Kentucky Writer, Columnist
634 Robertson Road South
Murray, KY 42071
Work Phone: (270) 753-9279
History & Writing
Kilroy Was Here: Children on the Home Front, World War II
On December 7, 1941, the USA was plunged into World War II; life changed for everyone, including the children on the home front. Kilroy Was Here tells stories of one Kentucky family through soldiers' letters, a recipe, radio advertisements, and a series of oral history interviews conducted with people who were growing up during that turbulent time. Ms. Alexander's presentation features excerpts from her book, Kilroy Was Here, and allows time for questions and discussion of oral history as a way to capture family history and community stories that should not be forgotten.
Journey Stories: Celebrating the Rich Cultural Heritage of Between the Rivers
When dams and bridges were built and the land between the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers in western Kentucky and Tennessee became Land Between the Lakes, the history and heritage of Between the Rivers communities was disrupted. Families that lived on land that had been handed down the generations since the end of the American Revolution were forced to move, leaving behind homes, businesses, schools and even churches. Constance Alexander conducted scores of oral history interviews with former residents of Between the Rivers and wrote and edited a documentary radio series based on the interviews. The presentation celebrates the cultural heritage of the people and communities, and focuses on the challenges overcome by the people displaced.
Thomas G. Barnes, Ph.D.
Extension Professor & Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Forestry
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40546
Work Phone: (859) 257-8633
Wildlife & Environment
Wildflower Myths and Realities
Take a wonderful journey into the fascinating world of wild plants and see how man and plants have affected each other throughout history. There is a long and interesting history of plants and people dating back thousands of years and this program will glean some information on some of the wildflowers that are used for food or fiber, some that are used for medicine, some that have interesting stories behind their names. The program will answer questions like what is the most toxic plant in the forest? How did Little Gopher affect the name of the Indian paintbrush? Is ginseng really good for you? Outstanding photography will accompany the various stories, fables, and information presented.
2307 Richardsville Road
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Home Phone: (270) 202-0228
Culture & Cuisine
Kentucky BBQ from the Big Muddy to Appalachia
Kentucky's mom and pop barbecue joints serve some of the most soulful food you can find. The pit tenders and owners (often the same person) burn a lot of hardwood and work long hours to delight us with their smoky arts. From 2009-2012, Dr. Wes Berry hit the blue highways of Kentucky to eat the barbecue and interview the pitmasters. He features his favorite places in The Kentucky Barbecue Book. Berry will talk about regional styles of Kentucky barbecue and the colorful people he met during his journeys; offer a slideshow featuring the people, pits, and plates; and share selections from the book.
Kentucky's Environmental Heritage: A Literary Perspective
Kentucky’s natural resources — water, forests, coal, fertile farmland, and wildlife — have been celebrated in art from John James Audubon to James Archambeault. This gift of good land has also brought conflict to the Commonwealth — disagreements on how to best manage and use these resources. Various Kentucky writers have responded to the land issues in fiction, poetry, and essays. This talk surveys Kentucky’s environmental literary legacy, focusing on key conflicts and writers of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Charles H. Bogart
Frankfort Parks & Historical Sites
201 Pin Oak Place
Frankfort, KY 40601
Work Phone: (502) 682-9491
Home Phone: (502) 227-2436
Guarding the Kentucky Central Railroad 1861-1865
The Kentucky Central Railroad ran from Covington via Falmouth, Paris, and Lexington to Nicholasville. It was the railhead for Camp Nelson. The rail line was twice attacked by John Hunt Morgan's command and heavily damaged during the occupation of Central Kentucky by General Kirby Smith's Confederate Army. The Battle of Cynthiana centered around the protection of the Kentucky Central. The great failure of Morgan's 1864 Raid was that while he capture Lexington, Union forces prevented him from destroying the city's railroad shops. This presentation covers the importance of the Kentucky Central to the war effort, the attacks upon it, and the defensive fortifications built to defend the line.
Streetcar and Interurban Lines of Kentucky 1850-1950
Louisville was the first city in Kentucky to have a horsecar line and Covington the last city to have street-car service. Between 1850 and 1950, Paducah, Bowling Green, Owensboro, Henderson, Louisville, Frankfort, Covington, Newport, Georgetown, Lexington, Richmond, Winchester, Maysville, Somerset, Barbourville, Middlesboro, and Ashland all had streetcar service. Interurban lines tied Ashland to Huntington, West Virginia, and Ironton, Ohio; Lexington to Paris, Georgetown, Versailles, Frankfort and Nicholasville; Louisville to Shelbyville and LaGrange; and Henderson to Evansville, Indiana. This talk provides a short history by each city of the operations of each streetcar and interurban line in Kentucky. A map provided for each city showing where the lines ran, and supporting photos show the cars that operated in that city.
Spencer & Linda Brewer
15632 US 431 N
Central City, KY 42330
Work Phone: (270) 543-5326
Home Phone: (270) 754-9317
Kentucky Flags = Kentucky History
This presentation will explore some of Kentucky's most famous flags, using them as a teaching tool in the discussion of Kentucky's history. A few of the flags featured in the discussion include:
• THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER: The United States flag consisting of fifteen stars and fifteen stripes. At the time of it's use it was commonly known as The Kentucky Flag.
• 20th KENTUCKY VOL. INF U.S. FLAG: The 20th Kentucky's Flag was presented by "The Loyal Ladies" of Lexington and is so inscribed.
• 4TH KENTUCKY CONFEDERATE INFANTRY: This flag was preserved after the battle of Jonesburg, Georgia, by Mrs. Bettie Phillips of Uniontown, Kentucky. Mrs. Phillips was the wife of Capt. William S. Phillips, and officer of the Fourth Kentucky.
Kentucky Civil War Flags: Union & Confederate
This presentation will discuss Civil War flags and look at Mrs. Bettie Phillips of Union County Kentucky. Mrs. Phillips was able to smuggle the 4th Kentucky C.S.A. flag through Union lines and save it for posterity. It now resides in the Kentucky Historical Society Collection in Frankfort.
Roberta Simpson Brown
11906 Lilac Way
Louisville, KY 40243
Work Phone: (502) 244-1291
Home Phone: (502) 244-0022
Ghosts in Kentucky's Heritage and Tradition
This talk will provide true Kentucky ghost stories from Brown's books that will entertain and remind audiences of customs and beliefs that comprise an important part of our heritage. Beekeeping, weather, forecasting, turkey drives, pie suppers, berry picking, and chivarees are just some of the subjects that come from an almost forgotten way of life. This combination o ghostly commentary and ghostly encounters promotes the importance of preserving our family stories and passing them on to future generations. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and to share their own stories.
Kentucky Holiday Hauntings
This talk relates stories from Brown's books that are focused on true holiday hauntings in Kentucky. Some people do not know that Christmas, not Halloween, used to be the traditional time for ghost stories. Families and friends usually came for extended visits at holidays, and not having modern means of entertainment, they gathered around a fireplace or stove in winter or outside on the porch or under the stars in warm weather, and entertained themselves by telling ghost stories. This program reminds us of long ago Kentucky customs that are an important part of our heritage.
