perspective.  The lecture will be enhanced with visual backgrounds and audio clips.  Our historic journey starts from their early days as a cover band in Liverpool and Hamburg, into the excitement of Beatlemania, thru their creative ground breaking studio albums (Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Peppers) to the formation of Apple Corps and finally to their remarkable final recordings at Abbey Road Studios.  Coming full circle, we will explore the highlights of each individual’s post Beatles work.

  • Speaker – Vincent Bruno
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Beatles Next: The Solo Years

*New Presentation*

The lecture will focus on the highlights of the solo post-Beatles careers of John, Paul, George and Ringo.   We will explore the aftermath of The Beatles legacy and how they established themselves as solo artists.  Our journey will also discuss their musical collaborations with each other on many of their solo projects.  This lecture will be enhanced by visual backgrounds and short audio clips.

  • Speaker – Vincent Bruno
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Echoes of Eden:  The Garden as Symbol in Art, Music, and Literature

From the story of humanity’s first home in the Garden of Eden, gardens have been a favorite setting for stories, paintings, poetry, and works of music.  This talk examines the ways that painters, poets, and musicians use gardens as settings.  What do those gardens tell us?  Using wide-ranging examples from such writers as William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Jerzy Kosinsky, composers from Mozart to Wagner, and painters from Rubens to Renoir, David Schildkret demonstrates common themes gardens communicate and decodes their use across art forms.

  • Speaker – David Schildkret
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The GENIUS of Hip Hop

This session features the principle that Hip Hop performs an important social function, and consequently the messaging within it. We will examine why and how something so controversial and marginal could become so mainstream and central, becoming a billion-dollar business today! Using history as a backdrop, we explore particular genres, artists, styles, sounds, images, and rhetorical techniques within the Hip Hop movement. Finally, by analyzing the various literary, musical, and methodological techniques employed in Hip Hop, participants will better understand the messages, meanings, and impact of this artistic form and hear how they can better use this medium constructively today.

  • Speaker - Frederick Gooding, Jr.
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Instruments and Music of Arizona’s Pioneers

The story of our state is not complete without music. This program will focus on the various genres of music that reflected the milieu and personalities of our various immigrants.  Using musical instruments and stories, audience members will be presented an artistic tableau of our past: heroes, villains, and the immigrants who passed through and settled in Arizona. For example, Coronado’s priests unrolled musical missal leaves during Mass to facilitate finding the seven cities of gold. The Indigenous tribes he encountered also had rich sacred and secular musical traditions. It is possible to learn much about a people from what they sang and the instruments that accompanied.

  • Speaker – Jay Cravath Ph.D.
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Jazz & the American Identity

*New Presentation*

One of America’s most internationally revered creations reflects fundamental aspects of the American character. Jazz, over 100 years old, is intimately interwoven with a number of historical events and cultural traditions unique to America, a self-invented country that broke from the European mold. Jazz, for decades our country’s popular music, is by nature inclusive, improvisatory and based on individual expression. It closely reflects attributes associated with this upstart nation. Not only is jazz one of the most honored exports to the international community, recognized as a valuable art form, like America, jazz is closely associated with the concept of freedom and democracy. Learn how a musical genre can be a window onto profound national issues, controversies and contradictions, and a means to deepen your understanding of American history as a whole. Hear the music and stories of a great art that America invented.

  • Speaker – Janice Jarrett
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
“On the Road Again”: Don’t Forget the Small Towns!

As the mode of transportation changed from wagons to trains to the affordable automobile and roads were built across the country, families began a process of “leisure travel” that the automobile could provide. The “new tourist” was no longer restricted by a train’s timetable or its set route. The wide open spaces and the off-the-beaten path were theirs to explore. As roads turned into superhighways, small town America got left behind. Working with local artistic talent and others, communities worked to attract these tourists to their towns and/or make it inviting to potential settlers. This presentation will chronologically show communities using roadside architecture, murals, amusement parks, local historic reenactments to week long festivals of folk heroes/tall tale characters, to the longest garage sale to attract tourist.

  • Speaker – Barbara Jaquay
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
“Sing Me a Story”

*New Presentation*

Is opera for the 1% or for the rest of us–or both? How do the aesthetic choices in opera reflect their times? The plots and style of vocal display are mirrors that reveal our interests, priorities, and desires throughout the history of opera, beginning in the early 17th century to the present. Whether exploring the relationships of the Roman emperor Nero (Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea) or those of Richard Nixon (Adams’s Nixon in China) and the tensions in the Middle East (The Death of Klinghoffer, also by Adams), opera comments on and reveals the times in which it was first written and performed.

  • Speaker – David Schildkret
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Sixties: The British Invasion

*New Presentation*

This lecture will focus on the rise of the British pop and rock acts that invaded our shores in the 60’s. From pop groups (The Beatles, The Dave Clark 5, Kinks) to the psychedelic and progressive bands (The Who, Pink Floyd, Cream), we will explore highlights from landmark recordings that clearly defined this British pop renaissance era. Our journey will also include aspects of British popular culture (cinema, fashion, TV and UK underground) whose influence added to this remarkable decade.

  • Speaker – Vincent Bruno
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Swing Into History

With the exception of the most ardent collectors and older generation, the influence and legacy of the big bands is largely forgotten despite their overwhelming popularity and significant role in early radio. Join Larson as he revisits the sounds America listened and danced to for more than three decades. Learn how iconic artists like Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald got their start along with fellow bands, vocalists, composers and musicians. Finally, enjoy the real thing, as Larson plays from his personal collection of 30,000 recordings, sharing little- known historical trivia along with vintage sheet music, posters and postcards. Host organizations may request specially themed music presentations, i.e. Songs Of The Old West, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, The Depression Years, Roaring Twenties, etc. Historical background information and displays are included.

  • Speaker – Erik Larson
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
What Music Tells Us About the Brain

Many neuroscientists study music to elucidate mysteries of the brain. Why is music such a rich resource?  Not only can scientists physically track the process of learning music as different areas of the brain light up, they can trace music’s powerful effect on our emotions, muscles and memory.  The benefits of music span well beyond entertainment. and many believe music will be the healing art of the future.  Accumulating data about our “brain on music” unmistakably supports how important, positive and valuable music is our well-being, and self expression, as well as its role in the human evolutionary process.

  • Speaker – Janice Jarrett
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar

Culture, Gender & Identity Studies - General

Beautiful Games: American Indian Sport and Art

Similar to what a person can find in art, sport and games also come to us with good and bad qualities. When bad there is evidence of cheating, chauvinism, narcissism, civil unrest, and stereotypes. And when good we gain aspects of trust, cooperation, fairness, focus, patience, and control. The values gained in the practice of sports are instructive for life as they a place an emphasis on respect, fraternity and discipline, all three of which are synonymous with teaching and learning.  This presentation uses sport and art to delve into topics of innovation, creativity, and community.

  • Speaker – Marcus Monenerkit
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Coming Home to a Place You’ve Never Been Before

What’s it like going to a place where you don’t know the language or culture? Where you don’t have any family or friends? Where you don’t know what you’re eating or where you’re sleeping? Where you have almost no money in your pocket? And now it is your home!? Could you do it? Did you do it? Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and share their experiences as a new settler and/or native greeter.

  • Speaker – Rodo Sofranac
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Cross-cultural Miscommunication

Russian gosudarstvennost’ can be translated as either governance or statehood in Russian. In one of Vladimir Putin’s speeches on the breakaway Ukrainian region of Donbas this word was erroneously translated as the latter rather than the former, resulting in serious political consequences. Numerous similar cases can be found around the globe, from amusing Chinese street signs to failed international marketing campaigns. In the first part of the presentation, the author classifies such cases of miscommunication and looks into their underlying cross-cultural and cross-linguistic differences. In its second part, the audience is asked to dissect selected cases of miscommunication.

  • Speaker – Danko Sipka
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Culture and Traditions of Iran, Outlier of the Middle East

Iran is (rightly) considered part of the “Middle East,” yet few Americans realize how different it is from the other Middle Eastern countries around it. This presentation gives an overview of the language, culture, religions, and traditions of Iran, highlighting their similarities, distinctive qualities, and cultural impact within the region.

  • Speaker – Lisa Adeli
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
The GENIUS of Hip Hop

This session features the principle that Hip Hop performs an important social function, and consequently the messaging within it. We will examine why and how something so controversial and marginal could become so mainstream and central, becoming a billion-dollar business today! Using history as a backdrop, we explore particular genres, artists, styles, sounds, images, and rhetorical techniques within the Hip Hop movement. Finally, by analyzing the various literary, musical, and methodological techniques employed in Hip Hop, participants will better understand the messages, meanings, and impact of this artistic form and hear how they can better use this medium constructively today.

  • Speaker – Frederick Gooding, Jr.
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Language and Culture:  The Wor(l)ds of Different Thinking

Roman Jacobson stated that languages differ not in what they can covey but what they have to convey. Thus English has to refer to  either foot or leg while Slavic languages can use нога/noga/noha for both, and Mandarin Chinese has to differentiate between younger and older brother (dìdì, 弟弟and gēgē, 哥哥)  while English covers both with the word brother. These cases exemplify different manners in which the world is construed in various languages and their cultures. In this talk, based on the author’s forthcoming monograph with Cambridge University Press (http://www.cambridge.org/9781107116153), the author presents a taxonomy of such cases and discusses their practical consequences.

  • Speaker – Danko Sipka
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Little Sur Shot – Annie Oakley and the Clossing of the American West

Annie Oakley is perhaps the best recognized, but little know personalities that came out of the American West.  Her life story is one which is enmeshed deeply into the fabric of the American character.  However it was not a cookie cutter life.  Oakley defied social norms and cultural mores and expectations of her time while also being an exemplar of American Victorian womanhood.  Oakley’s life provides an insight to a time of transition and upheaval in the nation that is both uniquely American and individual at the same time.

  • Speaker – Ryan Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Love and Marriage in the Premodern World

Contrary to many opinions, love and marriage have been as much subject to historical change and development as all other human cultural manifestations. This talk addresses the question how marriage and love were handled in the Middle Ages and the age of the Protestant Reformation. We will look at numerous literary and art-historical examples reflecting on marriage life in the past and study what lessons we can gain from those early examples. Conflicts and strife as reflected in medieval documents, for instance, allow us today to understand our own problems and how to find a new path toward a better world of love and marriage.

  • Speaker – Albrecht Classen
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Media, Ideology and the Coverage of Sexual Assault

Recently, sexual assault has emerged as a pressing problem in the U.S. The President has assembled task forces to address rape on campuses and in the military, universities work to reshape policies in light of investigations, and whether on The Dr. Phil Show or in The New York Times, the media are abuzz with high-profile cases, many involving male athletes or fraternities. Yet despite the volume of attention, there remains considerable public confusion about the causes and impacts of rape. Dr. Barca leverages her background in linguistics and rhetoric to illuminate how the problem of sexual assault is arbitrated and reproduced in the media discourses through which most of us learn about it.

  • Speaker – Lisa Barca
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Slavic in Arizona

Who are the Slavs? Where did they come from? What has been their impact in Arizona? From the bottom tunnels of Arizona’s mines to the top floor of the state capital, individuals and groups of Slavic decent have played significant roles in building Arizona. The Slavs are the largest in population, language base, and territorial occupancy of any ethnic group in Europe. Whatever participants already know about this sopic, this presentation gives them the opportunity to learn even more.

  • Speaker – Rodo Sofranac
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Slavic Words in English: The patterns of cross-cultural transfer

Cultural borrowing between the English and Slavic languages in the last one hundred years, and especially in the latter half of the twentieth century was mostly unidirectional process with the English as the source and Slavic languages as the target. This presentation is an attempt to fill this void in examining the other direction of lexical transfer between English and Slavic languages (mostly Russian, from vodka to vampire).  The audience will be asked to guess which of the borrowed words in English and what prompted their incorporation into the vocabulary of the English language.

  • Speaker – Danko Sipka
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
You Mean, There’s RACE in My Movie?!

This unique workshop provides a framework that allows everyone to engage in a constructive dialogue without sugarcoating the harsh realities of the disparities seen throughout Hollywood. First, attendees will quickly learn the six standard patterns for minority characters in mainstream movies. With the analytical framework serving as the foundation for the discussion, attendees will then be asked to analyze movie clips using the newly acquired rubric, and conduct small group exercises with timely industry research and eye-popping statistics about mainstream movies. After participating in this dynamically interactive experience, audiences will never see movies the same way again

  • Speaker – Frederick Gooding, Jr.
  • Presentation Type – Speaker in the Schools

Culture, Gender & Identity Studies - African American

Aesop’s Fables for Children: Adopted by Preshenda

The first beloved printed version of Aesop’s Fables in English was published on March 26, 1484. Fables belong essentially to the oral tradition and survived by being remembered and then retold.  Aesop’s Fables or the Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believedto have lived in ancient Greece 620 and 560 BCE. Storytelling with Preshenda will bring these timeless and fun stories to life, with her skillful use of mime, music, movement and theater.  Her performances are for students K-12 grades, and the stories will be written and told to interest proper ages.  Children, youth, teenagers, and adults will treasure these timeless stories by Aesop.

  • Speaker – Gladys Preshenda Jackson
  • Presentation Type - Speakers in the Schools
African American Pioneers of Arizona

Featuring compelling documentaries based on interviews, this presentation shares stories about prominent African Americans who contributed to the life and culture of Arizona.  Such luminaries include the late Dr. Eugene Grigsby, Betty Fairfax, Judge Jean Williams, Rev. Warren Stewart, Councilman Calvin Goode, and Carol Coles Henry.  Each individual’s life is contextualized using prominent events that have taken place in Arizona and the impact his/her work had on the social, cultural and political lives of the state is discussed.

