2024 Humanities Festival Schedule

February 20, Tuesday, Goodstein Foundation Library

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Living Library

Living Libraries, Human Libraries, or Living Book Libraries are all names for similar projects. These are libraries where, instead of checking out a book in the traditional/digital manner and reading its story, you check-in to a person and have a conversation about their story with a group of other readers. Readers may include Casper College students, staff, and community members. 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 Casper College Library. Short sessions with presenters include time for questions and answers.


Goodstein Foundation Library Classroom 215

11:00 a.m. Cat Urbigkit, Wyoming Rancher and Author

Wyoming Transhumance

Cat Urbigkit will talk about transhumance, the seasonal movement of people and livestock, and how this ancient practice connects humans and both domestic and wild animals in working landscapes.

12:30 p.m. Russell J. Hawley, Education Specialist, Tate Geological Museum
Paint Like a Caveman: The Techniques and Science Behind Ice Age Artwork   

Woolly mammoths and cave bears have been extinct for millennia, but there are several lines of evidence that allow artists to depict these creatures with a surprising degree of accuracy. Discoveries of fossil skeletons, some of them nearly complete, permit reconstruction of the animal using the principles of comparative anatomy, while evidence from frozen carcasses and from cave paintings allow palæoartists to construct a vivid and detailed picture of animal life during the Ice Age.


Natrona County Library

Ethnology of Casper’s Sandbar exhibition curated by Librarian and Archivist Hanz Olson with Casper College Museum Studies Student Rae Mann

5:00 p.m. Book Club, Crawford Room, Natrona County Library
This is What it Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You, Susan Rogers Complimentary books are available at the NCL and the Casper College Goodstein Foundation Library. After January 1, 2024, first come, first serve.


February 21, Wednesday, Goodstein Foundation Library Classroom 215

10:00 a.m. Adam A. Blackler, Ph.D. The University of Wyoming
Nazi Germany and the Racial State: “Cumulative Radicalization” and the Twisted Road to Auschwitz

Racism and antisemitism alone did not propel Adolf Hitler into political power in 1933. Much to the contrary, most women and men who supported the Nazis did so for their campaign message of “Freedom, Work, and Bread.” And yet, after only a few weeks as chancellor, Hitler moved to craft Germany into a dictatorial and racial state. This lecture will explore how Hitler advanced racist policies in Germany without a broad social mandate and question why so many citizens seemingly accepted these decrees voluntarily.

11:00 a.m. Ricia Anne Chansky, Ph.D., University of Puerto Rico
Nature’s Witness: Storytelling for the Future

Based upon her work with storytelling for social justice in the Puerto Rican archipelago, Chansky’s talk will discuss some of the benefits of narrative transactions for the storyteller, the engaged listener, and the environment with a focus on how storytelling can actively help humans and the natural world.


Wheeler Hall, Music Building

12:00 p.m. Jodi Youmans-Jones, M.F.A. Casper College Dance
Human/Nature Movement Workshop

Movement is part of Human Nature from invitro until death. Our bodies move from very early inception and continue to thrive through movement until our last breath. As we move, we solicit endorphins, mental engagement and memories. We breathe better, we feel better, and our memories are released into the current state of our human being. This workshop will start with some breathing exercises to open our pathways and continue into some movement ideas creating a sense of community and shared experiences. Our movements will connect us with the most visceral human experience and open our bodies and minds to the moment at hand through natural communal movement and circles. All ages are welcome so please come and find your space, find your being and naturally move into the 2024 year!!

5:30 p.m. Demorest Keynote Lecture Susan Rogers, Ph.D., Berklee College of Music
The Music of Listening

Live Event: Link

The recorded session is available on Casper College YouTube.
For more with Dr. Susan Rogers, please look for “What’s Your Why?” podcast through Wyoming Humanities next week!

Offline thoughts such as fantasizing and mind-wandering increase their connectivity when listeners enjoy their favorite songs. The music we respond to the most powerfully can reveal those parts of ourselves that are robustly linked to our sense of self. Our music preferences are formed over a lifetime of musical experiences, resulting in a profile that is unique for every music lover. The ways in which music preferences form and how they differ will be discussed.


February 22, Thursday


Wheeler Hall Music Building

11:00 a.m. Tina Opp, Visual Artist
Wonder Room, A collection of nature exhibition

Wonder Room is a ceramic exhibition that celebrates joy and curiosity sparked by the discovery of artifacts, exploring what is lost and what remains in the process of erosion and the passing of time. Tina Opp’s ceramic collections on mixed-media displays are designed to elicit feelings of recognition: to compel a desire to touch, feel, and know.

11:45 a.m. Wonder Room Exhibition Mildred Zarahnicek Art Gallery / Catered Lunch
Reception in True Atrium

12:30 p.m. Anthony Gamroth, Dance Choreographer
Opera Wyoming Presents Gnossiènne and Rabbit a play by David Foxton

The French word gnossiènne is used to describe a composition that has a dance like quality. The first half of the program is an expression of nature through the high arts of classical music, opera, and dance which segues into a production of Rabbit, a play about survivors left in the wake of a catastrophic world ending event. As these people compete with nature, we see how there is hope for art and humanity in their survivalist culture.


Werner Wildlife Museum

2:00 p.m. Valerie Bayer, Environmental Educator
Nature Journaling – Get Curious!

Join Valerie Bayer, founder of Northern Rockies Nature Journaling, for this introduction to the principals, techniques and joys of nature journaling. Learn to connect with nature using a journal, curiosity, art, science and focused attention. Discover how this practice leads to a better understanding of our natural world.  Nature journaling does not require any skills. It’s easy, engaging  and will provide a community which studies nature through journaling.

3:30-4:45 p.m. Julia Whyde, Ph.D., Casper College
Sense Practice and Place

Observing well determines the extent to which we are either in consonnance with the world around us or just passing through. Because observing well is an exercise in presence, the extent to which we can be learn to be sensually (as in the five senses) aware of our surroundings determines the human/nature connections we are able to make.  In this workshop, Whyde will introduce the audience to the work of Januchowski-Hartley et al. (2018), an exploration of the benefit of careful observations and the construction of haiku as a means of communication for conservation science concepts. Participants will practice the art of observing well and translating their observations of the Werner Museum space into haiku.

5:00 p.m. Museum Reception for the Humanities Festival

Casper College Leland and Barbara Scifers Dance Performance Theatre
Krampert Center for Theatre and Dance
7:30 p.m. Pencils Down!

Pencils Down! is a contemporary dance performance comprised of a collection of vignettes each with a theme of a school-related scenario or idea, conceived, directed, and choreographed, by Amy Fitzsimmons. The concert will highlight the vibrant and playful world of adolescents while also underlining the unique structure that schooling provides. Audiences will warmly remember days past- the good, the bad, the awkward and the downright boring. Watch and learn how Pencils Down! summons your inner-child, sharpens your mind, and draws your attention. Don’t
be tardy!


February 24, Saturday, Natrona County Library

1-4 p.m. for the Library Family Afternoon

NCL Family Afternoon: Pizza, Movie, and a Craft