Stephen A. Brown
Kentucky Writer, Former Education Specialist
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace NHP
8009 Schroering Drive
Louisville, KY 40291
Work Phone: (270) 307-0150
LINCOLN & FRONTIER LIFE
The Underground Railroad in Kentucky
In this multimedia presentation, Brown will demonstrate the influences of slavery on Abraham Lincoln’s early years in Kentucky. A National Park Service research grant made it possible for Brown to document slave-owning neighbors and Underground Railroad activity in all of Kentucky.
Abraham Lincoln: Exploring Greatness
Abraham Lincoln’s formative years in Kentucky had a lasting influence on his life, shaping him into the man he was destined to become. Primary documents from recent research into his father’s land speculation offer insights into the turbulent years spent in Kentucky. In addition, excerpts from a research paper, “The Misunderstood Mary Todd Lincoln,” counter charges of insanity and explain how her immersion in Kentucky politics proved invaluable to Lincoln’s political career.
Grab a Glut: Pioneer Life in Kentucky
Grab a glut, hang on to that froe and let’s rive some shingles: This is an interactive talk about pioneer life and early Kentucky history. Learn about Kentucky’s native son, Abraham Lincoln, his rail splitting skills, the clothes he wore, the food he ate, and how tools changed the frontier.
Bobbie Smith Bryant
17750 Long Run Hill Place
Louisville, KY 40245
Work Phone: (502) 494-7096 (cell)
Home Phone: (502) 244-6250
Kentucky History & Culture
Farming in the Black Patch
Bryant will speak about the social and cultural experience of life on the farm, through a fun and educational storytelling approach, rooted in the 10-generation dark-fired tobacco farm where she grew up in Western Kentucky. Bryant is a rising Kentucky author with two recent publications, Passions of Black Patch: Cooking & Quilting in Western Kentucky and Forty Acres & A Red Belly Ford: The Smith Family of Calloway County. Bryant also co-produced a one-hour documentary titled Farming in the Black Patch. This film was recently awarded the 2013 Education Award from the Kentucky Historical Society and it continues to air on Kentucky Educational Television.
Quilting: A Legacy of Love
Learn how the simple act of making something beautiful from scraps gave women a voice in the days when they had little or none. This presentation pays tribute to the great quilters we have in Kentucky. Participants will get an overview of quilting as craft, and learn about the impact of quilting on women in America.
Assistant Professor of Speech and Theatre, Alice Lloyd College
3309 Colonial Manor Circle #3B
Louisville, KY 40218
Work Phone: (606) 368-6050
Home Phone: (502) 299-7156
Women of the Settlement Schools in Eastern Kentucky
Late in the 19th century, women from Central Kentucky and New England were instrumental in creating centers of learning in Southeastern Kentucky called Settlement Schools. Alice Geddes Lloyd and June Buchanan started Caney Creek Community Center in the 1920s. This learning center eventually became Alice Lloyd College, a private work-study college in Pippa Passes. Katherine Pettit and May Stone started the Hindman Settlement School in 1902. Other settlement schools include Pine Mountain Settlement School, Stuart Robinson School, and Kingdom Come School. Many of these schools are still in existence, though some have a new mission. The women who led these efforts often spent their lives in these small, rural communities in Appalachia, dedicated to educating people in the mountains of Kentucky.
Mattie Griffith Browne — Kentucky Abolitionist
(Martha) Mattie Griffith Browne was a driven, self-motivated woman from Kentucky. Born in the early 19th century in Louisville to a family of wealth and privilege, she received a formal education, became a prolific writer and was raised with slaves serving her and her family. Yet she freed the slaves she inherited. Browne is best known for her book, Autobiography of a Female Slave, printed in 1857, followed by Madge Vertner, published in serial form in the National Anti-Slavery Standard in 1859-60. Through her writing, Browne gives us an insight into the thoughts and fears of an enslaved woman. She took a great risk in writing a book that would provide sympathy for the enslaved Africans throughout the South and an even greater risk in freeing the slaves she inherited from her family. Browne was a single woman and poor for many years. She married late in life to a man who supported her abolitionist work and efforts. As a part of this talk Burnett will read short selections from her books.
Diane M. Calhoun-French
Provost and Vice-President, Jefferson Community and Technical College
10613 Sycamore Ct.
Louisville, KY 40223
Work Phone: (502) 213-2621
Home Phone: (502) 500-2176 (cell)
Reading in the Age of the Kindle
Do you have a Kindle? Read on an iPad, a Nook, or another electronic reader? This talk will explore how the traditional experience of reading has changed or been adapted in the digital age. Topics will include how print features (like turning pages and bookmarking) have been adapted to simulate “real” reading, how companies are trying to reintroduce serialized novels through digital means, and what it means to “own” a digital book. And, of course, no discussion would be complete without arguing which is better — print or electronic!
Perhaps no home in popular American literature is more famous than Margaret Mitchell’s Tara, the home of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. This slide presentation will examine Mitchell’s Tara, David O. Selznick’s interpretation of Tara in the 1939 film, and Tara as an icon that continues to wield its power even today.
A Cultural History of Paper Dolls
More than just toys that little girls used to play with, paper dolls have a long and interesting history intertwined with the rise of consumer products aimed at women. This illustrated presentation will give a brief history of the paper doll and discuss its place in women's culture. Bring any paper dolls you have to share!
Bradley C. Canon
Retired Professor of Political Science - University of Kentucky
1016 Della Drive
Lexington, KY 40504
Work Phone: (859) 278-6155
Ways of Interpreting the Constitution
The U.S. Constitution has been the subject of sometimes bitter controversy since its adoption. Politicians and ordinary citizens alike have accused one another of violating it or failing to interpret it correctly. They often rely on different modes of interpretation to advance arguments about its meaning and the Supreme Court does likewise in rendering decisions. For example, Justice Scalia and the late Justice Brennan seldom used the same approach in deciding constitutional cases. There are six basic ways of interpreting the document and Canon will discuss them and their accompanying advantages and problems.
Where Are They? Reasons Why Extraterrestrial Intelligence Hasn't Contacted Us
From our first awareness of planets in ancient Greece through H.G. Wells's and orson Welles's Martian invaders to Isaac Asimov's galactic empires, Star Trek, and modern science fiction literary and film genres, humanity has wondered whether extra-terrestrial intelligent life (ETI) exists. However, there have been no credible contacts with ETI. Canon will explore five possible reasons for this lack of contact: perhaps we are alone, ETIs are very rare and widely scattered, ETIs may be common, but space travel and even communication are extremely daunting, ETI is so advanced that Earth does not interest it, and ETI visits Earth but in forms we can't detect.
James C. Claypool
Prof. Emeritus of History, Northern Ky University, Coeditor, Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky
1004 Park Drive
Park Hills, KY 41011-1919
Home Phone: (859) 431-1341
The Songs that Johnny Reb and Billy Yank Sang
This 50-minute program offers a lively presentation with recordings of some of the most popular songs from the North and South during the American Civil War. Claypool discusses the origins, importance, and placement in historical context of each song.
The Derby: A Celebration of Kentucky and its Heritage
Claypool traces the origins and development of the Kentucky Derby, the world's most famous horse race and a powerful influence on Kentucky society and culture. He will use memorabilia collected during his 40-year passion for the race.
Rascals, Heroes, and Just Plain Uncommon Folks from Kentucky
In this talk, Claypool will profile a choice selection of the many colorful Kentuckians—male and female, noted and notorious—whose stories make our history so interesting and entertaining. The format of the program contains an exciting and stimulating surprise for the audience.