  • Speaker – Akua Duku Anokye
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
A Story, A Story: African and African American Oral Tradition and Storytelling

When the African slave was brought to the Caribbean and North and South America, s/he brought her oral literature and performance style.  This presentation focuses on the transfer of those oral traditions from African culture to African American culture. Such traditions can be heard in trickster stories, but also observed in the narration of myths, folk tales, sermons, jokes, proverbs, folk sayings, signifying, capping, testifying, toasting, on street corners, in barbershops, in beauty shops, the blues, rapping and hip-hop.  In demonstration of the connections between African and African American oral traditions, a variety of Ananse tales, African American proverbs and other verbal arts will

  • Speaker – Akua Duku Anokye                    
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Celebrating Black History

This is an interactive workshop that explores influential and little known African American contributions and the road they paved to make it possible for African American leaders we have today such as Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and Maya Angelou.

  • Speaker – Tamika Lamb-Sanders
  • Presentation Type - Speakers in the Schools
The Harlem Renaissance: Literary Movement

The Harlem Renaissance was not only a movement but an enriching and defining period in history that celebrated African Americans.  The Harlem Renaissance was the name given to the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem, and was considered to be a rebirth of African American arts. The Harlem Renaissance was a literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that ignited a new black cultural identity spanning the 1920s to the mid-1930s, and grew out of the changes that had taken place in the black community since the abolition of slavery, as the expansion of communities in the North.  Storytelling will include music, poetry, and interactive engagement with students.

  • Speaker – Gladys Preshenda Jackson
  • Presentation Type - Speakers in the Schools
The Secret Ingredient to the Civil Rights Movement

Here we explore the growth of black federal employment in contrast to a more openly hostile and discriminatory private sector after WWII. Many urban blacks escaped both social and economic oppression in the South and found more security in federal employment, allowing for the personal stability necessary to risk participating in the growing Civil Rights Movement. Many black public sector employees quietly waged battles for dignity and respect within labor circles and within society at large, eventually forcing the federal government to “pay it forward” with innovative workplace protections (e.g., Title VII of CRA) that ultimately benefited all American citizens. Discover these unsung heroes!

  • Speaker – Frederick Gooding, Jr.
  • Presentation Type – Speakers in the Schools

Culture, Gender & Identity Studies - Asian American

Art of the Internment Camps: Culture Behind Barbed Wire

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1942 WWII Executive Order 9066 forced the removal of nearly 125,000 Japanese-American citizens from the west coast, incarcerating them in ten remote internment camps in seven states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Government photographers Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and Ansel Adams documented the internment, and artists Toyo Miyatake, Chiura Obata, Isamu Noguchi, Henry Sugimoto, and Miné Okubo made powerful records of camp life. Arizona’s two camps (Gila River, Poston) were among the largest, and this chronicle illuminates an important episode of state history, one grounded in national agendas driven by prejudice and fear.

  • Speaker – Betsy Fahlman
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Don Chun Wo, Unofficial Mayor of Tucson’s Chinatown

Don Chun Wo (1873-1945) was a prominent figure in the Chinese community of Tucson and later Casa Grande in the early decades of the 20th century. He enjoyed high social standing among the Chinese due to his success in running grocery store business, as well as in maintaining a viable family life. The latter was no small feat given the fact that most of the Chinese  who then lived in America were sojourning bachelors. He was also well respected by the local European-American society on account of the role he played as the “unofficial mayor of Tucson’s Chinatown.” Born and raised in San Francisco to immigrant parents, Don’s life path was different from those who came by boat.

  • Speaker  – Li Yang
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
In Search of a Homeland, the Story of a Pioneer Chinese Woman, Lai Ngan

Lai Ngan was smuggled into America at a tender age in the 1870s and sold into bondage.  While still a teenage, she was married off to a Chinese man who was 35 years her senior. She fulfilled  her duties as a loving mother to her children and a supportive wife. She followed her husband on his peripatetic journeys in search of a place where they could raise their children in a safe environment. She was an entrepreneur in her own right, contributing significantly to the family livelihood. In the end, she married her true love, only to have their union come to an unfortunate end. Lai Ngan’s story offers an example of one immigrant woman’s successful struggle to survive in the American Southwest.

  • Speaker – Li Yang
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Lee Wee Kwon, Chinese Grocer in Tucson, 1917-1965

The Chinese had once dominated Tucson’s grocery business. Lee Wee Kwon was among the successful Chinese grocers whose business relied on the patronage of a Hispanic clientele. Lee entered the US as a refugee from Mexican Revolution. Before he came to Tucson, he had lived and worked in northern Mexico and spoke fluent Spanish.  His chance encounter with General Pershing won him the much coveted merchant status which enabled him to sponsor the entries of his son and nephew into America to help out with his business.  Lee’s success can also be attributed to the mutual aid network afforded to men and women of the same surname in Tucson’ s Chinese community.

  • Speaker – Li Yang
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar

Culture, Gender & Identity Studies - Chicano/a & Mexican American

Día de los Muertos: A Celebration of Life and Death

What is Día de los Muertos? Where did it come from, what are its roots? How do we celebrate it here in the U.S.? Día los Muertos or Days of the Dead is a significant and highly celebrated holiday in Mexico, Latin America, and Southwestern U.S. To understand Día de los Muertos one has to set aside preconceived notions. To many Mexicans, death is not a subject to be feared, ignored, or divorced from the living. One cannot celebrate life without also celebrating death. Through the use of slides, this plática traces the origins of the Mexican festival “The Day of the Dead” and describes the traditional elements associated with the holiday including foods, folk crafts and altars.

  • Speaker - Elena Díaz Bjorkquist                
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Growing Up Chicana in Morenci, Arizona

Through a slide presentation of the town before its destruction in the late 1960s, readings from Suffer Smoke and Water from the Moon, and oral history interviews, Díaz Björkquist portrays the lives of girls and women of Morenci in their own voices. It is a historically accurate picture of life for Mexican Americans in a segregated copper mining town from the 1920s to the late 1960s. This inspirational presentation pays tribute to four generations of Chicanas who, in spite of discrimination, persevered and showed that “si se puede” (it can be done). Morenci Chicanas were the “glue” that kept the family unit together with their unique cultural spirit, showing courage and strength.

  • Speaker – Elena Díaz Bjorkquist                 
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Legends of Love: Exploring Feminine Archetypes in Chicano/Latino History

A mother’s love, her search for her children, and her desire to serve her family through trials, persecution and death, permeate Chicano/Latino history and culture. Malinalli Tenepal, (Creeping Vine) or Malinche, became the mistress of Hernán Cortés, and later served to remind us that when crushed through oppression, the spirit will rise. Shunned as the infamous “bogey woman” of the Latino world, and known to fly as a ghost at night searching for the children she drowned, La Llorona has a difficult lesson to teach us: the search for wholeness is our birthright. Finally, the Virgen de Guadalupe, has no equal in beauty, and grace,  and her miraculous story is over 500 years old!

  • Speaker – Stella Pope Duarte     
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Hispanic Homesteading and Settlement in Southeastern Arizona

Settlement in SE Arizona was delayed until the late 1800’s due to conflicts with Native Americans. With the establishment of the Chiricahua Apache reservation, Mexican immigrants from Sonora now sought to settle on unclaimed lands beyond Tucson’s Presidio. The Homestead Act created an unprecedented opportunity for these immigrants to claim a small portion of land, gain title, and a livelihood from cattle ranching. Settlers faced many challenges before “proving up” yet small, tightly-knit communities developed where water and grass were available. This talk will present a history of these immigrants, and their successes and failures as new citizens in a difficult and unpredictable landscape.

  • Speaker – Robin Pinto
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Migration, Mestizaje and the New Millennium

What is Aztlán? Where is the Place of Whiteness, Siapu, as described by ancient native tribes? This question is at the root of the first migration of the ancient Mexicas (Aztec) to what would one day become Mexico City. Led by their war god, they settled in the Valley of Mexico, in 1325, and after 300 years, were conquered by the blue-eyed, bearded, Hernán Cortés, who they mistook for their god of peace Quetzalcoatl. Thus, through the mixture of European and Indigenous blood, came the mestizos, modern-day Mexicans and Chicanos, a people who would over hundreds of years migrate north and become one of America’s most powerful, and enduring cultures. Theirs is an unforgettable story.

  • Speaker – Stella Pope Duarte     
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar

Culture, Gender & Identity Studies - Native American

Aw-Thum Bow & Arrow “Don’t Get the String Wet.”

Growing up playing and shooting an Aw-Thum bow (circa 1926) was a favorite pastime for Royce Manuel who was told by his father “make your own arrows and don’t get the string wet.” The bow string made from horse intestines were forever changed when the sprinkles of rain came. Manuel’s grandfather shared stories while demonstrating the most effective way of holding an arrow to meet its mark. With many men sharing their words of wisdom; Royce Manuel followed their teachings while eventually developing his own method that remained true to his father’s bow.

  • Speaker – Royce & Debbie Manuel
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
The Billingsley Hopi Dancers

*New Presentation*

In 1921 the Hopi were told that “church people” petitioned Congress to stop their “pagan” dancing. In 1927, a platform was erected on the U.S. Capital steps where both Houses of Congress assembled with their families to see the Hopi dancers. Following the performance, Congress passed a Resolution giving the Hopi permission to carry on their dancing “for all time”. The dancers continued to perform, culminating in performances at Carnegie Hall in 1955. The Verde Valley Archaeology Center and Hopi Tribe jointly received a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to preserve a rare 1957 film of the dancers. This presentation provides background on the history of the Hopi dancers and shows portions of the film.

  • Speaker – Ken Zoll
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Boarded Up:  Social and Historical Interpretations of the American Indian Boarding School Era

This presentation will impart a social interpretation of how life among Indian Nations began to change due to the plight American Indian people were forced into in the name of education.  American Indians are the only ethnic group in the U.S. who were subjected to forced education by the federal government for generations.  Children were taken by force, placed in a boarding school, kept there for several years, and were not allowed to speak their language or practice their culture. Parents were forced to sever all contact with their children while the children were forced into a hostile environment and expected to thrive and learn.  The presentation is from an American Indian perspective.

  • Speaker – Evangeline Parsons Yazzie
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Himdak doo IIna:  A Way of Life. How Societies Shape Culture.

For tribal groups in Arizona, understanding the connections between physical, social, mental and spiritual identity of the people prior to birth through 102 years old is a way of life. Tribes in Arizona often illustrate their balance between patriarch and matriarch societies through symbolism. Illustrating with the Man in the maze and the Navajo basket designs, Royce Manuel, Auk-Mierl Aw-Thum and Debbie Nez-Manuel, Diné unfold the general understanding of two common designs.

  • Speaker – Royce & Debbie Manuel
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Hopi Quilting: Stitched Traditions from an Ancient Community

For centuries, Hopi men grew cotton and wove the fibers into blankets and clothing. In the 1880s, with the arrival of Anglo missionaries and government officials, quilting was introduced to the Hopi people and it quickly became integrated into Hopi culture and ceremony with quilts being used in every Hopi household. Hopis today are 4th and 5th generation quiltmakers and as the atistic traditions of two cultures are blended, it is not uncommon to see a quilt with a traditional Anglo pattern and an ancient Hopi image, such as a kachina or a clan motif. This presentation includes a trunk show of Hopi quilts.

  • Speaker – Carolyn O’Bagy Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Hopi Summer

During a 1927 road trip to the Hopi Indian Reservation in northern Arizona, Maud and Carey Melville of Worcester, Massachusetts, befriended Ethel and Wilfred Muchvo at First Mesa. This presentation portrays the lives of the Hopi people during the 1920s and 1930s, prior to the tremendous cultural changes that occurred after World War II. Daily life on the mesas is illustrated through letters from Ethel, interviews, and vintage photographs. This snapshot of history tells of the friendship between the Melvilles and the Muchvos, a poignant and memorable story of Hopi life. As one Hopi elder commented, “This is our history.”

  • Speaker – Carolyn O’Bagy Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Indian Labor: Navajo and Hopi Workers at Navajo Ordnance Depot

When 8,000 workers were needed immediately for the Army’s massive construction project ten miles west of Flagstaff at Bellemont in early 1942, several thousand Navajo and Hopi workers and their families signed on. For the first to arrive, conditions were deplorable. Bootleggers lurked in the shadows and crime was rampant. The commander faced a myriad of problems and quickly decided to invite the Navajo and Hopi families to build an “Indian Village” of their own on the military base. Tribal representatives accepted the invitation and soon, for the first time in American history, a community of about 3,750 Native Americans voluntarily settled onto the military installation. Soon, working Indian women were part of this cultural experiment. This story illustrates how regular wages heightened expectations for both Navajos and Hopis, creating an image of post-war opportunities. It shows how the Indian Village experience set the mold for future Navajo tribal leadership, yet also contributed to unwanted social and cultural problems. For many families, Navajo Depot was just a stopping point on their migration from the reservations into nearby Flagstaff. The war exposed thousands to a life beyond the reservation, and today the word “Bellemont” remains a part of Navajo and Hopi history.

  • Speaker – John Westerlund
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
KIAHA: Women’s Burden Basket, She Was Fed the People.

With the Agave woven, lace coiled backpack, the Aw-AwThum created a unique method of transporting trade goods to market. Prior to attaining a horse drawn wagon, the Aw-AwThum walked everywhere and the women carried up on their back a woven basket made of agave cordage. The women could gather wood for cooking and when possible would make pottery to sell or trade to merchants in neighboring towns. With their kiaha weighing anywhere from 60 lbs. to 100 lbs., the women walked with their baskets, hoping to trade their fine pottery.

