Humanities Festival Schedule | Casper College, Wyoming

Humanities Festival Schedule

2019 schedule

Tuesday, February 12

5 p.m.
  • Location: Natrona County Library
  • Book Club: "In the Grove" Facilitated by Joseph Campbell, Ph.D., this discussion will review the short story that inspired "Rashomon." Casper College actors, under the director of William Conte, Ph.D. will perform scenes to enhance the review of this literary work.

Wednesday, February 20

10 a.m.

Living Library

  • Location: Goodstein Foundation Library, Casper College
  • 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, viewpoints different from their own, and life experiences that may challenge their own ways of thinking, all within a safe and positive atmosphere at the Goodstein Foundation Library. Refreshments will be provided during the Living Library event for both books and readers. Readers must register at the circulation desk, second floor, for books. Doors open/check-in begins at 9:30 a.m.

"Missus Victoria's Sons: Around the World with the British Army 1837-1901"

  • Location: Goodstein Foundation Library Classroom, Casper College
  • Presented by: Lance Jones
  • The sun never set on the British Empire and the red-coated soldiers who policed it spread their culture and mores where they went and brought those of the lands in which they served home to Britain. This session gives a brief look at the lands and wars of the Victorian era, and the attitudes of "Tommy Atkins," the British soldier of the time.
1 p.m.

"Avoiding Cultural Appropriation" workshop

  • Location: Goodstein Foundation Library Classroom, Casper College
  • Presented by: Darrell Wagner 
  • The session will begin with a definition and examples of cultural appropriation. The workshop leader will then walk through how this concept applies to the arts. The session will then move into a Q and A with discussion to follow.

Thursday, February 21

9:15 a.m.

Welcome, Darren Divine, Ph.D., Casper College president

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
9:30 a.m.

"Traveling with Puccini: A Look at the Settings from Puccini's Operas"

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Veronica Turner 
  • Giacomo Puccini is one of the world's most popular composers, with several of his 12 operas ranking in the top 10 most performed works in the world today. In terms of setting, several of his works are considered "exotic" in location, such as "Turandot" in China, "Madame Butterfly" in Japan, "La fanciulla del West" in California, and "Edgar" in Belgium, as well as the others set in a variety of times and places throughout the rest of Europe. We will explore the world through his operas! 
10:30 a.m.

"Buzzin' Around the Sugar: Cultural Significance of Bees and Honey from Mesoamerica to Mesopotamia"

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Will Robinson, Ph.D.
  • The worldwide cultural significance of bees and honey is vast. The Koran celebrates the value of honey, and Buddhist festivals revere the giant honey bee of Southern Asia. The Mayas deified the stingless "Royal Lady Bee." Many species of bees produce honey, and the hives in which people keep them have evolved from ancient Greece to modern times. The archaeology of beekeeping includes 10,000-year-old rock paintings of honey hunting and depictions of bees on ancient tombs and temples.
11:45 a.m.

Demorest Acknowledgment and Presentation


Keynote: "Exploring the Seven Wonders of the Modern World"

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Barbara Mueller, Ph.D.
  • In 2007, millions of voters worldwide selected the new seven wonders of the world which include the Great Wall, China; the Taj Mahal, India; Petra, Jordan; the Colosseum, Italy; Christ the Redeemer statue, Brazil; Machu Picchu, Peru; and Chichen Itza, Mexico. Mueller, who has personally visited each of these sites, will take you on a photographic journey to explore why these "wonders" were chosen and how their current popularity and environmental degradation may jeopardize their survival.
1:30 p.m.

"Writing the Way West: British Authors on the Union Pacific"

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Caroline McCracken-Flesher, Ph.D.
  • 2019 sees the 150th anniversary of the completion of Union Pacific's Transcontinental Railroad. With the line newly complete, Robert Louis Stevenson and Oscar Wilde rode the rails through Wyoming. What did they see? This illustrated talk contrasts their attitudes to those of John Wesley Powell, who in the same era floated down the Grand Canyon from Green River. In a remarkable landscape that resisted easy description, what Stevenson and Wilde found tells us a lot about those landscapes.
2:30 p.m.

"Michio Ito's Living Legacy"

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Aaron M. Wood
  • Michio Ito, a Japanese born American choreographer, lived an adventurous life filled with activism and creation. With the Ito Foundation's permission, the session will include a historical overview of this "forgotten pioneer of American Modern Dance" as well as a performance by Casper College dance majors. Ito's codified technique has spanned time and has connected countless generations and diverse communities. The session concludes with a premiere of an original work by Casper College Dance Instructor Aaron M. Wood.
7:30 p.m.


  • Location: Thomas H. Empey Studio Theatre, Gertrude Krampert Center for Theater and Dance, Casper College
  • Presented by: The Casper College Department of Theater and Dance
  • This English adaptation of a classic Japanese film will be staged in the vibrant, colorful style of Kabuki. The stories of a murdered samurai, his victimized wife, and a roving bandit collide in court. Each version of the crime is played before the audience. Tickets available at

Friday, February 22

9 a.m.

"One Pilgrim's Progress on the Camino de Santiago"

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Holly M. Wendt, Ph.D. 
  • The Camino de Santiago, the Way of Saint James, is an ancient pilgrimage route leading to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. Popularized in the Middle Ages, the Camino still attracts pilgrims both secular and sacred from all over the world. In this presentation, Wendt will explore the rich tapestry of history, art, and cultural exchange on the Camino de Santiago and reflect on personal experiences as a pilgrim, scholar, and writer.
10 a.m.

"African Roots: The Blues in American Music"

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Teague Bechtel
  • The blues is a distinctly American music form that traces its roots directly to the African diaspora resulting from the slave trade. The distinct combination of major and minor tonality gives blues the unique sound that has permeated American music. In this presentation, the speaker will discuss the origins of the music, how it was preserved in African-American culture, the development into modern music, and finally its impact on the genres of American music.
11 a.m.

"La Muerte: Death and Life in Mexico"

  • Location: Wheeler Concert Hall, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Eric Atkins
  • Mexico is our next-door neighbor. And, ironically, it is a country about which we have many misconceptions. This session seeks to shed light on some of those misconceptions, one of which - El Día de los Muertos - is currently having a moment in the United States. Through a journey that will highlight the origins, practices, and symbolism of the holiday, this lecture will bring death out of the shadows and embrace the beauty of la muerte as a part of life.

"Three Continents"

  • Location: Mildred Zahradnicek Gallery and Jean D. and H.A. (Dave) True Jr. Atrium, Music Building, Casper College
  • Presented by: Jacek Bogucki
  • Photographer and filmmaker Jacek Bogucki will display images from his travels to Poland, images of the Amazon sponsored by National Geographic, and visions of Peru.