Professor Emeritus, West Kentucky Community and Technical College
409 Highland Street
Mayfield, KY 42066
Work Phone: (270) 705-1640
Did Big Harp Lose His Head to a Witch?
The pirates who preyed on unsuspecting Ohio River wayfarers were some of the most bloodthirsty brigands in American history. The siblings “Big” and “Little” Harp were the worst of the bunch. Harp’s Head, in Webster County, is named for Big Harp’s noggin, which was stuck in a tree as a warning to other outlaws. Supposedly, a witch swiped it. A state historical marker near Dixon, the county seat, commemorates the grisly spot.
Gone, But Not Forgotten
Western Kentucky seems to have more than its share of cemetery oddities. Two men are buried standing up — one with a hatchet or a brickbat in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. He said he wanted to meet the devil prepared. One tombstone wouldn’t do for a Mayfield man. He figured 18 was more like it. His memorial statuary was dubbed “The Strange Procession that Never Moves.” In the same cemetery is a single grave that contains — in one coffin — the charred remains of four adults and seven children who perished in a 1921 house fire whose cause was never determined, though a coroner’s jury ruled the blaze was foul play by a person or persons unknown. Orphan Annie is buried in Paducah, though she is not the cartoon kid.
5 Jasmine Court
Hazard, KY 41701
Work Phone: (606) 216-2916
The Kentucky Giant: Martin Van Buren Bates
Martin Van Buren Bates was one of the most famous people of his era. He knew U.S. Presidents and European Royalty. He was also listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the tallest man in the world. Bates lived in Letcher County, Kentucky, where he was a young school teacher in a one-room schoolhouse south of Whitesburg. He later served for the Johnny Rebs during the Civil War. Following the War he toured with various circuses throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. But the greatest aspect of his life was his love affair and marriage to Anna Swan, the tallest woman in the world. Together they shared a special life and left behind a love story that needs to be heard.
James Still: The Voice of the Mountains
James Still was a contemporary writer who spent his adult life living in Knott County. He mastered the speech and cultural patters of mountain people, living in a simple log house that still sits along Dead Mare Branch of Little Carr Creek. His house had neither running water nor plumbing when he moved there. Still worked at the nearby Hindman Settlement School library in exchange for room and board, which allowed him the time to study well-written pieces in the best magazines of the day. In 1940, he wrote his masterpiece, The River of Earth, which was published that February. It told the story of a mountain couple struggling to survive during the Great Depression. The River of Earth shared the Southern Author’s Award that year. He lived to the age of 94 and is buried on the campus of the Hindman Settlement School, which houses the James Still Learning Center.
Author and Filmmaker
2312 Pea Ridge Road
Frankfort, KY 41011
Home Phone: (502) 229-1249
Kentucky Boy: My Life in Twenty Words
Kentucky Boy is Deaton's new book about growing up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. In this interesting twist on a memoir, Deaton chose twenty words including "trailer," "sawmill," "mule," "church," "determination," and "mischief" and wrote essays on how each word shaped his young life and made him the man he later few to be. Deaton discusses everyday life in this very rural, isolated part of the mountains and through his readings and discussions paints a picture of a life that seems long ago and far away.
Appalachian Ghost Stories: Tales from Bloody Breathitt
Jerry Deaton was raised in the Kentucky mountains. His upbringing set the stage for telling stories, especially ghost stories. Deaton carried on that tradition with his two daughters, eventually making up enough stories to write a book. This presentation will include a reading from his book Appalachian Ghost Stories: Tales from Bloody Breathitt.
Aloma Williams Dew
Program Director, Kentucky Water Sentinels (Sierra Club)
2015 Griffith Place E.
Owensboro, KY 42301
Home Phone: (270) 685-2034
Kentucky History & Environment
Kentucky's Water ─ Topics of Out Time
This presentation will look at the importance of Kentucky's abundant water ─ surface and underground ─ and how that resource has shaped geology and fate of the Commonwealth. Kentucky has more miles of waterways than any state other than Alaska. Like some other natural resources, Kentucky is rich in water. How we use and protect this resource will shape our future as it has our past. Our water has been a source of economic development and growth and it is some of that very development that now threatens this irreplaceable resource. This talk looks at how the waters of the Commonwealth have shaped our history and what must be done to protect them for the future.
Yours for Liberty and Justice, Josephine K. Henry
Dew traces the career of Josephine Henry — dynamic speaker, prolific writer, and early strong voice for women's rights in Kentucky. She worked closely with better known leaders like Laura Clay for women's suffrage and property rights, and was the first woman to run for statewide office in Kentucky. Henry's outspoken views on religion, marriage, and divorce eventually caused a split between her and other women's leaders. She died in obscurity in 1928.
Women During the Civil War in Owensboro — One Town's Experience
This talk delves into the often ignored history of ordinary women during the Civil War. These women experienced illness, loss of loved ones, financial uncertainty, shortages, and the constant fear of guerrilla attack in the river town of Owensboro. Because Owensboro represented a microcosm of the divided border state, the experience of the women of that small town, black and white, is of interest to all Kentuckians. This presentation focuses primarily on Owensboro, but brings in some discussion from other areas, and will provide audiences with an opportunity to discuss and discover more about their own communities during the Civil War.
317 South Sixth Street
Bardstown, KY 40004
Work Phone: (502) 349-9480
HistoryWhat Really Happened at Pearl Harbor?
In the years since that “day of infamy” in 1941, no less than nine investigations have attempted to get at the facts determining how the Japanese managed to totally surprise the American Navy. Despite these studies, the attack still remains shrouded in mystery. One indisputable fact is that Henderson native Husband E. Kimmel was in command of the of the Pacific Fleet on that December morning and subsequently took the brunt of the blame. In this talk, Elliott follows Kimmel’s rise through the ranks in his outstanding naval career, presents some of the lesser-known aspects of the attack and highlights Admiral Kimmel’s side of the story.
Adolph Rupp's All-Star Team
"I guess I've been asked that question 5,000 times," said Adolph Rupp when asked to name his all-time University of Kentucky basketball team. "You see, I've had 34 all-Americans made by 24 boys. I am so grateful to all of them that I refuse to honor a few and hurt the feelings of all the rest." Beginning in 1968, Lexington sports writer John McGill peppered Rupp with questions designed to chip away at the coach's all-time squad. Rupp would respond to queries such as "Who was the best passer? And "Is it possible to name the best defensive player?" Finally, in 1976, McGill came up with a scheme which allowed the legendary coach to name his all-time best players. Sure to cause heated discussion, Elliott will reveal Rupp's list and allow the audience to debate the merits and name their own candidates.
UFO's Over Kentucky
On the cold, sunny afternoon of January 7, 1948, the controller working in the tower at Godman Army airfield at Fort Knox received a phone call from the post's military police. The called related that they had received a call from the Kentucky State Police who said they had received many reports of "something" flying in the vicinity of Maysville. The police alerted the controller to be on the lookout for anything unusual in the sky. The controller brought the situation to the attention to his chain of command, including his post commander. All the men gathered in the tower observed the shiny object hanging motionless in the sky southwest of Fort Knox. Accounts vary, but all agreed that the object was moving very slowly. The Kentucky Air National Guard planes agreed to investigate the unknown flying object and gave chase to the southwest. One of the planes, flown by Captain Thomas Mantell pursued the UFO to near his hometown, Franklin, when he and his place ceased radio communications and soon disappeared from the radar screen What actually happened is still in dispute despite many theories and what the object was is also a subject of controversy.