  • Speaker – Royce & Debbie Manuel
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Native Arizonans at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition

In 1904 the Louisiana Purchase Exposition was held in St Louis. Attending that fair were over 3,000 indigenous men, women and children who were engaged to show middle class American citizens how “the other half of the world lived.”  Included in this group were a group of Pima and Maricopa kindergarten students from the Sacaton Indian School, Navajo weavers,and  Maricopa and Akimel O’odham potters, as well as the stars of the exposition–Geronimo and his relatives from the the White Mountain Apache reservation. Using a wealth of historic photographs and stories, Nancy Parezo documents what it was like to be a demonstrator and the official “other” for turn-of-the century America.

  • Speaker – Nancy Parezo
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Plants, Inspiring the People: Reflections on Hualapai Ethnobotanyof the Grand Canyon

Where lies the cure to diabetes? “Ask the prickly pear, or the mesquite bean pod…maybe they will tell you.” This is the answer you may hear from elder instructors of the Hualapai Ethnobotany Youth Project. The ethnobotanical story of the Hualapai Tribe  begins with the plant knowledge the people have inherited from their great grandparents who lived entirely off the land. Hualapai grandchildren  live in a completely different modern world. A world of cell phones, text messages, and ipods.  Information presented will share about the project examining the crucial role plant resource acquisition has played in Hualapai culture; knowledge that has been fine tuned and perfected over millennia.

  • Speaker – Carrie Cannon
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Rising from Invisibility:  Indigenous Arizona Women in Charge  of Themselves

In many Southwestern matrifocal cultures, Indigenous women’s lives are modeled after female heroes and sacred women who exemplify and express courage and kinship values. Among some tribal cultures, rites of passage celebrate female creativity and the transformative nature of women, hence there was not a need for the concept of feminism. Nevertheless, Indigenous women’s lives remain invisible and stereotyped by Hollywood. This talk presents how Indigenous women have contributed in significant ways, not only to their tribal nations, but also to many aspects of contemporary American life.

  • Speaker – Laura Tohe
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Long Walk of the Navajo People, 1864-1868

In 1864, Navajo people were forced to walk over 450 miles to Fort Sumner in eastern New Mexico.  Imprisoned on a 40-square mile reservation for four long years the people suffered from hunger, loneliness, illnesses, and severe environmental conditions. On June 1, 1868, U. S. officials and Navajo leaders reached an agreement, allowing the Navajos to return to a portion of their original lands located in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. The Long Walk has been collected in historical literature by non-Navajo authors.  Absent from the literature is the Navajo perspective.  The audience will hear the Navajo elders’ version of the Long Walk in this presentation.

  • Speaker – Evangeline Parsons Yazzie
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar

Culture, Gender & Identity Studies - Women's Studies

Adventurous Spirits: Arizona’s Women Artists, 1900-1950

Before WWII, the resident art community of Arizona was comprised mostly of women, and this talk explores these independent spirits. Kate Cory, one of the first to arrive in 1905, chronicled the Hopi mesas. Marjorie Thomas was Scottsdale’s the first resident artist. Lillian Wilhelm Smith came to the state to illustrate the works of Zane Grey. Impressionist Jessie Benton Evans’s Scottsdale villa became a social center for local artists. Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton and her husband Harold founded the Museum of Northern Arizona in 1928. The Grand Canyon parkitecture of Mary Jane Colter is also an important part of the story.

  • Speaker – Betsy Fahlman
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
In Her Shoes: Celebrating Women’s History

During this workshop students will have the opportunity to learn about the historical achievements of popular U.S American women, in addition to contributions made by African America, Latino, and Native American women. Additionally, students will learn about the social and political background surrounding each woman presented in order to understand why their achievements and contributions were considered significant. The timeline will cover events such as the Seneca Falls Conference, the Women’s Suffrage Movement, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, and women in key leadership positions today. Teachers will be given worksheets and projects that students can do once the presentation ends.

  • Speaker – Tamika Lamb-Sanders
  • Presentation Type – Speaker in the Schools
This Land is Our Land: Early Women on the Arizona Frontier

*New Presentation*

This PowerPoint program touches on the lives of 5 Arizona women who experienced arduous ordeals & hardships during the territory’s early days. Apache warrior Lozen fought desperately to hold onto land once freely roamed by her people. Larcena Pennington was forced to crawl down a mountain to escape certain death. Mary Aguirre often journeyed with her husband along the Santa Fe Trail delivering supplies to army posts. Ada Bass endured crude living conditions at the rim of the Grand Canyon, becoming an integral part of one of the first tourist businesses at the Canyon. Mormon Emma Lee survived untold hardships struggling to survive at the site of what is now Lees Ferry.

  • Speaker – Jan Cleere
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Skirting Traditions: Arizona Women Journalists: 100 Years of Change

Skirting Traditions: Arizona Women Journalists: 100 Years of Change  tells the story of the dramatic revolution of the news media in the last century. Many young people today cannot imagine a time when women were not allowed to do any job they chose. Stories of women writers who broke barriers tells the history of change in women’s roles in society, as well as in journalism and communication. This program includes stories of 28 women including Sharlot Hall, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, Nina Pullium, and Erma Bombeck. As women around the globe continue to fight for dignity and equal rights, this talk assures the story of American women’s struggle for equality is not forgotten.

  • Speaker – Pamela Knight Stevenson
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Woman Who Shot Cowboys: Rodeo Photographer Louise L. Serpa

*New Presentation*

Anyone who has ever stared down an angry bull coming full throttle across an arena will understand why rodeo photographer Louise Serpa often uttered the adage, “Never Don’t Pay Attention.” Born into New York society, Louise ended up out west with her nose buried in the dirt & her eye glued to a camera, becoming the first woman to venture inside the arena & shoot some of the most amazing photographs of rodeo action. The dust & dirt of the rodeo became Louise’s lifeblood for almost 50 years. This PowerPoint program demonstrates the courage & resolution of a woman who was determined to decide her own fate while ascending to the highest pinnacles of rodeo photography.

  • Speaker – Jan Cleere
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Women of the Arizona State Prison

Winnie Ruth Judd, Eva Dugan, Dr. Rose Boido, and Eva Wilbur Cruz all shared one thing in common. They were all incarcerated at the Arizona State Prison in Florence.  These women were players in both the sensational stories that made national headlines and local stories that made Arizona history. Who were these women and how did they end up in the Florence prison? How did their stories impact Arizona? Through the use of photographs, prison records and newspaper articles, their particular stories are told against the background of women in the Arizona prison system in general, covering the transition from the Yuma Territorial prison to Florence to the women on death row currently.

  • Speaker – H. Christine Reid
  • Presentation Type –   Road Scholar
Written in Thread: Arizona Women’s History preserved in their Quilts

Written in Thread: Arizona Women’s History preserved in their Quilts traces the history of Arizona through women who recorded pieces of their lives in their needlework.  The colorful patterns of women’s quilts added a spot of brightness to their homes and their lives. They also celebrated and recorded special events with their quilts. Beginning with Mexican women of the 1860s, through Hopi women of the 1990s, this lecture introduces some of the women who pioneered Arizona through the quilts they stitched. Some of the women featured are Atanacia Santa Cruz Hughes, of Tucson; Viola Slaughter, Southeastern Arizona; Alice Gillette Haught, Payson; Sedona Schnebly;  and Emma Andres, Prescott.

  • Speaker – Pamela Knight Stevenson
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar

Film, Media and New Media

Media, Ideology and the Coverage of Sexual Assault

Recently, sexual assault has emerged as a pressing problem in the U.S. The President has assembled task forces to address rape on campuses and in the military, universities work to reshape policies in light of investigations, and whether on The Dr. Phil Show or in The New York Times, the media are abuzz with high-profile cases, many involving male athletes or fraternities. Yet despite the volume of attention, there remains considerable public confusion about the causes and impacts of rape. Dr. Barca leverages her background in linguistics and rhetoric to illuminate how the problem of sexual assault is arbitrated and reproduced in the media discourses through which most of us learn about it.

  • Speaker – Lisa Barca
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Riding with the Duke: John Wayne in Arizona

John Wayne was born in Iowa and lived for most of his adult life in California. Yet, he spent many years exploring, living, and investing in Arizona, where he produced his own films, raised cattle, operated a game ranch, and was seemingly everywhere at once. Wayne remains an iconic presence in American popular culture. In this talk, Gregory McNamee, who often writes about film and western history alike for such publications as the Encyclopaedia Britannica and The Hollywood Reporter, looks at the Duke’s long career in Arizona. A slide show accompanies this talk and that the host organization must provide a laptop, projector, and remote.

  • Speaker - Gregory McNamee
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
You Mean, There’s RACE in My Movie?!

This unique workshop provides a framework that allows everyone to engage in a constructive dialogue without sugarcoating the harsh realities of the disparities seen throughout Hollywood. First, attendees will quickly learn the six standard patterns for minority characters in mainstream movies. With the analytical framework serving as the foundation for the discussion, attendees will then be asked to analyze movie clips using the newly acquired rubric, and conduct small group exercises with timely industry research and eye-popping statistics about mainstream movies. After participating in this dynamically interactive experience, audiences will never see movies the same way again

  • Speaker – Frederick Gooding, Jr.
  • Presentation Type –   Speaker in the Schools

Geography and Environment

Ancient Landscapes of the American Southwest

The American Southwest is world-renown for its colorful and spectacular landscapes like Grand Canyon, Sedona, Monument Valley, the Superstition Mountains, and the Sonoran Desert. But how did these wonders come to exist and what can ordinary rocks tell us about their ancient origins? You’ll be amazed to learn that the Southwest was once the site of warm, tropical beaches; shifting dunes in Sahara-like deserts; coastlines stalked by large dinosaurs; and rivers that once flowed towards the present-day site of the Rocky Mountains. These long-lost and surprising scenes from the past come alive in beautifully designed maps that are stunning and scientifically accurate.

  • Speaker – Wayne Ranney
  • Presentation Type - Road Scholar
Archaeology’s Deep Time Perspective on Environment and Social Sustainability

The deep time perspective that archaeology and related disciplines provide about natural hazards, environmental change, and human adaptation is a valuable supplement to historical records and can help modern societies make decisions affecting social sustainability and human safety. Examples include scientific evidence that virtually all prehistoric farming cultures in Arizona and the Southwest eventually surpassed their thresholds of sustainability, leading to collapse or reorganization of their societies; and archaeological and geological evidence of ancient earthquakes and tsunamis that should have been acknowledged when designing nuclear power plants damaged by the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

  • Speaker - Allen Dart
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Eastern Europe’s Dramatic Democratic Revolution:  Throwing off the Shackles of Communism

From Bosnia to Bulgaria, Macedonia to Moldova, and Slovakia to Slovenia, Eastern Europe has thrown off the shackles of Communism and experienced a dramatic transformation toward Democracy during the past 20 years.  After a half-century of Soviet domination, much of the region has embraced Western ideals while still maintaining a unique and highly diverse culture. What brought about these stirring changes?  How has the democratization changed the daily lives of Eastern Europeans?  What has been America’s role in the region?  What are the challenges still facing this vitally important geopolitical area?  And finally, what about the recent Russian incursion into Ukraine?

  • Speaker – Dan Fellner
  • Presentation Type - Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
“Killer Bees”: What They Tell Us About Who We Are

Arizona is the only state in the Union that has been documented as having Africanized bees in every single county. The story of Africanized bees in Arizona is very much a story about the Southwest, and its distinct differences from the rest of the United States. The bees show us that we are living and have lived for a  very long time in a complex zone of “mestizaje,” where  cultural and biological differences originating in several different continents (especially the Americas, Africa, and Europe) are conflicting and coming together.  By considering this species thoughtfully, we learn who we are.

  • Speaker – Patrick Pynes
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
“Native Roads: A Pictorial Guide to the Hopi and Navajo Nations”

*New Presentation*

This presentation covers the broad area from Flagstaff, Arizona to Farmington, New Mexico. In addition to detailing trading posts, prehistoric sites, and the geological wonders of the Four Corners region, this virtual tour uses beautiful slides to present the history, folklore, and legends of this unique domain. Historian Jim Turner was editor of the third edition of Native Roads: A Complete Motoring Guide to the Navajo and Hopi Nations written by Fran Kosik and first published in 1995. He shares his travel experiences, insights, and enthusiasm for this enchanting region.

  • Speaker – Jim Turner
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Smitten By Stone: How We Came to Love the Grand Canyon

In spite of being one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World,” humans have not always seen the Grand Canyon in a positive light. First seen by Europeans in the year 1540, the canyon was not comprehended easily. Throughout the entire exploratory era, lasting nearly 320 years, conquistadores, explorers, trappers and miners viewed the canyon as an obstacle to travel or even useless. None of these early visitors ever returned a second time. However, when the first geologist laid eyes on it in 1857, he issued a siren call to humanity that it was something quite special on our planet. Every geologist who followed returned again, announcing to the world that the Grand Canyon was to be revered.

  • Speaker – Wayne Ranney
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar

History & Heritage - Arizona and the Southwest

Adventurous Spirits: Arizona’s Women Artists, 1900-1950

Before WWII, the resident art community of Arizona was comprised mostly of women, and this talk explores these independent spirits. Kate Cory, one of the first to arrive in 1905, chronicled the Hopi mesas. Marjorie Thomas was Scottsdale’s the first resident artist. Lillian Wilhelm Smith came to the state to illustrate the works of Zane Grey. Impressionist Jessie Benton Evans’s Scottsdale villa became a social center for local artists. Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton and her husband Harold founded the Museum of Northern Arizona in 1928. The Grand Canyon parkitecture of Mary Jane Colter is also an important part of the story.

