Humanities Festival Schedule

Updated: February 23

Wednesday, Feb. 22

11 a.m.

Living Library

  • Location: Casper College, Goodstein Foundation Library
  • Living Libraries, Human Libraries, or Living Book Libraries are all names for similar projects – libraries where instead of checking out a traditional book and reading its story, you borrow a person and have a conversation about their story. The purpose of the Living Library is to promote conversation, encourage understanding, and foster a culture of inclusivity. Participants should expect to encounter perspectives they have never before considered, all within a safe and positive atmosphere at the library. A light lunch will be provided during the Living Library event for both books and readers.

Trans Wife: My First Year as the Spouse of a Trans Woman

  • Location: Casper College, Goodstein Foundation Library
  • Presented by: Kristen Lenth
  • Gender identity and sexual orientation are recent topics in politics and media. There has been much discussion about transgender people and their roles in society, but what about their families and relationships? This presentation will delve into Lenth's experiences as the wife of a trans woman. She will talk about discoveries she made about herself in terms of personality, sexual orientation, and priorities. Following the lecture, there will be significant time for questions and discussion.
1 p.m.

One Sister and Six Brothers

  • Location: Casper College, Goodstein Foundation Library
  • Presented by: Tammy Frankland, Ph.D.
  • Growing up with four brothers and finding two brothers later in life confirms that identity is always changing not only for Frankland as an individual but also for her mother, father, brothers, and family. Humor, tragedy, and everything in between will be explored through anecdotes and visuals about her relationship with each brother and her exploration of what makes her story unique and universal.
2 p.m.

The Veteran Identity

  • Location: Casper College, Goodstein Foundation Library
  • Presented by: Hugh Martin
  • Many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have returned home and attempted to adjust and acclimate to civilian life. Martin will discuss the various stereotypes and pressures placed upon veterans and the way in which he has both learned how to sometimes understate his military experience and also, sometimes falsely, capitalize upon it. He will discuss aspects related to veterans including the Stolen Valor Act and the work of Ernest Hemingway and Tim O'Brien.
3 p.m.

Not Trained To Be A Veteran

  • Location: Casper College, Goodstein Foundation Library
  • Presented by: John Goss
  • Over the course of America's history, war veterans have been a highly recognizable sector of society. Pulled to extremes by society, veterans are often accused of being excessive entitlement beneficiaries on one hand and heroes of the highest order on the other. The appellation "veteran" evolves in definition. Within the military itself though, the use of the title is presently (often heatedly) debated. Note: This presentation does not represent the opinion of the Wyoming Veterans Commission or the State of Wyoming.
4 p.m.

Reception in the Veterans Center, library lower level

Thursday, Feb. 23

8:45 - 9 a.m.

Welcome to the Humanities Festival

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: President Darren Divine, Ph.D., Casper College
9 a.m.

The Struggle For and Over Identity in Modern Europe

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Erich Frankland
  • For much of its history, the countries and peoples of the European continent have been embroiled in ongoing struggles over the creation and realization of political identity. The impact of European integration in all its facets has accentuated the often-conflictual nature of individual and group identity in the continent, countries, and regions of modern Europe. An illustrative comparison of select European countries and regions and their struggles over political identity will be utilized to underscore the complexities and seriousness of this topic.
10 a.m.

Jean Sibelius and the "Kalevala:" A Finnish National Identity Forged With Epic Poetry and Music

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Zachary Vreeman, D.M.A.
  • For 700 years, the land that is now Finland served as a sort of battlefield between Sweden and Russia, and its people merely vassals of foreign rulers. By 1800 there were only two paths ahead for the Finnish people: gradually assimilate into Russia, or finally seek independence with a strong national identity. Nationalism won out, as the Finns rallied around their national epic, the "Kalevala," and the music of Jean Sibelius. The Casper College choirs will provide musical examples.
11 a.m.

"Passing" as a Writer: James Weldon Johnson and the Identity of the Artist

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Arielle Zibrak, Ph.D.
  • James Weldon Johnson, the African American dean of letters and leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance, was a busy man. In addition to his many careers, he diligently shepherded the careers of many up-and-coming black artists and writers. Johnson's commitment to cultural education and arts advocacy was part of a larger, philosophically coherent program to better the social condition of African Americans that was, somewhat counterintuitively, at odds with the more politically overt agendas of his peers, as Johnson advocated an agenda that was closer to art-for-art's-sake.
12:05-12:10 p.m.

Margaret Demorest's "Essay Toward Understanding: The Value of Values."

  • Introduction by: Shirley Jacob
  • Welcome by: Director Shannon Smith, Wyoming Humanities Council
  • Reading by: Audrey Cotherman
12:15-1:15 p.m.

Keynote Demorest Presentation

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Kate Bornstein
2 p.m. - rescheduled for Friday at 9 a.m.

Researcher Identity and Participant Representation: Humanistic Concerns in Social Science Research

  • Presented by: Evin Rodkey, Ph.D.
3 p.m. - rescheduled for Friday at 2:15 p.m.

Embroidery, Clothing, and Feminine Identity in Jewish Yemen

  • Presented by: India Hayford
7:30 p.m.