2367 Sullivan Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601
Home Phone: (502) 352-7503
WRITING & CULTURE
My Mother was a Character — Aren't Most Mothers?
Walking along the edge of fiction and memoir, Normandi Ellis helps is understand how story and humor shapes our lives —whether these stories are passed along as oral tales, memoir, or family stories crafted into fiction. She walks us through the decisions a writer makes to craft memoir or fiction, reads excerpts from her books Voice Forms, Going West, and Sorrowful Mysteries, and draws parallels to family journals and memoirs. She also gives a few tips on approaching story and memoir.
Talking with the Dead — In Search of the Kentucky Spiritualist
Kentucky has a finely feathered closet filled with eccentrics who were mediums, psychics, and spiritualists. Those people included Edgar Cayce, the Sleeping Prophet from Hopkinsville; Mary Todd Lincoln of Lexington, whose famed séances in the White House are often alluded to; and Mary Hollis of Louisville was known as a medium of physical phenomena. Campbellsville was the site of the First Spiritual Church. So, what exactly, is the the difference between spiritualist and fortune-teller? How does the history of spiritualism fit in with Kentucky's history of abolition, segregation, and prohibition? Ellis comes from a family with spiritualist connections, including a great aunt who served as a medium in Louisville and a great-grandfather who talked to spirits and tipped tables. This talk, filled with history and personal stories, promises to be both entertaining and enlightening.
Travel: Regions 3, 5, 6
Assistant Professor, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentuck
3417 Pepperhill Road
Lexington, KY 40502
Home Phone: (859) 533-0410
American Military History
Airpower in American History
What role has aviation played in American military history? Farley examines this question by evaluating the contribution of airpower to American wars in the 20th and 21st centuries. He revisits arguments and debates how America should organize its airpower, and about the relative importance of aviation as opposed to other tools of diplomacy and foreign policy.
The Future of the American Military
What will the American military look like twenty years from now, and what should it look like? Farley discusses these questions in light of the changes in the nature of America's global position, and of the ongoing transformation of military technology. The future of the AMerican military will look very different than its past, and it is not yet clear that we have properly laid the foundation for these changes.
Travel: Regions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
3475 Lyon Drive #62
Lexington, KY 40513
Home Phone: (859) 494.0667
Kentucky's Everyday Heroes
Certified Clinical Research Coordinator
University of Kentucky
2054 Clays Mill Road
Lexngton, KY 40503
Home Phone: (859) 277-5291
HISTORY & CULTURE
Infectious Disaster! The 1833 Lexington Cholera Epidemic
During the 19th century, cholera raged through the United States several times, and Kentucky had very high fatality rates. In 1833, cholera killed one-tenth of Lexington’s population in just a few weeks. Foody will examine the devastation in Lexington from many angles — environmental, commercial, social, and medical. She will discuss early altruistic efforts, the black woman behind the white hero, the toll at the lunatic asylum, and societal trends revealed in death reports. Despite great medical advances, cholera is still a worldwide killer. Foody will explain why and compare it to other threatening global diseases, such as SARS and pandemic flu.
Microphone, projection screen and Power Point projector required.
A New Yorker Finds Her Old Kentucky Home
When Terry Foody moved from New York state to Kentucky, her mother revealed that her family had lived in Kentucky and Missouri for several generations. Armed only with a list of their names, Foody went on a mission to find and stand on her ancestors’ land. In this talk she’ll describe the obstacles she ran into, including murky records and barbed wire, and the discoveries that made it all worthwhile: a hidden church, a lost road, an 1830s grave, and a special letter in a chocolate-covered-cherries candy box. She says it’s a journey of discovery any of us can make.
Microphone and projection screen required.
2501 East Highway 42
LaGrange, KY 40031
Home Phone: (502) 222-3069
HISTORY & CULTURE
Baseball: America’s and Kentucky’s Game
Baseball evolved out of the English games of cricket, rounders, and several American versions like the New York game. From 1876 to present there have been approximately 300 Kentucky-born Major League baseball players. Earle Combs was born in Pebworth, Kentucky, in 1899, and played baseball at Eastern Kentucky State Normal School. He is one of four Kentucky-born members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Combs played his entire career for the New York Yankees (1924-1935). Combs batted leadoff and played center field on the fabled 1927 Yankees team, often referred to as “Murderers Row.” Nicknamed the “Kentucky Colonel,” Babe Ruth said Combs was more than a good ball player, he was always a first-class gentleman. There are many more players, teams, and of course, the Louisville Slugger baseball bats that make Kentucky part of baseball history.
A Confederate Veteran’s Life After the War
In the wake of America’s Civil War, more than 40,000 Kentucky men who had worn the gray returned to the bluegrass. Most returned home to quiet, productive lives, but some were unable to cope with the postwar life. There was no institutional support, no pension, and no veteran’s benefits. By the 1880s, disabled Confederates grew more visible on the streets of Louisville, Frankfort, and Lexington. Some ended up in publicly funded almhouses, poor farms, or asylums typical of the time. The Confederate Home in Peewee Valley opened in 1902 to provide a respectable retirement home for Confederate Veterans. This talk describes a Confederate Veteran’s final years of life at the home in Peewee Valley.
Michael W. Hail
Professor of Government, Morehead State University
P.O. Box 43
Somerset, KY 42592
Work Phone: (859) 351-9997
Federalism, the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution
The government developed by the U.S. Founding Fathers at
the Philadelphia Convention reflects a “new
order for the ages” and this talk presents the major principles of the
constitution as well as its structure and function. Important political
philosophers are reviewed for their influences to insightful commentary on
Politics and Government in the Commonwealth of Kentucky
This talk is a general overview of the major themes of the book, Kentucky Government, Politics, and Public Policy, published by the University Press of Kentucky. The early settlement of Kentucky, the road to statehood, and the development of the four constitutions of Kentucky are discussed. How the state government is organized under the present constitution, as well as how local governments are organized, are described. Everyone wants to understand why we have constables and magistrates, and why we have so many counties, and this talk answers those questions with data that will surprise many. How each of the regions of Kentucky were settled and the political culture that developed in them are important topics as well. The economic development of Kentucky’s economy from settlement to the present is reviewed and the major demographic factors are examined.
Director of Popular Culture Studies/Associate Professor of History, Western Kentucky University
1900 Cedar Ridge Road
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Work Phone: (270) 745-3149
Home Phone: (270) 779-8362
The Hillbilly, Kentucky, and the American Imagination
This talk examines the evolution of one of the most pervasive and enduring icons of 20th century American popular culture that, for good and ill, has done much to shape outsiders' image of Kentucky. Far from simply a forgettable or lamentable base caricature of mass entertainment, the hillbilly is a fundamentally ambiguous image that has continuously served as a mythic space though which modern Americans have tried to define themselves and their national identity and to consider both what they have lost and gained in a rush toward industrial, urban modernity. Harkins pays close attention to the hillbilly, its connections with Kentucky both in reality and in the popular imagination, from the Hatfield-mcCoy feud, to the films of D.W. Griffith, to the portraits of Appalachian poverty of the 1960s. Harkins also reviews the links between the development of this image and major historical processes such as the Great Depression, migrations of southern mountain people to northern industrial cities, and the growing power of mass media.