  • Speaker – Betsy Fahlman
  • Presentation Type - Road Scholar
African American Pioneers of Arizona

Featuring compelling documentaries based on interviews, this presentation shares stories about prominent African Americans who contributed to the life and culture of Arizona.  Such luminaries include the late Dr. Eugene Grigsby, Betty Fairfax, Judge Jean Williams, Rev. Warren Stewart, Councilman Calvin Goode, and Carol Coles Henry.  Each individual’s life is contextualized using prominent events that have taken place in Arizona and the impact his/her work had on the social, cultural and political lives of the state is discussed.

  • Speaker – Akua Duku Anokye
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
All Hat and No Cattle: The language of the American West

Every day we use words and phrases whose roots lie in our western heritage. Words like “brand,” “maverick,” and “dude,” along with phrases like” climb down off your high horse” and “passing the buck” all grew out of the culture and experiences of those who moved into and lived in the American West. These creative words are poetic, descriptive and often quite humorous like the saying “He’s got a ten-dollar Stetson on a five-cent head,” or “she’s as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs.” This was the language of the frontier and as we moved into it, the language moved right along with us like a shave-tailed mule hitched to a wagon. Ride shotgun with Renzi as he explores the meanings and historical origins of these Western words and slang phrases.

  • Speaker – Steve Renzi
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Anchors Aweigh: The U.S. Navy at Arizona State Teachers College, Flagstaff

In early 1945, the Army separated 250 Austrian prisoners of war from Germans at Camp Florence and sent them to Navajo Ordnance Depot located ten miles west of Flagstaff at Bellemont. The Austrians labored in all areas except those directly involved with munitions, and they provided valuable work during a period of severe labor shortage. Nevertheless, union representatives charged that POWs were taking away precious jobs. At the same time, local citizens protested against what appeared to be lenient treatment and the prisoners’ abundant supply of rationed items. Tempers flared and some flocked to the POW camp to taunt the enemy soldiers. Conditions deteriorated quickly after V-E Day, when the men were no longer considered “prisoners of war.” Likewise, problems multiplied after V-J Day when it was obvious the men were not returning home anytime soon. They remained until April 1946, and provided over 50,000 man-days of labor vital to the Pacific Theater. Their story is unique because there was no other camp in the nation where enemy prisoners of war worked on a daily basis with large numbers of Native Americans.

  • Speaker – John Westerlund
  • Presentation Type - Road Scholar
Arizona Ghost Towns

Ghost towns dot Arizona’s landscape and provide unique insights into a diverse history. Some ghost towns tell a boom-to-bust story with few remaining traces of the people who once lived there, while others, like Jerome, have become thriving tourist destinations. Many are old mining locations that once bustled with life, while others tell more modern stories, showing the impact of highways rerouted and roads not taken. This program will feature stories of ghost towns such as Crown King, Jerome, and Two Guns.

  • Speaker - Marshall Shore
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Arizona Kicks on Route 66

U.S. Route 66, known as the “Mother Road,” was built in 1926. It ran from Chicago to L. A. During the depression of the 1930s, it became the major path by which people migrated west, seeking work, warm weather and new opportunities. Shore shares the history of Route 66 in Arizona, including the impact it had on the state during its prime, and what happened when the interstate ultimately bypassed some of the towns that drew life from the road. This multi-media presentation includes music, video clips, still photos, and Shore’s storytelling magic.

  • Speaker - Marshall Shore
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
 “Arizona’s Age of Reform: Populists, Radicals, and Progressives, 1890-1920”

Discover Arizona’s progressive roots, beginning with an exploration of the late 19th-century forces that ultimately produced an “age of reform.” Then, examine the reform and its long-term impact in the state, beginning with the framing of the Arizona Constitution in 1910 and ending in the U.S.’s entry into World War I in 1917. Discover the leading political figures of the movement, including Populist Buckey O’Neill, Progressive/Labor Democrat George W.P. Hunt, and the more radical elements in the movement as represented by the Western Federation of Miners and left-wing third parties.

  • Speaker - David Berman
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Arizona’s Civilian Conservation Corps in Our National Parks and Forests

In 1933, at the nadir of the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was born. This New Deal program was designed to help unemployed young men learn new skills and earn a dollar a day to support both themselves and their families. CCCers fervently claim that this opportunity gave them the confidence and skills to tackle any challenge; it forever changed their lives. These men built the roads, trails, picnic areas, ranger stations, fire lookouts and public campgrounds that we still use and appreciate today. This presentation provides a brief history of the Great Depression, the CCC program, and its tremendous impact on Arizona’s national park and forest development.

  • Speaker - Robin Pinto
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Arizona’s Historic Trading Posts

Early traders traveled through Arizona Territory, selling goods from their wagons, but they soon built stores that evolved into trading and social centers where wool, sheep, and Native Arts were exchanged for food and necessities. Navajo trading posts are best known, but trading posts existed on every reservation in Arizona. Traders became the intermediaries between Native peoples and the outside world, providing not only hard goods, but other services including translating, correspondence, and transportation. Trading posts also became destinations for artists, authors, and tourists. Trading posts have mostly disappeared today, but they remain a romantic and historic part of the Southwest.

  • Speaker – Carolyn O’Bagy Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Arizona Songbirds: The life stories of Marty Robbins and Linda Ronstadt

These two Arizonans were blessed with beautiful and unforgettable singing voices and had more hits than the Arizona Diamondbacks. Songs like El Paso, Big Iron, Yellow Roses for Robbins and Different Drum, Blue Bayou and Skylark for Ronstadt. Marty was a little bit country and Linda was a little bit rock and roll. Both of them grew up in Arizona and put Arizona musical influences on our national cultural map. Robbins was an early lover of NASCAR and helped to solidify and popularize Western music. Ronstadt  was an early female rocker who helped bring back the Big Band standards.  This presentation will explore and reveal the lives and careers of these two popular music giants.

  • Speaker – Steve Renzi                   
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Arizona’s Territorial Historian, Poet, and Activist Sharlot Hall

Sharlot Mabridth Hall was an unusual woman for her time: a largely self-educated but highly literate child of the frontier. Born October 27, 1870, she traveled with her family from Kansas to the Arizona Territory in 1882. Her impressions of this journey remained with her all of her life. She loved ideas and the written arts and expressed her fascination with Arizona frontier life through prose and poetry. She was the Arizona Territories first female historian. Her diligent efforts inspired others to contribute to the preservation of early Arizona history. After her death on April 9, 1943 a historical society continued her efforts to build the complex that bears her name.

  • Speaker – Jody Drake
  • Presentation Type – History Alive, Speaker in the Schools
Arizona’s Unsolved Mysteries

We are intrigued by unsolved mysteries, because it would seem almost impossible for anyone to totally vanish from the face of the earth at any time. This is especially true in our day and age when a host of computer data tracks everyone; yet bodies do disappear with astonishing frequency. In some cases it may be presumed that people wished to disappear, but then why? Even more unsettling is the realization that certain people may have gotten away with the perfect crime. Whether the unsolved mystery is more than a hundred years old or recent does not seem to make much difference. Perhaps the most enduring quality of an unsolved mystery is that it continues to haunt us.

  • Speaker – Jane Eppinga
  • Presentation Type - Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Arizona’s Wacky Critters & Human Habits (Grade 2 and younger)

With the help of some of her puppet friends, award-winning author Lynda Exley discusses the wild and wacky ways Arizona critters survive and compares it to human habitats – past and present. With information from Arizona Way Out West & Wacky, she also takes kids on a journey through the past, where they compare how children played and lived in the past to what they do today. There will also be hands-on games, prizes and giveaways. Arizona Education Standards Met: Social Studies, Strand 4, Concepts 2, 4, 5.

  • Speaker – Lynda Exley
  • Presentation Type - Speakers in the Schools
Arizona’s War Town: Flagstaff Navajo Ordnance Depot, and World War II

Just weeks after Pearl Harbor, the War Department announced the construction of a massive ammunition depot ten miles west of Flagstaff at Bellemont on U.S. Highway 66. Flagstaff’s population exploded from five to twenty thousand. The Army rushed the $17 million project to completion in a spasm of boomtown upheaval. Several thousand Navajo and Hopi construction workers stayed on to run the struggling new depot, the key storage facility for the Port of Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the Navy halted plummeting enrollment at the teachers college (today Northern Arizona University) by shipping in one thousand sailors and marines as part of its “V-12″ program. Then, the Florence prisoner of war camp sent 250 POWs to Flagstaff. These men, happy to be out of the war, were Austrian “signers” and agreed to be model prisoners. The Flagstaff story shows the remarkable co-existence of sometimes contentious ethnic communities and illustrates the results of military expansion on social, economic, and community development in Arizona. Often humorous and at times almost unbelievable, the experience was also breathtaking, reaching the heart and soul of the community. The town became an “arsenal of democracy,” where hard work and discipline were required and expected from all.

  • Speaker – John Westerlund
  • Presentation Type - Road Scholar
Art of the Internment Camps: Culture Behind Barbed Wire

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1942 WWII Executive Order 9066 forced the removal of nearly 125,000 Japanese-American citizens from the west coast, incarcerating them in ten remote internment camps in seven states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Government photographers Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and Ansel Adams documented the internment, and artists Toyo Miyatake, Chiura Obata, Isamu Noguchi, Henry Sugimoto, and Miné Okubo made powerful records of camp life. Arizona’s two camps (Gila River, Poston) were among the largest, and this chronicle illuminates an important episode of state history, one grounded in national agendas driven by prejudice and fear.

  • Speaker – Betsy Fahlman
  • Presentation Type - Road Scholar
Aztecs in Arizona, then and… now?! Reflections of A Modern-day Aztec Warrior

Did you know that Aztec history in Arizona goes back to before the time of the Hohokam? It’s evidence is all around you if you know what to look for (even in Old Town Scottsdale!) Alberto Olivas gives a brief history of the Mexica (Aztec) people in Arizona and tells the story of discovering his own Mexica heritage, his accidental introduction to the Aztec community in Arizona, and engages participants in a fun and thought-provoking discussion about what it means to be a “cultural warrior”.

  • Speaker – Alberto Olivas
  • Presentation Type - Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
The Ballad of Arizona: our First Hundred Years

Similar to NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion” but with and Arizona twist, this program uses music, storytelling and live radio-style newscasts to present important but often neglected events in Arizona history. The “Hoosiers”-like story of a Miami, AZ High School basketball team comprised of the sons of Mexican-American mine workers who won the state championship in 1951, and Buffalo soldiers stationed near Nogales who engaged with Mexican regiments in a border clash, are among the compelling stories told.

  • Speaker – Jay Cravath Ph.D.
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Big Thirst: How Jack Pfister Helped Arizona Face Its Water Challenges

Whiskey’s for drinking, and water’s for fighting. The old quip about the West seems truer than ever as growth and climate change put pressure on water supplies. But history shows that Arizonans can solve water problems without a gunfight. In recent decades, Jack Pfister was a leader in reaching agreements on divisive water issues. This presentation explores a wide variety of challenges – taming the floods that devastated the Phoenix metro areas, controlling groundwater pumping, funding the Central Arizona Project, resolving tribal water claims – and how, with his help, the state met them.

  • Speaker – Kathleen Ingley
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Boarded Up:  Social and Historical Interpretations of the American Indian Boarding School Era

This presentation will impart a social interpretation of how life among Indian Nations began to change due to the plight American Indian people were forced into in the name of education.  American Indians are the only ethnic group in the U.S. who were subjected to forced education by the federal government for generations.  Children were taken by force, placed in a boarding school, kept there for several years, and were not allowed to speak their language or practice their culture. Parents were forced to sever all contact with their children while the children were forced into a hostile environment and expected to thrive and learn.  The presentation is from an American Indian perspective.

  • Speaker – Evangeline Parsons Yazzie
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
By the Time They Came to Phoenix:  African American Cotton Pickers in Arizona

Featuring a documentary that tells the stories of early African American cotton pickers in El Mirage and in other regions of Arizona, this presentation explores the lives of African Americans who came to the cotton fields from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma during the 1940s through the 1960s.  These individuals made significant cultural, historical, and economic contributions to life in Arizona, from founding churches to serving as civic and social leaders.  Notable families include the Cutrights, Marshalls, and Dunbars.

  • Speaker – Akua Duku Anokye
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Chautauqua – Teresa Urea, Spiritual Healer

Teresa Urrea, a curandera (spiritual healer) was a reluctant political figure, born in Mexico in 1873 to a young Tehueco Indian servant of Tomás Urrea, a wealthy hacendado. Although illegitimate, Teresa was accepted as his daughter. At 16, she lapsed into a trance that lasted over three months. When she awoke, she reported the Virgin had visited her and told her she had special powers to heal the sick and injured. Mexican Indian tribes claimed Teresa as a living saint, using her as an inspiration for revolting against the government. Presidente Díaz exiled her for supposedly instigating rebellion but the U.S. granted her asylum. She toured the U.S. as a faith healer in the 1900’s.

  • Speaker – Elena Díaz Bjorkquist                 
  • Presentation Type – History Alive
Chiricahua National Monument: One Landscape Steeped in Many Arizona Histories

Chiricahua National Monument in SE Arizona has never been known as a “Crown Jewel” in the Park System. Yet it is rich in natural and historical resources — an onion deep with cultural layers intimately connected to and dependent upon phantasmagorical rock formations and a small, well-watered valley. This cultural landscape contains stories of pre-contact Archaic settlement, Chiricahua Apache homeland, a Buffalo Soldier encampment, frontier homesteading, territory-era farming and ranching, an early Forest Service ranger station, a famous Arizona dude ranch, Civilian Conservation Corps development, and 80 years of National Park Service stewardship. This talk will explore this hidden gem.

