Upcoming Humanities Washington programs
Come learn something new about feminism, ancient food, human migration, race relations and much more in several Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau programs at our libraries this fall!
The speakers offer not only expertise in their field but also the ability to inspire meaningful discussion with people from a variety of backgrounds.
Here's the lineup of programs in our libraries:
The Ancient Fruitcake: What Really Really Old Food Tells Us About History, Culture, Love and Memory
This talk is not about leftovers in your fridge. Discover the foods archeologists have found buries with mummies. the petrified banana so appealing it sparked a Banana Museum, the 350-year-old fruitcake handed down through generations, 2000-year-old bog butter and more. Author and broadcaster Harriet Baskas talks about how these vintage vittles can hold memories, tell stories and connect us with family, culture and history.
- Chelan Public Library: Tuesday, Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m.
- Leavenworth Public Library: Thursday, Dec. 6, 6:30 p.m.
- Moses Lake Public Library: Monday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m.
The Long Haul: Stories of Human Migration
For more than 200,000 years, homo sapiens have been moving around the planet, sometimes drawn and sometimes driven
by a host of natural and man-made forces: drought, floods, crop failure, war, the quest for survival, or the hope of a better future. Examine the roots and the routes of human migration with scholar David Fenner, an affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington's Jackson School of International Studies.
- Brewster Public Library: Thursday, Oct. 25, 6 p.m.
The High Road: Fighting Selfishness through Dialogue
Many of us fall into habitual patterns of selfishness when speaking with others: interrupting, not listening, and constantly shifting the conversation to ourselves. Professor Tony Osborne traces dialogue to its ancient roots and discusses its pre-conditions, such as the necessity of quieting the ego and suppressing the urge to "one up" the other. Cultivating an ability and desire to engage in meaningful dialogue teaches humility and broadens a person's horizons. Osborn is a professor of communication studies at Gonzaga University.
- Manson Public Library: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 6 p.m.
- Moses Lake Public Library: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 6 p.m.
Writing in the Margins: Transforming the Stories We Tell About Race
Professor Jessica Maucione talks about literature, film and popular culture that celebrate white characters in contrast to — and often at the expense of — black and brown characters whose dehumanization is sometimes blatant but often times subtle. She talks about ways we can seek out narratives that counter this white-centered approach with the goal of making us more connected human beings. Maucione is an associate professor of English and women's and gender studies at Washington State University.
- Wenatchee Public Library: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 6:30 p.m.
Diamonds in the Ether: Tuning in to Northwest Radio History
Look and listen back to the people, stations and stories that made radio broadcasting a vital part of the culture of the Pacific Northwest. With a mixture of vintage audio, historic images, and expert storytelling, radio historian and broadcaster Feliks Banel revisits the power of radio in the Evergreen State then and now, and looks ahead to the unpredictable future of local radio in our communities. Banel is a broadcaster, filmmaker, lecturere and historian and has been a host and contributor for KIRO radio on matters of Northwest history and culture for many years.
- Cashmere Public Library: Friday, Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m.
- Wenatchee Public Library: Thursday, Nov. 8, 6:30 p.m.
A Fierce Language: Falling In Love With Poetry
As children we are enchanted by the stories, humor, absurdity and rhyming cadences of nursery rhymes. But as we get older, too often our appreciation for poems dissolves as we struggle to deconstruct their meaning line by line. As a result, many come to believe that poetry is inaccessible and too much like hard work. Drawing on diverse poets, writer and performer Judith Adams takes us on a journey to rediscover the music, power, humor and strength of poetry, showing how it can radically enhance, change and even save our lives. Adams is an English-born poet who has lived in the U.S. since 1976.
- Quincy Public Library: Saturday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m.
The Good Game: On the Moral Value of Sports
Join philosopher Mike VanQuickenborne for a deeper exploration of our obsession with sports. What makes something a sport? Is competition more helpful or harmful? What makes sports admirable? Is being a fan really a good thing? Explore the philosophical implications of sports, what they say about our culture, and the ways in which they can reveal our full humanity. VanQuickenborne is a tenured philosophy instructor at Everett Community College, as well as a former competitive swimmer and water polo coach.
- Cashmere Public Library: Thursday, Dec. 6, 6 p.m.
- Manson Public Library: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6 p.m.
- Quincy Public Library: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 6 p.m.
Not Just For Kids: How Children's Literature Inspires Bold Conversations
Children's books are often beloved by children, sparking their imaginations and providing warmths and comfort. But children's literature can also inspire adults — helping us imagine ourselves in a new way and think about society from a new perspective. University of Washington lecturer Anu Taranath will showcase children's books from around the world and how they help adults navigate our complicated wold. Taranath is a senior lecturer specializing in global literature, identity, race and equity.
- Moses Lake Public Library: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 6 p.m.
- Quincy Public Library: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m.
The Truth and I: Reading Betty MacDonald in the Age of Memoir
Betty MacDonald burst onto the American literary scene in 1945 with her memoir The Egg and I, a tartly witty tale about operating a chicken ranch on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. During its first year in print, the wildly popular book sold one copy every 22 seconds. But during a 1951 libel suit, MacDonald testified that she'd made up nearly all of the so-called autobiography, something her readers did not seem to mind. Journalist and biographer Paula Becker ponders how MacDonald's kind of nonfiction relates to the popular genre of memoirs today and what does "truth" in memoir really mean.
- Quincy Public Library: Monday, Dec. 17, 6 p.m.
- Wenatchee Public Library: Sunday, Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.