Representations of Kentucky in 20th Century Popular Culture
The seemingly dramatically different characters of the julep-sipping white-suited Colonel and the bearded and barefoot rifle-toting hillbilly drinking homemade moonshine have been the dominant public representations of Kentucky for much of the 20th century. These images are united in promoting a conception of the state and its people as existing in a persistent antebellum and pre-industrial past and sharing a culture defined by tradition, alcohol, and the potential for gun violence. Over the course of the 20th century, there have been other important elements of Kentucky's national cultural identity (a land of natural beauty; a place with an abiding commitment to the "sporting life," and the home of "coal country") but the bluegrass Colonel, and to an even greater extent, the mountain hillbilly, remained remarkably central and constant conceptual markers of Kentucky across the century in novels, films, television, music, advertising, and the public imagination. This talk explores the history of these representations and considers their impact.
Travel: Regions 2, 3, 4, 6
Daryl L. Harris
Associate Professor Department of Theatre & Dance, Northern Kentucky University
FA 205 Nunn Dr.
Highland Heights, KY 41099
Work Phone: (859) 572-1472
Home Phone: (859) 250-1153
African-American Culture & History
Wanted: Freedom—Dead or Alive!
This talk explores and honors the lives and legacies of Kentucky travelers on the Underground Railroad. Rare newspaper “wanted notices for runaways” that provide fascinatingly detailed insight into these courageous individuals inspired this talk. These and other archival newspaper clippings along with texts from “Slave Narratives,” poems, and Negro spirituals give further texture to the lives, personalities, and plights of those who sought freedom by any means necessary: some via the Underground Railroad, others via the “Train to Glory.”
Lift Evr'y Voice and Sing
For African Americans throughout Kentucky and the country, spirituals were the soundtracks upon which the Underground Railroad movement rolled. Freedom songs later helped pave the way toward true liberation. Because of its particular geographical and political positioning, Kentucky gave birth to its own unique musical expressions. Not all African Americans in Kentucky were enslaved; therefore the reservoir of folk culture from which they drew their characteristic forms of expression was rich and deep — often without fixed boundaries between the sacred and the secular. In this talk, Harris takes the audience on a musical history tour through hurt, healing, and happiness.
Someone's in the Kitchen with "Dinah"
Encouraged by the recent popularity of both the novel and the film The Help, in this revived talk inspired by John Fox Jr.'s account of "his" Aunt Dinah, whose divine cooking could "shatter the fast of a pope," Harris revisits his exploration of the contributions of African-American women to the traditions of Southern culinary excellence. He surveys the legacy and subsequent empowerment of "those turbaned mistresses of the Southern kitchen."
1860 Kays Branch Road
Owenton, KY 40359
Home Phone: (502) 484-2044
In Search of the Lost Hornpipe: Kentucky’s Diverse Fiddling Traditions
The traditional fiddling of Kentucky is drawing the attention of a new generation of audiences, performers, and scholars. Because of its situation along the two main routes of western migration, the Wilderness Road and the Ohio River, Kentucky became an early melting pot of the cultures that settled the interior of North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The elements of this cultural mixing were still to be found in the fiddle dialects John Harrod recorded throughout the state between 1970 and 2000. From the African-American Monk Estill, the first fiddler to be mentioned by name in Kentucky history, to Luther Strong who was released from jail to be recorded by Alan Lomax, John Harrod tells the story of the old fiddlers, their personalities, eccentricities, and exploits, as well as his own adventures documenting the last generation of performers who learned their music before the advent of radio and phonograph records.
Kentucky Women in Traditional Music
While it may have taken women some time to break into the male-dominated world of bluegrass music, they had always been carriers of the old music traditions that bluegrass drew upon. With the changes wrought by the Great Depression and World War II, they were getting out of the home, into jobs, and onto radio and phonograph records. Musician and scholar John Harrod, who knew and recorded some of these pioneering performers, plays disc jockey with field and commercial recording of white female singers, banjo players, and fiddlers who continue to inspire young women today who are finding a calling in Kentucky's rich legacy of traditional music. From Lily May Ledford who left home at age 17 to begin her radio career in Chicago to Dora Mae Wagers who played on a haunted banjo, with interviews and stories he puts their lives and achievements into context and recalls some great music that continues to remind us who we are.
henderson, KY 42420
Work Phone: (270) 831-2999
Home Phone: (270) 827-3878
History & Culture
The Importance of Duncan Hines
To many people, Duncan Hines may simply be a name on a cake mix package. What they may not know is that he shaped our nation’s expectations of restaurant service and the quality of its food. Before Hines came upon the American scene in the mid-1930s, it was routine for people to become sick or die from restaurant food poisoning. Duncan Hines, a traveling salesman, changed this state of affairs, from his home in Bowling Green, by telling people where they could go to avoid this calamity. Soon Americans only wanted to dine in restaurants that were recommended by Duncan Hines. Other restaurants across the country, aware that the public wanted what Hines was demanding of them, soon changed their ways. Eventually, the name Duncan Hines became a synonym for the last word in excellent quality. Hatchett tells the remarkable story of how this development in America’s cultural history came about, and how Hines’s effort culminated in his name being placed on those cake mix boxes.
Mencken’s AmericanaAmerican writer and acerbic wit, H. L. Mencken, sometimes called America “Moronia.” His view was shaped by what he read in the nation’s newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets; what he heard in public speeches; and what he saw plastered on billboards, signs and doorways across the country, among many other forms of media. From 1924 to 1933 he collected and recorded the most hilarious examples of these observations in the “Americana” section of his magazine, The American Mercury. Hatchett gives an introduction to Mencken, discusses the social changes that were going through America during that era, and gives many examples of the zaniness that shaped Mencken’s opinion of fellow Americans.
J. Larry Hood
188 Timberlane Court
Nicholasville, KY 40356
Work Phone: (859) 351-1030 (cell)
Home Phone: (859) 223-9825
What is a Kentuckian?This is a humorous and informative look at the enduring images Kentuckians and others have of the state and its people — from that of barefoot, warring hillbillies to southern aristocrats. The presentation will touch on Kentucky's core values of family and home, individualism and community, basketball and horse racing, snake handlers and mega churches, tobacco and whiskey and wine, yellow dog Democrats and dastardly Republicans. Kentucky will be presented as the nation's true borderland and heart.
"Amazing Grace," Kentucky, and the End of Slavery
The words to America's most beloved song came out of England, the melody out of Kentucky. Hood will discuss how the song came to be and its appearance in the nation's first block-buster novel, which in turn became the inspiration for the nation's most well-known state song, "My Old Kentucky Home." Hood will describe how the comforting, haunting Kentucky melody had its effect both abroad and at home in inspiring those who supported President Lincoln in his drive to preserve the Union and end slavery.