  • Speaker – Robin Pinto
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Cowboys and Cowgirls: Icons of the American West

Few symbols have been more durable than the American cowboy. This program will give an overview of this populist figure, whose image was first defined by painters Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Also important to the story are brave cowgirls and the Mexican vaqueros. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show showcased mythic cowboy culture, with singing cowboys, pretty girls on horses, and plenty of Indians in his internationally popular extravaganzas that for many defined the American West. Arizona’s contribution to this chronicle is significant, and includes Lon Megargee (the state’s original cowboy artist). Contemporary artists continue to portray this tradition.

  • Speaker – Betsy Fahlman
  • Presentation Type - Road Scholar
The Creation of the American Southwest:  1750 to 1950

Professor Gratton examines the role of indigenous persons, Hispanic groups, migrants and immigrants in the region that became the American Southwest.  Maps, census data,  images, video and audio reveal a thinly populated region initially dominated by Indian nations and ravaged by war and slavery. He then surveys the rapid growth of population between 1850 and 1900 in places like Arizona, through migration and immigration from other states, Europe and Asia.  Between 1900 and 1930, mass immigration from Mexico leads to the first broadly established Hispanic presence in the Southwest.  By 1950, the region took on its fundamental highly diverse, ethnically diverse character.

  • Speaker – Brian Gratton                               
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Crime and Justice in Arizona Territory

Arizona’s territorial era has the reputation of being a violent and crime-ridden place with ineffective criminal justice institutions. This presentation provides an overview of crime and justice in Arizona Territory. Based on data from court cases and newspapers, it describes the types of crimes most commonly committed and the justice system’s response to them. Contrary to popular perception, crime was not particularly violent, nor was crime itself a particular problem. Moreover, Arizona Territory’s justice system was relatively effective compared to other areas of the country.

  • Speaker – Paul Hietter                                   
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Crosscurrents in the Desert: The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps in Arizona

July 1, 2018, marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, an innovation for its time that addressed a healthcare crisis during World War II and improved nurse education across the United States. Participants will learn about Cadet Nurses in participating hospital schools of nursing in Arizona. Also to be discussed will be oral histories of a number of Cadet Nurses who received their training elsewhere and followed a different path to Arizona. Audience members who were Cadet Nurses or know U.S. Cadet Nurses will be invited to add to the conversation.

  • Speaker – Elsie Szecsy                                   
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Don Chun Wo, Unofficial Mayor of Tucson’s Chinatown

Don Chun Wo (1873-1945) was a prominent figure in the Chinese community of Tucson and later Casa Grande in the early decades of the 20th century. He enjoyed high social standing among the Chinese due to his success in running grocery store business, as well as in maintaining a viable family life. The latter was no small feat given the fact that most of the Chinese  who then lived in America were sojourning bachelors. He was also well respected by the local European-American society on account of the role he played as the “unofficial mayor of Tucson’s Chinatown.” Born and raised in San Francisco to immigrant parents, Don’s life path was different from those who came by boat.

  • Speaker – Li Yang                                             
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Father Kino: Journey to Discovery

Father Kino is one of two Arizonans recognized in the U. S. Capitol Hall of Heroes.  The Padre was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, map maker, explorer, rancher, and friend to the Indians of the Pimería Alta.  Journeying on horseback or foot, multiple explorations of the Pimería Alta were made by the padre, resulting in the first detailed map of the area.  He proved Baja California was not an island.  He traveled trails mostly unknown to outsiders through inhabited territory of unknown tribes. This PowerPoint presentation will concentrate on Father Kino’s expeditions and discoveries into the Pimería Alta, his maps, and the discovery of his remains in Magdalena de Kino in 1966.

  • Speaker – Barbara Jaquay                                            
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
The Food of Arizona: Many Cultures, Many Flavors

Consider the taco, that favorite treat, a staple of Mexican and Mexican American cooking and an old standby on an Arizonan’s plate. The corn in the tortilla comes from Mexico, the cheese from the Sahara, the lettuce from Egypt, the onion from Syria, the tomatoes from South America, the chicken from Indochina, the beef from the steppes of Eurasia. The foods of Arizona speak to the many cultures, native and newcomer, that make up our state. Join Gregory McNamee, the author of Moveable Feasts: The History, Science, and Lore of Food, in exploring these many traditions. A slide show accompanies this talk and that the host organization must provide a laptop, projector, and remote.

  • Speaker – Gregory McNamee                                    
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
George W.P. Hunt: Arizona’s Progressive Govenor

Arizona has had its share of colorful politicians but none more so than George W.P. Hunt, Arizona’s first governor who had a major influence on Arizona politics from the 1890s down to the 1930’s. Voters elected him governor seven times.  Hunt personified the progressive movement in Arizona. He took on the rich and the powerful, made the large corporations pick up a larger share of the tax load, protected the rights of labor, and worked for a more open and democratic government. This presentation offers an up-close examination of Hunt, delving into his background, personality, views, career, and accomplishments.

  • Speaker – David Berman
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Ghost Towns of the Second World War: Arizona’s Historic Military Sites

When America entered the Second World War, Arizona’s sparse population and mild weather made it an ideal location for training facilities and prisoner of war camps.  By war’s end, Arizona had trained more pilots than any other state, hosted the country’s largest POW camp, and was part of the largest military training grounds in history.  This presentation tells Arizona’s war-time role by focusing on the stories of those WW2 sites in Arizona that still have significant remaining features from the war period.  Includes many photographs and first-hand accounts.

  • Speaker - Erik Berg
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Great Mediator: Jack Pfister Brought Arizonans Together on Tough Issues

It’s hard to believe in today’s corrosively divided political world, but Arizonans could once reach agreement on the toughest issues. Much of the momentum came from one man: Jack Pfister. From a cash-strapped childhood, when he cleaned turkey pens to earn extra money, he rose to become head of Salt River Project and the state’s star civic activist. Jack used his skills in building consensus on a wide range of issues, from passing the historic Groundwater Management Act to getting voter approval for the King Holiday. Today’s Arizonans can learn a lot from his example.

  • Speaker - Kathleen Ingley
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
History of Early Arizona/Sonora Through the Lens of the German-Speaking Jesuits

The early history of Sonora/Arizona was deeply determined by the Jesuit Order. Padre Eusebio Kino arrived here in 1692 and died in 1711. Subsequently, a large number of German-speaking Jesuit missionaries arrived here, and many of them left highly fascinating reports, letters, diaries, maps, and encyclopedias behind (in German!). This talk deals with those missionaries and their accounts, probing what they can tell us about their relationship with the native population, and about the climatic, geological, and biological conditions of those early years.

  • Speaker – Albrecht Classen
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Honky Tonks, Brothels and Mining Camps: Entertainment in Old Arizona

In pioneer Arizona, among the best places to experience the performing arts were in the mining towns. Striking it rich meant having disposable income and miners, like the well-heeled of the Gilded Age, wanted to demonstrate their sophistication with culture. From the early popular music of ragtime and minstrelsy during the forming of these communities evolved orchestras, opera and glee clubs—all in hamlets like Tombstone. Here, a miner off shift at the Bird Cage could enjoy the proceedings while gambling at a table, or listen behind drawn curtains with a companion of his choice. Perhaps the most popular form of musical entertainment was the concert band, in shells and stages.

  • Speaker – Jay Cravath, Ph.D.
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
How the Canyon Diablo Train Robbers Escaped the Death Penalty

In March 1889, four men robbed the Atlantic Pacific train near Canyon Diablo. The robbers were eventually caught in what became an epic manhunt that lasted nearly two and a half weeks, and covered a reported 300 miles. The robbery also served as the first test case for a new Arizona law making train robbery a capital offense. The bandits eventually pled guilty, but were not sentenced to death. Instead, they received sentences ranging from twenty-five to thirty years. This presentation examines the Canyon Diablo robbery, the subsequent manhunt, and explains why the bandits were not executed for their crime.

  • Speaker – Paul Hietter
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
How the Supreme Court Judge’s Brother Got Away with Murder

W. Wood Porter was riding his bicycle on Florence’s main street on June 24, 1892, when he was shot and mortally wounded by Frank Kibbey. Kibbey had recently concluded that his wife and Porter were having an affair. Kibbey was the brother of territorial supreme court justice and future territorial governor Joseph H. Kibbey. His victim was the nephew of former supreme court justice William Wood Porter. The prominence of victim and attacker guaranteed that the criminal proceedings would be sensational. This presentation tells the story of the murder and its aftermath, and explains how a judge’s brother got away with murder.

  • Speaker – Paul Hietter
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
How the West Was Fun: WOWWing with AZ History (Grades 3 and up)

Award-winning author Lynda Exley, coauthor of Arizona Way Out West & Wacky, discusses Arizona’s zaniest legends, humorous history and fun factoids. Discover why sleeping in wet sheets was a good thing, why some Arizonans ate fruit others spit out, why kissing cornhusks or apples goodnight wasn’t unusual, which city got its name by mistake and more! Inadvertently, audiences learn how past cultures obtained and preserved food, the historical significance of city names, how modern conveniences changed the landscape, how copper mining put AZ cities on the map, and more. There will be hands-on games, prizes and giveaways. Education Standards Met: Social Studies, Strand 4, Concepts 2, 4, 5.

  • Speaker – Lynda Exley
  • Presentation Type – Speaker in the Schools
Indian Labor: Navajo and Hopi Workers at Navajo Ordnance Depot

When 8,000 workers were needed immediately for the Army’s massive construction project ten miles west of Flagstaff at Bellemont in early 1942, several thousand Navajo and Hopi workers and their families signed on. For the first to arrive, conditions were deplorable. Bootleggers lurked in the shadows and crime was rampant. The commander faced a myriad of problems and quickly decided to invite the Navajo and Hopi families to build an “Indian Village” of their own on the military base. Tribal representatives accepted the invitation and soon, for the first time in American history, a community of about 3,750 Native Americans voluntarily settled onto the military installation. Soon, working Indian women were part of this cultural experiment. This story illustrates how regular wages heightened expectations for both Navajos and Hopis, creating an image of post-war opportunities. It shows how the Indian Village experience set the mold for future Navajo tribal leadership, yet also contributed to unwanted social and cultural problems. For many families, Navajo Depot was just a stopping point on their migration from the reservations into nearby Flagstaff. The war exposed thousands to a life beyond the reservation, and today the word “Bellemont” remains a part of Navajo and Hopi history.

  • Speaker – John Westerlund
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
In Search of a Homeland, the Story of a Pioneer Chinese Woman, Lai Ngan

Lai Ngan was smuggled into America at a tender age in the 1870s and sold into bondage.  While still a teenage, she was married off to a Chinese man who was 35 years her senior. She fulfilled  her duties as a loving mother to her children and a supportive wife. She followed her husband on his peripatetic journeys in search of a place where they could raise their children in a safe environment. She was an entrepreneur in her own right, contributing significantly to the family livelihood. In the end, she married her true love, only to have their union come to an unfortunate end. Lai Ngan’s story offers an example of one immigrant woman’s successful struggle to survive in the American Southwest.

  • Speaker – Li Yang
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
 In the Footsteps of Martha Summerhayes

Martha Summerhayes was a refined New England woman who entered the Arizona Territory in 1874 as the young bride of an Army Lieutenant. Traveling in horrific conditions and dreadful heat, she soon despised the wild and untamed land. She gave birth to the first anglo child born at Fort Apache where the native women took her under their care. Gradually, Martha’s attitude towards the desert changed and she soon came to love the starry nights, the clear air, and the simplicity of its inhabitants. She wrote about her experiences in the classic book, “Vanished Arizona”, still in print since 1908. Ranney has a personal connection to the Summerhayes family, which he shares in the lecture.

  • Speaker – Wayne Ranney
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
“Killer Bees”: What They Tell Us About Who We Are

Arizona is the only state in the Union that has been documented as having Africanized bees in every single county. The story of Africanized bees in Arizona is very much a story about the Southwest, and its distinct differences from the rest of the United States. The bees show us that we are living and have lived for a  very long time in a complex zone of “mestizaje,” where  cultural and biological differences originating in several different continents (especially the Americas, Africa, and Europe) are conflicting and coming together.  By considering this species thoughtfully, we learn who we are.

  • Speaker – Patrick Pynes
  • Presentation Type - Road Scholar
This Land is Our Land: Early Women on the Arizona Frontier

*New Presentation*

This PowerPoint program touches on the lives of 5 Arizona women who experienced arduous ordeals & hardships during the territory’s early days. Apache warrior Lozen fought desperately to hold onto land once freely roamed by her people. Larcena Pennington was forced to crawl down a mountain to escape certain death. Mary Aguirre often journeyed with her husband along the Santa Fe Trail delivering supplies to army posts. Ada Bass endured crude living conditions at the rim of the Grand Canyon, becoming an integral part of one of the first tourist businesses at the Canyon. Mormon Emma Lee survived untold hardships struggling to survive at the site of what is now Lees Ferry.

  • Speaker – Jan Cleere
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Lee Wee Kwon, Chinese Grocer in Tucson, 1917-1965

The Chinese had once dominated Tucson’s grocery business. Lee Wee Kwon was among the successful Chinese grocers whose business relied on the patronage of a Hispanic clientele. Lee entered the US as a refugee from Mexican Revolution. Before he came to Tucson, he had lived and worked in northern Mexico and spoke fluent Spanish.  His chance encounter with General Pershing won him the much coveted merchant status which enabled him to sponsor the entries of his son and nephew into America to help out with his business.  Lee’s success can also be attributed to the mutual aid network afforded to men and women of the same surname in Tucson’ s Chinese community.

