Humanities Iowa Speakers Bureau brings insightful lectures and programs in the humanities to various organizations in Iowa including: senior centers, museums, libraries, businesses, and other organizations. Programs cover a range of topics, most commonly politics, literature, folklore, and Iowa history.
Upcoming programs include:
Iowans Who Fought Against the Union (David Connon)
Most Iowans think that the state was solidly pro-Union during the Civil War. After all, some 75,000 residents fought for the North. In reality, many Iowa Democrats formed a spectrum of dissent. The majority of Democrats opposed abolishing slavery (and yet favored the Union war effort); the minority sympathized with the Confederacy. Of this group, at least 25 Iowa residents served the Confederacy. This talk will focus on five of them. David Connon will explore their motivations and describe their pre-war, war-time, and post-war experiences. He will also explore why their stories have been largely unknown for the past 150 years.
The Not So Quiet Librarian (Tom Milligan)
What state fired the shot heard round the world - the library world, that is? Iowa! Who was the man that fired that shot? Forrest Spaulding. In 1938, Forrest Spaulding wrote the Library Bill of Rights, which was adopted by the American Library Council in 1938, and in Spaulding's own words "means as much today as it did yesterday and will tomorrow." Spaulding served as director of the Des Moines Public Library from 1917 to 1919 and again from 1927 to 1952. His story, however, is bigger than Des Moines, bigger even than Iowa. A recognized leader in the library world, Spaulding's words and his life touched everyone who loves not just books, but freedom of expression. This one man play about Spaulding, written by Cynthia Mercati, nationally known playwright, and performed by Tom Milligan, runs about 30 minutes and portrays Spaulding with the gentle, good humor, he was known for, as well as his devotion to the library and to civil rights. Spaulding was a very unquiet librarian and the play shows what good one man can do in the world.
Landscape Iowa: Poems of James Hurst Sung (Scott Cawelti)
Scott Cawelti explores the life and poetry of Iowa farmer-poet James Hearst, having been Hearst’s student and colleague from 1968 through Hearst’s death in 1983. Cawelti will perform several of Hearst’s poems he has set to music, accompanying himself on acoustic steel-string guitar, chosen from these sixteen poems: “After the People Go,” “Forsythia,” “Green Voice,” “Hog Economy,” “Landscape Iowa,” “The Malicious Spirit of Machines,” “Orchard Man,” “Seventy Times Seven,” “Snake in the Strawberries,” “The Movers,” “Truth,” “What is a Cow?” “Whatever Happened?” “When a Neighbor Dies,” and “Who, Who?”
For more information, dates, times, and locations, check out Humanities Iowa Calendar of Events.