Kentucky State Apiarist
Eastern Kentucky University, 521 Lancaster Avenue
Richmond, KY 40504
Work Phone: (502) 229-2950
Environment & History
Native Bees, Honey Bees and Appalachian Trees
Because of fragmented land use, native bees are disappearing at alarming rates with very little documentation. Through generous grant funding, Horn, along with her graduate student, are collecting native bees in Appalachian counties (and working with elementary schools during the 2014-2015 school year). She will discuss Coal Country Beeworks, the introduction of honey bees, native bees, existing floral diversity, and conclude with a holistic picture about landscape fragmentation and the need for more floral diversity. This talk will evolve over time as she discovers more about what types of native bees are appearing on surface mine sites.
Women and Bees
Women beekeepers have been neglected for much of the world history of beekeeping. Yet, in the artwork and archival manuscripts, there are brief and fascinating glimpses of women apiarists as wax chandlers, queen producers, swarm catchers, and especially in Appalachia, as bee charmers. While some of the material is based on Horn's travels around the world visiting contemporary beekeepers, this talk also includes archival research from Appalachian archives.
Manuscripts & Folklife Archives Coordinator, Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY 42103
Work Phone: (270) 745-5265
Home Phone: (270) 777-5371 (cell)
History & Culture
If These Stones Could Talk
For decades, Jeffrey has been prowling the Commonwealth's cemeteries collecting information about landscape architects, stone cutters, grave houses, monuments and their construction, and the people interred in these "alabaster cities of the dead." In this presentation, Jeffrey talks about the typical, the bizarre, and the always fascinating stories found in these cultural assets. He has selected 15 examples of cemetery monuments that emphasize the dash, that short lifeline between birth and death found on most grave markers.
Housing the Dead: Kentucky’s Grave Houses
Dr. Pearlie M. Johnson
Assistant Professor of Pan-African Studies and Art History
University of Louisville
432 Strickler Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
Work Phone: (502) 852-0145
Home Phone: (502) 889-8894 (cell)
African American Culture
Quilt Art: Examining the Narrative in Kentucky Quilts
As a result of oral history interviews with quilters across Kentucky, Dr. Johnson has gathered a small, yet powerful group of quilters whose work she discusses in her presentation. Her work explores women's history, storytelling, identity politics, and empowerment. Since the onset of Dr. Johnson's study of quilts in Kentucky, this presentation includes quilts made by women of all cultural groups. Her study is aimed at examining cross-cultural parallels in technique and assemblage, as well as revealing unique designs.
Aesthetic Traditions in West African Textiles
This talk explores African culture through examination of textile production and design. This includes Adinka (used in funerals and ceremonies), the Kente (royal cloths that express wisdom, bravery, and strength), which are made by the Fante, Asante, and Ewe cultures in Ghana. This presentation also examines Bogolanfini cloth made by the Bamana culture in Mali, Adire cloths of the Yoruba from Nigeria, and the Raffia cloths of the Kongo and Kuba cultures in the Democratic Republic of Kongo. This presentation also includes a short video clip on the textile production based on Dr. Johnson's research in Ghana.
Rebecca S. Katz
Professor of Criminology, Morehead State University
129 Ashley Drive
Winchester, KY 40391
Work Phone: 606-783-2241
Home Phone: 859-771-6636
Fax: 859-771-6636 (cell)
Crime & Punishment
Media Coverage of Crime and Wrongful Punishment
News outlets often fail to report crime as it occurs most commonly, to whom is affects most frequently, and who the perpetrators are more often than not. Additionally, politicos regularly position themselves as the crime fighting heroes when in fact the real crime fighters are often social activists. Katz will also explain that most crime occurs within racial groups rather than between racial group members. Finally, the problem of convicting the innocent across the nation will be examined and discussed.
Corporate CrimeMost Americans are unaware that the most viable threat to their well-being and safety is not street crime or terrorism but rather the production of unsafe consumer products and corporate environmental pollution. Such deceit is promulgated by corporations professing to provide us with improved health through medication, surgical practices, food products, or other quick fixes that are often based upon pseudo-scientific research or a campaign to improve profit margins. Americans are most likely to be harmed by corporate malfeasance defined as criminal rather than street crime. Corporate criminals generally serve less time in prison than street offenders, cost more damage to society, and are more likely to benefit from their offenses than any other type of offender. Katz will provide evidence of this to the audience through a variety of visual aids including hand-outs, short videos, and examples of corporate crime and the sentences that these offenders receive.
Mary Ellen Klatte
Kentucky Writer, Emeritus Professor of History, Eastern Kentucky University
107 Tradition Circle
Lexington, KY 40509
Work Phone: (859) 421-3031 (cell)
Home Phone: (859) 264-8448
A Kentucky Woman: A Life of Triumph Over Poverty, Polio, and a Woman's Place in the 20th Century
As a Southern Kentucky woman, Viebie Catron Cantrell's biography, beginning in 1904, portrays a typical life in rural Kentucky. But, hers was an adventure of will and determination, that enabled her to overcome polio at an early age; to overcome her father's reluctance for her to pursue an education, and which led her to "switch" roles by becoming the primary breadwinner in her marriage. From a storehouse of primary historical documents, the audience will discover a woman of tremendous stamina, who loved the written word; who left 60 years of diaries, many letters, three books of unpublished poetry, and audio interviews with family and her biographer. The story is "a life well lived," and its legacy provides encouragement to others who struggle, and how, too, can triumph.
Travel: Regions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
James C. Klotter
Professor of History, Georgetown College, State Historian of Kentucky
1087 The Lane
Lexington, KY 40504
Work Phone: (859) 277-4572
Kentucky History Mysteries & Myths
Do myths about Kentucky still lurk out there? In this talk, Klotter examines some of the historical "truths" many people think are correct, and looks at the origins and accuracy of such stories. Among the subjects viewed under the historical microscope are Native-Americans, slavery, the Civil War, Appalachia, literature and politics.
A Power Trio: Henry Clay, Mary Todd, and Honest Abe
Lincoln called Clay his beau ideal of a statesman. What influence did Clay have on Lincoln? How were the two men similar and how were they different? And what role did Mary Todd play in both men’s lives? Klotter will focus on this power trio’s personalities while emphasizing their Kentucky connections.
Kentucky in World War II
As the number of surviving World War II veterans shrinks with each passing day, Klotter says we should pause to remember that momentous conflict and those who fought it. This talk looks at Kentuckians who fought abroad, those who did their part at home, and the price paid by both. Klotter will conclude with an intriguing look at post-war predictions of the future.
1141 Willoughby Woods
Lawrenceburg, KK 40342
Work Phone: (270) 498-1966 (cell)
Home Phone: (502) 859-2592
Kentucky's Leading Family: The Breckinridges
Kentucky's history is full of remarkable individuals in both politics and social life, as local and nationally influencing leaders. However, as a family, the Breckinridges have been influential to not only Kentucky's history but to the nation's history as well. Spanning more than six generations, the Breckinridges nationally have served as members of the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, Attorney General (for Thomas Jefferson), Assistant Secretary of War (for Woodrow Wilson), Vice President of the United States, presidential runner-up in the 1860 election, and Secretary of War (for the Confederacy). The Breckinridges fought for both sides during the Civil War, served as Ambassador for the United States, Vice President of the National American Womens Suffrage Association, and even as Olympic athletes. Locally, they have served as the state's Attorney General, Speaker of the House, state legislator, gubernatorial candidate, college president, prominent ministers, writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader, and President of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association. This examination of the Breckinridge family will show their influence not only to Kentucky history, but also to American history.