  • Speaker – Li Yang
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Life and Times of Tom Jeffords, Friend of Cochise

Tom Jeffords grew up in Ashtabula, OH, without much education and was promoted to lake captain in his early twenties. The lure of making his fortune called Tom west to the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, the San Juan Rush and to the Colorado River. He scouted and was dispatch rider for the Army during the Civil War and was present at its bloodiest battle. After the war, he prospected, scouted and helped start Tucson’s mail service. Along the way, he met Cochise, then the most feared Apache chief, and the two became friends so that he was able to guide General O.O. Howard to the chief and negotiate peace.

  • Speaker – Doug Hocking
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Long Walk of the Navajo People, 1864-1868

In 1864, Navajo people were forced to walk over 450 miles to Fort Sumner in eastern New Mexico.  Imprisoned on a 40-square mile reservation for four long years the people suffered from hunger, loneliness, illnesses, and severe environmental conditions. On June 1, 1868, U. S. officials and Navajo leaders reached an agreement, allowing the Navajos to return to a portion of their original lands located in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. The Long Walk has been collected in historical literature by non-Navajo authors.  Absent from the literature is the Navajo perspective.  The audience will hear the Navajo elders’ version of the Long Walk in this presentation.

  • Speaker – Evangeline Parsons Yazzie
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
“A Man Would Be a Fool to Take a Chance on Me”:  Violet M. Irving of Skull Valley Arizona, Iconic Arizona Woman

Violet M. Irving, Liz Warren’s grandmother, spent most of her life in Skull Valley, Arizona, as the postmaster and owner of the general store. Born in 1900 in Walker, Vi was the daughter and granddaughter of miners. Her life spanned the century, and she witnessed statehood, two great wars, the Depression, and Rural Electrification first hand from her perch in south-west Yavapai County. Vi was an accomplished raconteur, and family meals always included many hours of stories about her life and that of her relatives and friends in Arizona’s mining and ranching country. This presentation will introduce listeners to the fascinating and irascible Violet through stories and pictures.

  • Speaker – Liz Warren
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Mexican Americans: Early Homesteaders and Settlers in Arizona

The Homestead Act of 1862 gave immigrants from Sonora and Chihuahua an unprecedented opportunity to claim land and develop their own livelihood from farming and ranching. Clustered settlements around available water and grass became tight-knit communities of newly-declared Mexican American citizens. These homesteaders faced numerous financial, legal and social challenges before acquiring title to their properties. Yet many prospered and their descendants and the evidence of their early struggles are still present in our rural landscapes. This talk relates the story of these immigrants and their successes and failures in an often difficult and unpredictable environment.

  • Speaker - Robin Pinto
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Native in a Strange Land: The Life of Mike Burns, Indian Scout

Mike Burns lived a long life in two worlds. Born in about 1862 into the Kwevkepaya (Yavapai) people, he was taken prisoner by U.S. soldiers after his family was massacred at a place called Skeleton Cave. He lived for years as something between a captive and a servant until joining the Indian Scouts, riding against Sitting Bull after the Battle of Little Bighorn and Geronimo in the Apache Wars. Gregory McNamee, the editor of Burns’s memoir The Only One Living to Tell, recounts Burns’s life in the context of nineteenth-century Arizona history. A slide show accompanies this talk and that the host organization must provide a laptop, projector, and remote.

  • Speaker – Gregory McNamee
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The New Deal in Arizona

Arizona’s New Deal built sidewalks, post offices, provided school lunches and outhouses. It produced roadside shrines and monuments to encourage tourism, check dams and mud stock tanks to support Arizona ranchers as well as golf courses and pools for recreation. The federal investment in the built and cultural landscape of 1930s Arizona and the nation was sweeping and continues to provide much of our infrastructure. This overview of President Roosevelt’s New Deal in Arizona highlights stories of local politics that brought in federal dollars and bring Arizona’s New Deal to life.

  • Speaker – J.J. Lamb
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
On the Arizona Frontier Ranch Medicine

*New Presentation*

Once your family arrived in the west often there was not a doctor within miles. The medical care of the family landed in the hands of the family. Luckily, it was soon learned that the plants held many secrets for someone who was ill. Chew a little willow bark for a headache, pine needles are rich in vitamin C, a spider web will close up a cut, and so much more. For this presentation a frontier medical bag is used to take and in depth look at illness and how it was treated in late 1800s Arizona.

  • Speaker – Jody Drake
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar; Speaker in the Schools
Only At NAU

Having just completed a book about the history and culture of NAU, this presentation includes a vast collection of colorful tales as told by researchers, alumni over 100 years old, professors and presidents. The tales include jokes played by Regents, breakthroughs only now getting attention, how budgeting was creatively handled and how a family broke the spiral of despair when the father took a job as custodian.

  • Speaker – Lisa Schnebly Heidinger
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Pearl Hart, the Lady Bandit- Victim or Vixen… or Both?

Separating fact from fiction is no easy task when it comes to flamboyant stage coach robber Pearl Hart. A mountain of conflicting stories abound, thanks in no small part, to Pearl herself. So enamored of the Wild West, she embellished her own tale to accommodate the interest of newspapers and public fascination. This presentation will follow Pearl from her modest beginnings in Canada and discover what set her down the road that led from Canada to Ohio, Illinois, New Mexico, and finally, Arizona. The road that took her from an innocent teenager to a life of crime is littered with stories of abuse, abandonment, and poor choices. Why does a woman who committed a fairly insignificant crime still garner so much attention that a Broadway show was created to highlight her life? Reid will explore Pearl’s life as a both victim and vixen to shed some light on an Arizona figure surrounded by mystery.

  • Speaker – H. Christine Reid
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Pens & Paintbrushes: The Legacies of Early Arizona Women in the Arts

This PowerPoint program explores the lives of 5 artists whose talents personify the beauty of the early western frontier. Hopi potter Nampeyo shaped clay vessels with an intricacy seldom duplicated today. Writer Sharlot Hall described images of Arizona’s past and preserved our history. Author Martha Summerhayes wrote of her adventures following her husband from one Arizona army post to another. Kate Cory’s abundant portfolio of paintings & photos illustrates an intense cultural sensitivity to Hopi rituals & ceremonies. Architect Mary Colter designed edifices across the southwest, particularly at the Grand Canyon. Folk singer Katie Lee still expresses herself through her songs & writings.

  • Speaker – Jan Cleere
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
A Pictorial History of Arizona from Prehistory to the Present

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this program could fill a seven-volume history of Arizona. From the geological wonders of the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest to cutting-edge biotech industries and Native American art galleries, this whirlwind pictorial history tour of Arizona from prehistory to the present shows it all. In addition to beautiful landscape photography and historic site images, this engaging program addresses Arizona‘s cultural diversity, mining, and the history of water use.

  • Speaker – Jim Turner
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Plants, Inspiring the People: Reflections on Hualapai Ethnobotany of the Grand Canyon

Where lies the cure to diabetes? “Ask the prickly pear, or the mesquite bean pod…maybe they will tell you.” This is the answer you may hear from elder instructors of the Hualapai Ethnobotany Youth Project. The ethnobotanical story of the Hualapai Tribe  begins with the plant knowledge the people have inherited from their great grandparents who lived entirely off the land. Hualapai grandchildren  live in a completely different modern world. A world of cell phones, text messages, and ipods.  Information presented will share about the project examining the crucial role plant resource acquisition has played in Hualapai culture; knowledge that has been fine tuned and perfected over millennia.

  • Speaker – Carrie Cannon
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Radicalism in the Mountain West: The Case of Arizona, 1890-1920

Given the strong streak of conservatism in the Mountain West today, the fact that it was at one time a hotbed of radical activity may come as a surprise to many. This presentation explores the radical movement in the Mountain West – a movement by which people were not simply trying to reform the capitalist system but to replace it with something that they felt was better. Emphasizing Arizona and the state’s mining areas, this presentation provides an overview of the development of radical activity through the party system and through the union movement.

  • Speaker – David Berman
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Riding with the Duke: John Wayne in Arizona

John Wayne was born in Iowa and lived for most of his adult life in California. Yet, he spent many years exploring, living, and investing in Arizona, where he produced his own films, raised cattle, operated a game ranch, and was seemingly everywhere at once. Wayne remains an iconic presence in American popular culture. In this talk, Gregory McNamee, who often writes about film and western history alike for such publications as the Encyclopaedia Britannica and The Hollywood Reporter, looks at the Duke’s long career in Arizona.

  • Speaker – Gregory McNamee
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Sedona: From Cucumbers to Leavenworth

Using interviews with Sedona Schnebly’s children, Lisa Schnebly Heidinger  has put together little-known details about this amazing woman’s life, from being written out of the will for marrying TC Schnebly on her 20th birthday to the fate of the man she didn’t marry. Her story includes the journey west and the comic and tragic details of building community in an admittedly beautiful but also harsh place.  Family recollections stitch around the edges, with some surprising anecdotes about this WTCU member.

  • Speaker – Lisa Schnebly Heidinger
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Sheep Ranchers and Herders of Arizona

An early viable economic activity of the 1800s in Arizona has been mostly forgotten. Basque, Canadians, Danes among others arrived in the mid to late 1800s to graze sheep on thousands of acres practicing transhumance. Many of these men worked for other established ranchers until ultimately they gained a herd of their own. In the early 1900s the herds had grown to over one million sheep. But, today there is less than 20,000 sheep and only a couple of Basque families are still involved. Through personal interviews, especially with the Basque, and various written historical accounts, this presentation will discuss the reasons why sheep herders came to Arizona and their contribution to the state’s history and economy.

  • Speaker – Barbara Jaquay
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Signs of the Times: Arizona’s Golden Age of Neon & Signs

The rise of car travel in the 40s, 50s and 60s meant that thousands of people were traversing the broad expanses of the Southwest looking for new landscapes and adventure. As the cars sped past, restaurants, motels, curio shops and gas stations needed large, bright signs to make an impression. This informative and entertaining visual presentation explores the social significance of the rise of commercial neon signs, and references the designers whose signs became iconic images that defined the West in the age of the automobile.

  • Speaker – Marshall Shore
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Skirting Traditions: Arizona Women Journalists: 100 Years of Change

Skirting Traditions: Arizona Women Journalists: 100 Years of Change  tells the story of the dramatic revolution of the news media in the last century. Many young people today cannot imagine a time when women were not allowed to do any job they chose. Stories of women writers who broke barriers tells the history of change in women’s roles in society, as well as in journalism and communication. This program includes stories of 28 women including Sharlot Hall, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, Nina Pullium, and Erma Bombeck. As women around the globe continue to fight for dignity and equal rights, this talk assures the story of American women’s struggle for equality is not forgotten.

  • Speaker – Pamela Knight Stevenson
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Smitten By Stone: How We Came to Love the Grand Canyon

In spite of being one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World,” humans have not always seen the Grand Canyon in a positive light. First seen by Europeans in the year 1540, the canyon was not comprehended easily. Throughout the entire exploratory era, lasting nearly 320 years, conquistadores, explorers, trappers and miners viewed the canyon as an obstacle to travel or even useless. None of these early visitors ever returned a second time. However, when the first geologist laid eyes on it in 1857, he issued a siren call to humanity that it was something quite special on our planet. Every geologist who followed returned again, announcing to the world that the Grand Canyon was to be revered.

  • Speaker – Wayne Ranney
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Southern Arizona Cemeteries

Throughout the ages we humans have had a need to mark the time and place where people make the final stop on their journey from this world to the next. Sometimes it is a simple cross on rock covered earth while others are elaborate tombstones which tell something of the lives of their residents. There is probably nothing so poignant as a tiny tombstone marking the death of a child whose duration on earth is measured from a few minutes to a few years. Don’t miss the chance to learn more about Arizona cemeteries.

  • Speaker – Jane Eppinga
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Tombstone, Arizona: The Town Too Tough to die

Tombstone, which had a reputation, as one of the West’s wildest mining towns, owes its beginning to Ed Schieffelin, who prospected the nearby hills. From nearby Fort Huachuca, Schieffelin told a soldier that the mountains’ rich colors looked very promising for mineral wealth. The soldier said “All you’ll find in those hills is your tombstone”. In February 1878 Schieffelin found a vein of rich silver ore and registered two claims as the Tombstone and the Graveyard. During this presentation Jane tells the history of Tombstone through vintage photographs and shows that the town is much more than its famous gunfight.

  • Speaker – Jane Eppinga
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Tom Mix: King of the Cowboys

Cowboy movie star Tom Mix was internationally famous, and many legends and tall tales have been told about his life. This presentation highlights some of the true stories about Mix and his connection to Arizona, debunking some of the Hollywood hype. What brought Mix travel that lonesome highway where he met his death south of Florence?  Find out about his childhood, the early years in show business, his multiple marriages and divorces, his career path, his presence in Arizona  and the final hours of his life. A wide range of photographs and newspaper articles illustrate this larger than life legend.

  • Speaker – H. Christine Reid
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Vail, The Town Between The Tracks

Vail gets its name from ranchers Edward and Walter Vail. In 2016 it is a bedroom community defined by the Vail School District and beautiful landscape. Explosive growth between 2001 and 2009 left only two historic buildings. Can an unincorporated community retain a sense of itself when almost everyone is from somewhere else? At the turn of the last century controversy swirled through Vail when the Helvetia Mining Company bypassed Tucson and chose to build a road for ore shipment to Vail. The mining company, County Board of Supervisors, Vail School and post master created a web of land issues that made their way to a 9th Circuit courtroom in San Francisco. At the turn of the current century, developers, transportation safety, and a great school district have created new issues and opportunities. Building partnerships & leveraging opportunities to save a place that matters.