"The Rover"

  • Location: McMurry Mainstage, Gertrude Krampert Center for Theater and Dance, Casper College
  • Directed by: William Conte, Ph.D.
  • Tickets:
  • "The Rover" is set in Naples during Carnivale. This Restoration comedy by the first woman in the English language "forced to write for bread and not ashamed to own it," is a baroque farce rife with masks, mistaken identities, sexual intrigue, and plot complications that keep the characters guessing and the audience delighted until the final curtain. "The Rover" contains sexually suggestive scenes and language that some audiences might find offensive.

Friday, February 24

9 a.m.

Walking in Two Worlds

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Marlin Farley
  • Marlin Farley is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) healer. He has a master's degree in marriage and family counseling and has provided both traditional and Western-based psychotherapy and addictions treatment. As a Native man he constantly walks in both the red world and the white world. In a partnership with the Casper College Department of Addictionology, he will present on his "identity."
9 a.m. (rescheduled from Thursday)

Researcher Identity and Participant Representation: Humanistic Concerns in Social Science Research

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Evin Rodkey, Ph.D.
  • Cultural anthropologist Evin Rodkey chronicles and analyzes struggles with his researcher identity in conducting a study with long-term legal permanent residents of the U.S. after they faced deportation to the Dominican Republic. He explores the imbalance of power entailed in his privileged position to study these people and control how their stories are represented, framing this issue as an inherent problem in social science research. Simultaneously, and with necessary ambivalence, this engagement will both enlighten and further contribute to the problem.
10 a.m.

The Pragmatic and Dramatic: Identity in Opera As Explored Through Gender Roles and Mistaken Identity

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Veronica Turner
  • The concept of identity is at the forefront of any opera plot. This session will look at identity from two different viewpoints: those of gender identity and mistaken identity within an opera. From the practice of using castrati and counter tenors, as well as female "pants" roles, famous operas with gender identity challenges will be explored. Additionally, several opera that utilize "mistaken identity" as a plot device will be discussed and how these mistakes impact the overall plot and our perception of certain characters and situations. There will be many audio and video examples included to highlight these points!
11 a.m.

Finding Our Future in a Quest for Hidden History

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Danny M. Cohen, Ph.D.
  • How did research on marginalized victimhoods of Holocaust history lead to the construction of "Train," a young adult novel about intersecting events and overlapping identities? How did discoveries of hidden stories lead to questions about the marginalization of specific atrocities from our collective memory of the Holocaust – atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis against the Roma, the disabled, homosexuals, political enemies, and many others? Why were these stories silenced, and how can we unsilence them?
12:30 p.m.

My Identity as an Artist

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Gallery talk presented by: Karen Henneck, artist
  • Henneck will discuss the artist's mind, and how it is often misunderstood by the general population. She will share her story from the first days of school where she could not fit into the mold expected of her, how she "colored outside the lines," and tell how others tried to change her but could not since her creativity was so ingrained in her identity. Through her paintings and her story she will show how she came to embrace her creative self and the uniqueness she realized everyone has.

1 p.m.

RedStone Recital with the Helios Trio

  • Chi-Chen Wu, piano; John Fadial, violin; Beth Vanderborgh, cello
  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • In conjunction with the 32nd annual Humanities Festival the Helios Trio concert is free and open to the public!
  • The Helios Trio brings a new perspective to the theme of identity with a concert of diverse piano trios. National Identity comes into play with all three works, featuring German, American and French musical idioms. The three performers will also demonstrate the importance of individual identity and individual sound and expression, within the context of a collaborative whole.
1 p.m.

Professional Development Workshop: How to Unsilence Hidden Human Rights

  • Location: Casper College Center for Excellence, Rm. 126, Thorson Institute of Business, Casper College
  • Led by: Danny M. Cohen, Ph.D.
  • Why and how do individual and collective memories of human rights and social justice become taboo? How can we "unsilence" our hidden stories? How can we help each other have difficult conversations, and what are the implications of these conversations on individuals, communities, cultures, and institutions? What happens when those taboos begin to break?
2:15 p.m. (rescheduled from Thursday)

Embroidery, Clothing, and Feminine Identity in Jewish Yemen

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: India Hayford
  • When women were forced to abandon their embroidered textiles during the 1949-1950 airlifts of Jews out of Yemen to Israel, they left behind precious symbols of regional, familial, and personal identity. The Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO) established cottage industries for Yemenite Jewish embroiderers, modifying the traditional embroidery to decorate household items and clothing without regard for its original cultural significance. The result was Israeli Yemenite embroidery, a style that came to identify Israeli society in the mid-20th century.

Saturday, February 25

7 p.m.

thinkWY Insight

The Lyric, 230 W. Yellowstone, Downtown Casper

  • Emcee: Micah Schweizer, Wyoming Public Radio
  •  The Wyoming Humanities Counsil will host speakers who have a story of Insight to tell. From the tragic to the hilarious, from the historical to the personal, and from the everyday to the extraordinary, we are interested in stories about how people have changed the way they think about and approach the world around them. This lively event features seven-minute sessions.