In the Shadows of Henry Clay: John Crittenden a Kentucky Statesman
Next to Henry Clay, John J. Crittendedn was likely the most influential Kentucky statesman of the 19th century. Born in 1787 in Woodford County, Crittenden was a lawyer in Logan County when he was elected to Kentucky's House of Representatives. He also served as an aide to Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby in the War of 1812's Battle of the Thames. Crittenden went on to become the youngest U.S. senator, Kentucky governor, and attorney general (he served under three presidents). While serving in the Senate, Crittenden became well-known for his "Crittenden Compromise," a proposal to avert the Civil War in 1860. Despite the compromise's failure, Crittenden continued working to keep Kentucky in the Union.
Cassius M. Clay: Emancipationist & Diplomat
Always controversial in his public life, Cassius Marcellus Clay was an emancipationist who lived in slave-holding Kentucky during the 19th century. Vocal in his support for the emancipation of slaves, Clay made many enemies and faced numerous assassination attempts throughout his life. While in Lexington, he was publisher and editor of an anti-slavery newspaper, The True American. He was forced to move to Cincinnati because of threats to his life. But Clay was more than an emancipationist, he also served as a captain in the Mexican War and later as a politician, appointed Minister to Russia by President Lincoln.
Associate Professor, Department of History & Geography, Northern Kentucky University
Highland, KY 41099
Work Phone: (859) 572-5316
Home Phone: (513) 337-9747
Fax: (513) 967-1648 (cell)
Shakers on the Trans-Appalachian Frontier
Shakers are one of America’s oldest communal religious groups, and after dramatic origins in late 18th century New England, their movement spread west to Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana beginning in 1805. By 1830, the Shaker world more than doubled its population and geographic expanse, and Shakers had became a major force in the religious life of the trans-Appalachian region. This presentation addresses the reasons that the Shakers sought expansion to what was then the American “west,” and it will introduce some of the colorful and vibrant figures who made this expansion possible. As part of exploring the reasons that Shakerism was appealing to the settlers in the region, it will examine Shaker attitudes towards race and gender and their unique perspectives on music and dance in worship.
Shakers and the “World’s People” in the Kentucky Region
Although the Shakers practiced strict separation between their communities and the surrounding areas, there was nonetheless considerable interaction between Shakers and the “world’s people.” Regular visitors to the communities of the Shaker “West” (Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana) included politicians, celebrities, business leaders, Native Americans, soldiers, and more. This presentation explores the many interesting relationships that developed between Shakers and their non-Shaker neighbors, and it highlights the many “simple gifts” that the Shakers contributed to the surrounding region.
Dr. Lynwood Montell
Kentucky Writer, Emeritus Professor of Folk Studies Western Kentucky University
1853 Cobblestone Court
Bowling Green, KY 42103
Home Phone: (270) 796-1907
Email: LLMontell@insightbb.com or Lynwood.Montell@twc.com
History & Folklore
One-Room School Days
Stories told by former teachers about the one-room school era are truly insightful and relative to life and times prior to television — and even after, in many instances. Teachers and students walked along dirt or muddy roads, crossed creek beds or rode horses or mules to reach the secluded areas that were home to one-room schoolhouses. In this talk, Montell relays the stories he collected, which describe school-day events, teacher-student relationships, students’ personal relationships, lunch-time foods and activities, stories about other teachers, and the importance of one-room schools as viewed by their teachers.
Ghost Stories from the 1930s
Ghost stories included in this presentation were gathered throughout Kentucky by employees of the Federal Writer’s Project during the years 1935-1943. Persons who obtained the stories were former school teachers, factory workers, artists, musicians, etc. who had lost their jobs during the Great Depression era but were receiving monetary support from the U.S. Government for services performed. Archival stories included in this presentation are truly informative and interesting.
Preserving Family and Community Heritage
Dr. Montell loves to write about life and times of local people due to the fact virtually all persons interested in tracing their family roots may obtain ancestral names from formal documentary records but which typically contain little or nothing about ancestral daily lives, economic well-being, and social activities. As a boy Dr. Montell heard stories about deceased family and community members, and later, as a professor, stories told by persons who shared personal memories for inclusion in his numerous books. Adult members of the audience will be encouraged to write down ancestral/parent stories as told to them so their children and grandchildren will learn much about their ancestors and by-gone years.
Kentucky Nurse Stories
Montell's personal desire is to help preserve the legacy of local life and culture, including history of professional groups across the state of Kentucky. Stories in the latter category included in this presentation are stories told to Montell by nurses relative to contemporary times and from earlier eras. included in the latter category are stories that were recorded from active/retired Kentucky nurses by oral historians. Of intense interest are stories gathered relative to the Frontier Nursing Service headquartered in Leslie County, founded by Nurse Mary Breckinridge. Prior to the arrival of jeeps, nurses traveled by riding horses or walked to care for patients. This presentation will include stories relative to emergency room events, births, patient misbehaviors, humorous episodes, and others that come to mind.
2011-2012 Kentucky Poet Laureate
17015 Camberwell Court
Louisville, KY 40245
Work Phone: (502) 592-8333 (cell)
Home Phone: (502) 244-3087
From Our Brothers' War: The Martha Buford Jones Poems
In 1987, having finished a manuscript of personal lyric poems in a voice close to her own, Maureen Morehead wanted to do something different. An option for her, because of her interest in how the lyric and narrative intersect, is the persona poem. The voice in a persona poem is imagined; it is a character created by the poet to say the poem. Margaret Atwood's collection The Journals of Susannah Moody, suggested to her that she might use historical documents to discover actual people upon which to base her characters. To that end, she looked at Louisville's Filson Club's collection of Kentucky manuscripts, among which she found the recently-acquired papers of the Willis Field Jones' family from Versailles, Kentucky, including the 1860-1864 diaries of Martha Buford Jones, Willis' wife. These diaries, according to archival records, "record weather, health of family and friends, family and social life, farm operations, the treatment of slaves, horse racing, the Civil War, and her separation from her husband." In this talk, she will discuss how she transformed Martha's diary entries into poems, what the diaries taught her about the Civil War in Kentucky, and what a revisiting of the Filson Club, the diaries, and her poems have contributed to this story.
Introduction to the Poetry of Thomas Merton
In 1941, when Thomas Merton entered the Abbey of Gethsemani, a Trappist Monastery in Kentucky, monks were allowed to write two half-page letters four times a year. At the time of his death in 1968, Merton had become one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, publishing poetry, religious writings, autobiography, essays, reviews, and photography. At his death, he left 800,000 words of unpublished personal writings, letters and journals, and tape recordings of talks he had given, which have since been transcribed, edited, and released. What we know about Merton is that his life was a paradox: he was a man who loved the silence afforded a monk, yet needed the political platform of a social activist. So he wrote about the beauty of the world, the individual’s search for meaning, the unity of creation, silence and contemplation; and he wrote about the atrocities of the modern world: the nuclear bomb, Hitler’s death camps, protest against the Vietnam War, and frustration over his country’s racism. This lecture will take a close look at Merton’s poems written from both the contemplative and the activist sides of his nature. For Merton these two poles, which became inseparable, were each vital for salvation.