  • Speaker – J.J. Lamb
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Van Buren: Arizona’s Sunset Strip

Have you ever believed in a street? That’s right, a real belief in what a street stands for in the midst of a bustling city. Many recall the heyday of Van Buren Street, linking Arizona, California and New Mexico, the only highway known in the early 1900’s. Neon lights, bright, colorful lodges, hotels and motels, proud to advertise swimming pools! Over the years, Van Buren has offered everything imaginable, including an insane asylum, where Winnie Ruth Judd, the trunk murderess, spent much of her time. Tovrea Castle, (the Wedding Cake) is still there. The Little Shop of Horrors, Legend City, and Bill Johnson’s Big Apple were all there. Get ready to share your Van Buren memories!

  • Speaker – Stella Pope Duarte
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Who Did You Say Was Here?

While doing research on our centennial book, Lisa Schnebly Heidinger developed a treasure trove of anecdotes that wove through the tapestry Arizona, and can custom fit a presentation to any audience, based on geography, interest and local population.  These include but are not limited to little heard details about famous figures (like when the Bucky O’Neill statue was lost and Clark Gable’s adventure in Northern Arizona) and poignant stories of characters we haven’t all met yet, such as John D. Lees wife Emma, who gave birth twice by herself while her husband was hiding form the law.

  • Speaker – Lisa Schnebly Heidinger
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Women of the Arizona State Prison

Winnie Ruth Judd, Eva Dugan, Dr. Rose Boido, and Eva Wilbur Cruz all shared one thing in common. They were all incarcerated at the Arizona State Prison in Florence.  These women were players in both the sensational stories that made national headlines and local stories that made Arizona history. Who were these women and how did they end up in the Florence prison? How did their stories impact Arizona? Through the use of photographs, prison records and newspaper articles, their particular stories are told against the background of women in the Arizona prison system in general, covering the transition from the Yuma Territorial prison to Florence to the women on death row currently.

  • Speaker – H. Christine Reid
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar

History & Heritage - United States

“Armed with Our Language, We Went to War:  The Navajo Code Talkers”

During WWII a select group of young Navajo men enlisted in the Marines with a unique weapon. Using the Navajo language, they devised a secret code that the enemy never deciphered.  For over 40 years a cloak of secrecy hung over the Code Talker’s service until the code was declassified and they were finally honored for their military contributions in the South Pacific by Presidents Reagan, Bush, and the Navajo Nation. The Code Talkers’ cultural background, how the code was devised and used, photos, and how Navajo spiritual beliefs were used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) form this presentation.

  • Speaker – Laura Tohe
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Art History of the American West

Artists have been fascinated with the American West since George Catlin first traveled up the Mississippi in the 1830s. Beautiful paintings and sculptures trace style changes for more than a century, from the Romantics to Frederick Remington and Charles Russell to Santa Fe artists like Georgia O’Keeffe to magazine illustrators, Native American artists, magazine illustrators, and contemporary western artists like Ed Mell. Short biographies of the artists and histories of the West and of art styles paint the American West with a broad brush.

  • Speaker – Jim Turner
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Bronze Buckaroo: the Life Story of Herb Jeffries

The 1930s and 1940s were the era of Western singing cowboys like Rex Allen, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Herb Jefferies was the African-American singing cowboy,  appearing in movies and on stage for African-American audiences. He could ride, rope and sing with the best of them and his story has largely been forgotten. This presentation will explore his life and career.

  • Speaker – Steve Renzi
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Deliverance in the Desert: the San Patricios in the Mexican-American War

One of the more unique and little known episodes of the Mexican-American War is the desertion of an immigrant battalion from the US Army.  The San Patricios, comprised primarily of Irish-Catholic immigrants, ended up distinguishing themselves as a special battalion of the Mexican Army in a handful of engagements during the war.  While the result was devastating for both the San Patricios as well as the Mexican Army, the account is missing from most history books and classes.  Find out why in this presentation.

  • Speaker – Ryan Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
The Explorations and Discoveries of George Bird Grinnell, The Father of Glacier National Park

The great West that George Bird Grinnell first encountered in 1870 as a 21-year old man was shortly to disappear before his eyes. Nobody was quicker to sense the desecration or was more eloquent in crusading against the poachers, the hidehunters, and the disengaged U.S. Congress than George Bird Grinnell, the “Father of American Conservation.” Grinnell founded the first Audubon Society, cofounded the Boone and Crockett Club with Teddy Roosevelt, and led the effort to establish Glacier National Park. Audiences will travel back in time to the 19th century, listening to Grinnell’s own words as taken from his field journals, memoirs, personal correspondence, and newspaper editorials.

  • Speaker: F. Hugh Grinnell            
  • Presentation Type – History Alive
The Legacy of World War II Cadet Nurses

The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, an innovation for its time, addressed a healthcare crisis during World War II and improved nurse education across the United States. A number of Cadet Nurses have been interviewed and their oral histories contributed to various digital repositories, including the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Participants will view video clips or listen to audio recordings of Cadet Nurse oral histories to learn more about their service and its importance during and after World War II. Participants will also learn about conducting oral history interviews with Cadet Nurses, other World War II women, or military veterans, and preparing interviews for preservation.

  • Speaker – Elsie Szecsy
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Mighty Colorado River: From its Sources to the Sea

Jim Turner has traced the Green and Colorado rivers from their beginnings as clear bubbling glacial springs high in the mountains, then through roaring canyons in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada, and finally to the salt flats in Mexico. Stunning photographs tell the story of the rivers’ two thousand miles of scenic wonders, geography, wildlife, history, recreation, politics, and local culture.

  • Speaker – Jim Turner
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Origins of Civil Rights

The phrase “civil rights” commonly appears in much public discussion. But what are “civil rights”? Where did they come from? Why do we have them? Civil rights in U. S. law have revolved around what, if any, personal characteristics should control the legal relation of an individual to others and to the community at large, particularly in regard to law’s recognition of what a person could and could not do, should and should not do, and the basis on which capacity and constraint rest. This presentation seeks to develop a picture of the legal principles and practices of civil rights as federal law during its formative period.

  • Speaker – Thomas J. Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Race and Law in U.S. History

Race has been much contested in U.S. history. Yet it has never been a single thing. Nor has it always been the same thing. Race has been part of a changing national identity. More personally, race has been part of variable individual identity. Who was white, who was Indian, who was black, for example, has not always had the same answer in U.S. history. Yet race has been a persistent element of identity. Every generation of Americans has wrestled with race as a defining issue. It has been long argued over in law. It has been crucial in national and local politics and has presented problems aplenty for government, public policy, and popular practice.

  • Speaker – Thomas J. Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
A Special Olympics: Testing Race  at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition

Did you know that a group of Native American high school women won the national title in basketball in 1904? At the turn of the twentieth century race was an important topic for the American public and racial concepts of body and mental affected who was allowed to compete in athletic events, including  the Olympics. At the 1904 world’s fair, anthropologists challenged the exclusion of non-white athletes and held a Special Olympics for Indigenous Peoples. The goal was to give Native athletes opportunities to compete and demonstrate that indigenous peoples were as good athletes as Caucasians. As this talk will show, the results of the scientific experiment were mixed.

  • Speaker – Nancy Parezo
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The U.S. Constitution: What It Says and How It Works

Most Americans think they know what the Constitution says but few have actually examined it. Here is an opportunity to review the concepts and composition of the document that functions as the legal foundation and framework of the nation. The Constitution provides principles for federal relations with the nation’s constituent states, citizens, and inhabitants. It has deployed a constitutional system called federalism. Its hallmarks have featured dual sovereignty, delegated and reserved powers, and guarantees of personal civil liberties and rights.

  • Speaker – Thomas J. Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools

History & Heritage - World

The Blind Eye–A Sephardic Journey

Learn about the Sephardic people who kept their culture and traditions alive through the harshest of circumstances. In 1492 they were forcibly expelled from Spain, unless they gave up their faith and converted to Catholicism (conversos). Often, when they did, they suffered punishment, exile and even death. They maintained their religion, worshiping in secret, orally passing on their history when all books were confiscated. Women kept the faith. Their expulsion followed them through centuries, leading them to South America and the New World. Sephardim represent a lesson in persistence. Could you survive in similar circumstances?

  • Speaker – Marcia Fine
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Bosnia: Crossroads of Cultures

In Bosnia people joke that: “We have more history than we can stand.” The fact that Bosnia’s cultural and religious diversity has often led to conflict in the 20th century has led many people to consider this diversity a curse. However, it has also proven to be a source of great richness and beauty. This presentation will look at Bosnia as a crossroads of cultures: a place where the Catholic West, Orthodox East, and Muslim Middle East – with significant Jewish contributions – come together to create a complex and vibrant, if sometimes troubled, society.

  • Speaker – Lisa Adeli
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
From China to Mexico:  A Journey of Decorative Arts

Mexico/New Spain in the 17th and 18th centuries was an area that enjoyed enormous economic prosperity.  Each year trading ships from China brought goods to Mexico in exchange for New World silver.  Stylistic features and design of many trade items influenced artists and designers working in Mexico.  Mexican ceramics displayed the impact of galleon trade most vividly, and Manila shawls display Chinese silk motifs and decorative techniques which later inspired the decoration of Mexican textiles.  This presentation traces the history of Mexican talavara design, Manila shawl (Mantones de Manila) surface embroidery and the transformation of both to become uniquely Mexican decorative arts.

  • Speaker – Brenda Brandt
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Eastern Europe’s Dramatic Democratic Revolution:  Throwing off the Shackles of Communism

From Bosnia to Bulgaria, Macedonia to Moldova, and Slovakia to Slovenia, Eastern Europe has thrown off the shackles of Communism and experienced a dramatic transformation toward Democracy during the past 20 years.  After a half-century of Soviet domination, much of the region has embraced Western ideals while still maintaining a unique and highly diverse culture. What brought about these stirring changes?  How has the democratization changed the daily lives of Eastern Europeans?  What has been America’s role in the region?  What are the challenges still facing this vitally important geopolitical area?  And finally, what about the recent Russian incursion into Ukraine?

  • Speaker – Dan Fellner
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar; Speaker in the Schools
The Fascinating and Diverse Jews of Asia

*New Presentation*

The Asian continent is known for its large population of Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists and followers of other Eastern religions. But Judaism? Surprisingly, there are thriving Jewish communities in a number of Asian countries with rich and diverse historical backgrounds. Unlike some other parts of the world, Asian Jews in many countries have been free to practice their faith for centuries and encountered little anti-Semitism. Dan Fellner has visited and written about Jewish communities in Japan, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar. His highly visual presentation will explore Jewish life in the region and how it uniquely meshes with Asian culture.

  • Speaker - Dan Fellner
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Mysticism – A Medieval Quest for Spiritual Epiphany

Throughout time, but especially in the Middle Ages, individuals have been graced with visions, i.e., personal experiences with God or other saintly beings. Since the twelfth century, European mystics (especially women), reported about out-of-body experiences in which their souls were graced with a direct, personal encounter with the Godhead, which granted them unique and unheard-of authority. This talk will explore the meaning/history of mysticism and present its salient features through music and images, reflecting on individuals such as Hildegard of Bingen oder Catherine of Siena. This talk addresses both religious phenomena and also highlights unique aspects  in women’s lives.

  • Speaker – Albrecht Classen
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Rise of Antisemitism and Nazi Propaganda 

This topic will cover the spread and use of antisemitic propaganda in 20th century Germany, which intensified under Nazism. Starting with a brief look at antecedents in the 1890s and the First World War, the focus will be on Nazi propaganda as it developed from the 1920s onward, tracing its distribution from crude political satire to legal sanctions and (pseudo-) scientific justifications. The presentation will also touch on the Lebensraum (living space) policy of Nazism, in which racial and space ideology paved the way for the eventual policy of genocide (the Holocaust).

  • Speaker – Björn Krondorfer
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Taking Your Father to a Nazi Camp: German Family Memories of War and Holocaust 

In this personal talk, Krondorfer addresses the effects of the Holocaust and World War II on German society and families. Starting with his father’s war experience as a 17-year old German soldier in the vicinity of a Jewish slave labor camp in Poland, Krondorfer speaks to silences in the families, the moral gray zone, and generational tensions. He concludes with remarks on the value of dialogue between communities and individual affected by the traumatic memory.

  • Speaker – Björn Krondorfer
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
What has antiquity done for me?

You’ve heard that we should learn to “think outside the box.” Well, where exactly are the edges of that box? Who made it? And why? In this presentation, we’ll go back to the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose writings still form the basis for the stories we tell about ourselves. Ancient poetry, we’ll see, contains roots of today’s movies, songs—and even science! Choices made by people with names like “Aristotle” and “Hipparchus”—choices that could have been made differently—established the boundaries for much of our thinking to this day. Once we learn what these ancients did, we’ll be able both to use that “box” as a sturdy foundation and to step firmly outside it and innovate!

  • Speaker – Michael Tueller
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Why Your Family History Matters

Our history, where we came from, who our relatives were and what happened to them, is part of our daily life. In a historical look at 1920s Poland, 1940s New York City and finally, 1950s Florida, we garner respect for family members who survived. Who left and who stayed? Why? Those are the stories that impact people in our migratory history. Many of us have immigrants in our families. Their sacrifices teach us strength as Marcia Fine shares her grandmother’s story and how she preserved it.  It is an American story of assimilation based on three generations of women. The novel, Paper Children–An Immigrant’s Legacy has been a finalist for three national prizes.

  • Speaker – Marcia Fine
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Witnessing a Jewish Revival in Eastern Europe

After the tragedy of the Holocaust, the Jewish population in Eastern Europe was nearly extinguished.  However, since the collapse of Communism, there has been a small, yet significant revival of Jewish life in several countries.  For the first time in generations, young Jews are free to practice their faith without the fear of government interference or public persecution.  Synagogues are being rebuilt and congregations in some areas are growing.  This highly visual program chronicles the speaker’s extensive experiences with Jewish life in the region and reveals his optimism for a continued Jewish revival there.

  • Speaker – Dan Fellner
  • Presentation Type – History & Heritage – World
World War I in the Middle East: Roots of Contemporary Conflict

Although World War I occurred a century ago, its effects are still evident in the Middle East today. The war left memories of suffering and brought about new political realities. The Ottoman Empire ended, and new states were created, yet the peace settlements left many Middle Eastern people dissatisfied. The post-war treaties left millions of Kurds without a country, divided Arab lands into various British and French mandates, and pitted Turks against Greeks, Turks against Armenians, Palestinians against Jews. This presentation looks at the legacy of World War I in the Middle East and the Great War’s impact on recent conflicts in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel/Palestine.

  • Speaker – Lisa Adeli
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools

Humanities in Contemporary Issues

Reconciliation: The Power of the Arts and Creative Approaches 

At the end of massive conflicts, like World War 2 and the Holocaust in Europe, what do communities and individuals need to do in order to both remember and heal? Björn will address questions of post-conflict justice and reconciliatory practices among victims and perpetrators and their descendants, and apply these experiences to today’s conflicts.

  • Speaker – Björn Krondorfer
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Stories of Cooperation

This presentation will use traditional folklore stories and stories from American history to illustrate the importance of cooperation in order to bring about civic discourse and community engagement. Connecting the stories to their own lives, students will explore their choices in different situations, how their participation is beneficial, and the beliefs and actions that make civic engagement possible.

  • Speaker – Caleb Winebrenner
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
What Can One Person Do? How?

Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” Who were these citizens then? In this presentation, students will learn about different groups of citizens who have engaged to make a difference. The focus of the presentation will be on citizens brainstorming ideas for meaningful service projects for their community, and reflect on how their own skills, talents, and interests can bring that project into fruition.

  • Speaker – Caleb Winebrenner
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Words Hurt-Anti-Bullying Workshop

*New Presentation*

Hateful words are one of the main reasons why bullying is a growing phenomenon that causes over 160,000 students to miss school every day. A recent U.S. study shows that 17 percent of students reported having been bullied “sometimes” or often. Through the use of activities and group discussions, this workshop will help students understand the impact of bullying and how to combat bullying at home or in school

  • Speaker – Tamika Lamb Sanders
  • Presentation Type – Speaker in the Schools

Language and Literature

All Hat and No Cattle: The language of the American West

Every day we use words and phrases whose roots lie in our western heritage. Words like “brand,” “maverick,” and “dude,” along with phrases like” climb down off your high horse” and “passing the buck” all grew out of the culture and experiences of those who moved into and lived in the American West. These creative words are poetic, descriptive and often quite humorous like the saying “He’s got a ten-dollar Stetson on a five-cent head,” or “she’s as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs.” This was the language of the frontier and as we moved into it, the language moved right along with us like a shave-tailed mule hitched to a wagon. Ride shotgun with Renzi as he explores the meanings and historical origins of these Western words and slang phrases.

  • Speaker – Steve Renzi
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Original Tweets: Tiny Poems of the Ancient Greeks

Has the rise of the “tweet” destroyed our ability to be serious and meaningful? In this presentation, we look at a previous era when brevity took the literary world by storm—an era like our own, when borders fell, rapid communication emerged, and the pace of life accelerated: the time after Alexander the Great. Some poets then wrote tiny poems called “epigrams”: in only four or six lines, they would explore the implications of death, or question whether images could represent reality. As with today’s quick communications, they often relied on humor, irony, and the willingness of other writers to respond. They turned the constraints of their genre into opportunity; can it happen again?

  • Speaker – Michael Tueller
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholars
Read an Ancient Poem—in Just One Hour

For most people, poetry is daunting, the effort far outweighing the reward. In this presentation, based on a program that has seen success in Great Britain, we take a step back—far, far back—to the poetry of the ancient Greeks and Romans. You don’t need to know a word of the ancient languages to follow along; you’ll find that, by tackling a single, short poem in an unknown language, and following all its moves—from characteristics as simple as sound and grammar all the way to the most complex—you can understand how poetry works. The poetry we’ll look at is from the tradition that informs Western literature to this day: you’ll leave the lecture with a new key to the world of literature!

  • Speaker – Michael Tueller
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholars, Speaker in the Schools
Reading, Writing, and Fun with Polly and the Peaputts 

Welcome to Peaputt Place! Come meet Polly, her family, and friends. See how Polly and the Peaputts live, love, learn, and smile. In this three part book series, see how Polly and her friends work on acceptance, forgiveness, cooperation, inclusion, and many more constructive interactions. Participants will have opportunities to explore language understanding through five development areas—listening/observing, speaking, reading, writing, and storytelling—maybe even some acting out. The Peaputt books are also aligned with the English Language Arts Standards (ELAS) of the national Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative.

  • Speaker – Rodo Sofranac
  • Presentation Type – Speaker in the Schools
“What’s So Funny?”

*New Presentation*

What makes us laugh?  What do commedia dell’arte, the Marx Brothers, and the latest TV sitcom have in common? Even though the subjects of humor are highly cultural, the ways we make one another laugh are common to all humanity: laughter is basic to the human condition. This talk explores the fundamental means of comedy, using examples throughout history to show the shared basis of humor and laughter.

  • Speaker – David Schildkret
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar                                              

Law and Civic Engagement

An Ethic of Service

This presentation aims to engage students in dialogue around civic service. Storyteller Caleb Winebrenner offers personal examples from his time serving in AmeriCorps, as well as excepts of famous speeches such as Washington’s Farewell Address, Kennedy’s 1960 speech at the University of Michigan (where he called for the creation of the Peace Corps), or Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream.” Students will use stories to connect these speeches to their own lives, as well as learn more about service programs after high school.

  • Speaker - Caleb Winebrenner
  • Presentation Type – Speaker in the Schools
Origins of Civil Rights

The phrase “civil rights” commonly appears in much public discussion. But what are “civil rights”? Where did they come from? Why do we have them? Civil rights in U. S. law have revolved around what, if any, personal characteristics should control the legal relation of an individual to others and to the community at large, particularly in regard to law’s recognition of what a person could and could not do, should and should not do, and the basis on which capacity and constraint rest. This presentation seeks to develop a picture of the legal principles and practices of civil rights as federal law during its formative period.

  • Speaker – T.J. Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Race and Law in U.S. History

Race has been much contested in U.S. history. Yet it has never been a single thing. Nor has it always been the same thing. Race has been part of a changing national identity. More personally, race has been part of variable individual identity. Who was white, who was Indian, who was black, for example, has not always had the same answer in U.S. history. Yet race has been a persistent element of identity. Every generation of Americans has wrestled with race as a defining issue. It has been long argued over in law. It has been crucial in national and local politics and has presented problems aplenty for government, public policy, and popular practice.

  • Speaker - T.J. Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
The U.S. Constitution: What It Says and How It Works

Most Americans think they know what the Constitution says but few have actually examined it. Here is an opportunity to review the concepts and composition of the document that functions as the legal foundation and framework of the nation. The Constitution provides principles for federal relations with the nation’s constituent states, citizens, and inhabitants. It has deployed a constitutional system called federalism. Its hallmarks have featured dual sovereignty, delegated and reserved powers, and guarantees of personal civil liberties and rights.

 

  • Speaker – T.J. Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools

 

Philosophy, Ethics and Religion

An Ethic of Service

This presentation aims to engage students in dialogue around civic service. Storyteller Caleb Winebrenner offers personal examples from his time serving in AmeriCorps, as well as excepts of famous speeches such as Washington’s Farewell Address, Kennedy’s 1960 speech at the University of Michigan (where he called for the creation of the Peace Corps), or Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream.” Students will use stories to connect these speeches to their own lives, as well as learn more about service programs after high school.

  • Speaker – Caleb Winebrenner
  • Presentation Type –   Speaker in the Schools
Mysticism – A Medieval Quest for Spiritual Epiphany

Throughout time, but especially in the Middle Ages, individuals have been graced with visions, i.e., personal experiences with God or other saintly beings. Since the twelfth century, European mystics (especially women), reported about out-of-body experiences in which their souls were graced with a direct, personal encounter with the Godhead, which granted them unique and unheard-of authority. This talk will explore the meaning/history of mysticism and present its salient features through music and images, reflecting on individuals such as Hildegard of Bingen oder Catherine of Siena. This talk addresses both religious phenomena and also highlights unique aspects  in women’s lives.

  • Speaker – Albrecht Classen
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
The Soul in Mayan, Andean, and Judeo-Christian Mystical Thought: Climbing the Universal Tree of Life

In world religious and spiritual traditions as distant as Central America, the Andes, and the Middle East, the concept of the soul and the axis of its universe, the Tree of Life, provide a unifying thread of thought. This lecture compares and contrasts images of the soul from the great mystical texts of Mayans, pre-Incan Andean peoples, Jews and Christians. The Popul Vuh of the Quiche Mayas of Guatemala, the Huarochiri manuscript of Peru’s Lurin Valley region, the Zohar of Judeo-Spanish Cabbalists, and the texts of Celtic Christian scholars,  provide different but not conflicting mirrors of the human soul and the World Tree to which it clings. This talk clarifies our human commonalities.

  • Speaker – Sharonah Fredrick
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
What has antiquity done for me?

You’ve heard that we should learn to “think outside the box.” Well, where exactly are the edges of that box? Who made it? And why? In this presentation, we’ll go back to the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose writings still form the basis for the stories we tell about ourselves. Ancient poetry, we’ll see, contains roots of today’s movies, songs—and even science! Choices made by people with names like “Aristotle” and “Hipparchus”—choices that could have been made differently—established the boundaries for much of our thinking to this day. Once we learn what these ancients did, we’ll be able both to use that “box” as a sturdy foundation and to step firmly outside it and innovate!

  • Speaker – Michael Tueller
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Witnessing a Jewish Revival in Eastern Europe

Description – After the tragedy of the Holocaust, the Jewish population in Eastern Europe was nearly extinguished.  However, since the collapse of Communism, there has been a small, yet significant revival of Jewish life in several countries.  For the first time in generations, young Jews are free to practice their faith without the fear of government interference or public persecution.  Synagogues are being rebuilt and congregations in some areas are growing.  This highly visual program chronicles the speaker’s extensive experiences with Jewish life in the region and reveals his optimism for a continued Jewish revival there.

  • Speaker – Dan Fellner
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar

Science, Technology & Culture (as it relates to the humanities)

Archaeology’s Deep Time Perspective on Environment and Social Sustainability

The deep time perspective that archaeology and related disciplines provide about natural hazards, environmental change, and human adaptation is a valuable supplement to historical records and can help modern societies make decisions affecting social sustainability and human safety. Examples include scientific evidence that virtually all prehistoric farming cultures in Arizona and the Southwest eventually surpassed their thresholds of sustainability, leading to collapse or reorganization of their societies; and archaeological and geological evidence of ancient earthquakes and tsunamis that should have been acknowledged when designing nuclear power plants damaged by the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

  • Speaker - Allen Dart
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Arizona Springs: 10,000 Points of Life

Springs are ecosystems that occur where groundwater reaches the Earth’s surface. Springs are generally small but are significant hotspots of biological and cultural diversity. In this talk, we will explore the great diversity of life forms that occupy Arizona springs, including rare plants, strange insects, and the remarkable group of Arizona fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals that dwell at springs. Living and preserved specimens will help illustrate the life of Arizona’s springs. This presentation will provide information about the natural history of, and will aid in understanding and improved management of springs.

  • Speaker - Lawrence Stevens
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Dramatic Science: Playing with Atoms in the Solar System

Drama was a key tool in communicating and understanding some of the more earth shattering discoveries and ideas in the realm of science.  Some scientists have used the genre of drama to communicate their theories and observations in order to avoid persecution and imprisonment.  Such was the case with Galileo.  Yet, he was not the only scientists to employ the humanities as a means of communicating his ideas which changed our understanding of the world we live.  Who else did this?  What other sciences have melded with drama to communicate?  This presentation will provide some of the answers.

  • Speaker – Ryan Davis
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Literature, Movies and Medicine

We will explore the interface between Medicine and Culture through a poem, two brief book passages, and a brief  audience “word association” participation. Participants will then share how their ideas about doctors and healthcare were shaped by the media and how those idealistic presentations differ from our personal experiences. Participants will be expected to do three short readings and reflect on them before the presentation, if possible.  We will share resources for further reading or study.

  • Speaker – Charles Daschbach MD MPH
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar
Music’s Healing Power

We have used music to aid healing but only recently have we understood how it works. Music has always been intricately involved in cultures, from lullabies to dirges, work songs to war songs, entertainment to music’s profound role in spiritual expression. There is no culture without it. Thought to have the power to heal the “soul,” it also relaxes and energizes us, inspire us to dance, aids our rites of passage. We now know it can significantly lessen pain, soothe anxiety and increase well-being for the injured and ill. Music is used to unlock secrets of the brain, healing processes and learning. What potential benefits can this mysterious phenomenon have for you?

  • Speaker – Janice Jarrett
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar, Speaker in the Schools
Rock Hounds and River Rats: The 1937 Carnegie-CalTech Grand Canyon Expedition

In 1937, a group of CalTech geology professors and hardy boatmen set out in small wooden boats on a 6 week journey through the Grand Canyon to study the ancient rocks of the canyon’s Inner Gorge.  At the time, fewer than a dozen river parties had successfully run the canyon – often with a loss of boats or crew.   Leveraging excerpts from several of the members’ trip journals – as well as original photographs and video footage – the presentation discusses the adventures, hardships, conflicts, and triumphs of this important, yet little-known, early science expedition.  The talk also sets the expedition in the context of earlier Grand Canyon river trips and the study of the area’s geology.

  • Speaker – Erik Berg
  • Presentation Type – Road Scholar