The Martha Buford Jones Civil War Poems
William H. Mulligan
Professor of History, Murray State University
1650 Calloway Avenue
Murray, KY 42071
Work Phone: (270) 809-6571
Home Phone: (270) 519-0038 (cell)
Why George Washington is Relevant Today
George Washington made great personal sacrifices to achieve independence for the United States. He is, in a very real sense, the Father of His Country and deserved the eulogy he received — first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen, at his death. Much of what he did has been overshadowed by myth or forgotten because we take the results for granted. It can be difficult, more than 200 years later, to recover a clear sense of Washington the man and the importance the strength of his character played in our nation’s history. This talk will discuss why the real Washington deserves more attention, more study, and more appreciation. At key points in the early history of the United States, Washington put the good of the country ahead of his own wishes and never forgot that independence and liberty were fragile and needed to be protected and preserved.
The Civil War in Far Western Kentucky
If one looks at the Civil War as having been decided in
the eastern theatre, particularly in Virginia, then far western Kentucky would
certainly be on the “margin” of the conflict and the extent to which it has
Vice President, Kentucky Historical Studies Foundation, Director of Field Operations
212 Whispering Brook Drive
Nicholasville, KY 40356
Work Phone: (859) 293-5518
Home Phone: (859) 887-1354
Fax: (859) 401-2747 (cell)
A House Divided: Kentucky’s Civil War in Eastern Kentucky
This presentation spans the Civil War in Kentucky from April 1861 through December 1862, looking at the military, political, and social issues which melded together to make the Civil War in Kentucky, unique from other states. The explosive political climate between unionist and southern politicians and how Polk’s decision to cross into Kentucky affected the status of the state will be examined. Particular attention will be paid to the events that took place in eastern Kentucky, principally the actions of Union and Confederate Commanders at the Cumberland Gap and in the Big Sandy Valley. Oney will also examine the almost miraculous retreat of General George Morgan who led his rag tag Union forces on a 200-mile retreat across the rough eastern Kentucky countryside. The Battles of London, Perryville, Cynthiana, and Mount Sterling will also be discussed.
This talk describes the effect of the Revolutionary War on the early settlement of Kentucky. It will examine the founding of the state and introduce the audience to characters including Daniel Boone, George Rogers Clark, Simon Kenton, and Simon Girty, while discussing the hardships of frontier life and the reliance of frontier families on the forts. Oney will discuss the American Indians, their conflict with the settlers, as well as the military situation on the frontier and its effect on the overall war effort. Topics of discussion include the siege of Fort Boonsboro, the battle of Blue Licks, the siege of Bryant’s Station, and the expeditions led by George Rogers Clark against the British forts.
Robert A. Prather
375 Bunger Road
Ekron, KY 40117
Work Phone: (270) 735-5195 (cell)
Home Phone: (270) 828-2538
The Discovery of Jonathan Swift & His Legendary Silver Mine
Several years before Kentucky became a state, fervid stories of great treasure concealed somewhere in its vast wilderness were spreading like wildfire. The account of Jonathan Swift, his band of pirates and a reputed cave of treasure is one of the great legends of United States history. Although the legend in known throughout regions of seven states, precious little has been revealed regarding the life of the enigmatic Swift. Legend states that he and his mining associates had attained great wealth through piracy and mining precious metals. Tradition also alleges that he was from Alexandria, Virginia, and that he owned shares in a number of merchant ships. What is the true identity of the mysterious swashbuckler? More importantly, was the legendary treasure real?
Robert Louis Stevenson's Kentucky Connections& the Possible Origins of "Treasure Island"
A real Long John Silver" Could this most famous of fictional pirates be actually based on the life of a real man? And could that man be one Jonathan Swift of Alexandria, Virginia, an enigmatic merchant whose legendary silver mines have enticed and eluded treasure hunters for over two centuries? This provocative look into a fascinating segment of literary and American history will ready even the most casual in attendance to set sail for plunder and riches.
Kentucky Writer, Educator
175 Windsong Drive
Hawesville, KY 42348
Work Phone: (270) 922-1326 (Cell)
Home Phone: (270) 927-0471
Kentucky History & Writing
1812: Remember the Raisin!
"Frenchtown, Ft. Meigs, Mississinewa, the Battle of Lake Erie, the River Thames, New Orleans..." Kentucky's contribution in the War of 1812 was vital to the American War effort. This presentation shows how deeply Kentuckians were involved economically, politically, militarily, and emotionally. The massacre at River Raisin gave rise to the battle cry of the war: "Remember the Raisin!" Governor Isaac Shelby left Frankfort to lead troops along the northern frontier and commanded victorious soldiers at the Battle of the Thames. After all they had sacrificed, Kentuckians answered the call once more to defend New Orleans. The epic battle on the sugarcane plantations below the city provided redemption for the young American nation ─ and for a state seeking to shed its pioneer image to become one of the more influential states in the union.
The Cane Ridge Revival of 1801: The Great Revival that Transformed Kentucky
When people talk about the “Bible Belt” they might be interested to learn that its roots began in the great Cane Ridge Revival, held in today’s Bourbon County. Some people referred to the event as the Second Pentecost; others sought to discredit it entirely. But no one can deny that it changed lives and shaped Kentucky’s (and the Deep South’s) social and cultural development. What happened in those fire-lit groves and cane-covered hills?Take a journey back to 1801. Find out what drew 25,000 people (including Kentucky Governor James Garrard) to Cane Ridge. Sing one of the old hymns that some folks claimed to “make the flesh tremble.”
Dr. David Profitt
Associate Professor, Big Sandy Community College
One Bert T. Combs Drive
Prestonsburg, KY 41653
Work Phone: (606) 889-4812
Home Phone: (606) 477-5637 (cell)
Religious Belief & Human Development in Appalachia
Our beliefs determine our worldview and our worldview determines our lives. What we do is a result of what we think and what we believe. A group of basic philosophical and religious beliefs lie at the center of our human existence. These beliefs are caught in a mutual dialect — a dance — between culture and individual existence. We are shaped by the beliefs that guide our culture and, in the same way, our culture is supported and affirmed by our beliefs. Beliefs about the universal problem with humanity, the solution for that problem(s), the goal of human existence, and the way forward as we move from problem to goal are essential elements in the culturally specific worldview of an indigenous people. A single Appalachia does not exist. There are Appalachias. The Appalachian Regional Commission has identified three distinct divisions of Appalachia: Northern Appalachia, Central Appalachia, and Southern Appalachia. Central Appalachia, made up of West Virginia, Western Virginia, Eastern Tennessee, and Eastern Kentucky comprise the quintessential Appalachian milieu. This area is "the heart" of what most people think of when they hear the word Appalachia. This presentation will examine what beliefs define a Central Appalachian worldview.
Travel: Regions 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Kentucky Building 206
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Work Phone: (270) 745-6092
Home Phone: (270) 784-1443
Crowing Hens: Early Women Musicians
Women from rural Kentucky areas in the early 20th century, made inroads into the burgeoning music scene as it began to be known by more precise and diverse sets of designations such as "country," "blues," and "jazz." Through the development of the radio and recording technology, the music of these women rapidly became known throughout the nation. This talk focuses on the contributions of two early performers "Cousin Emmy," Cynthia May Carver and Linda Parker, "The Little Sunbonnet Girl."
Another World: History of Kentucky State Penitentiary
Seen through the eyes of inmates, and officials, this talk focuses on James Davis, a prisoner from Monroe County, who was accused of murder. The sights, sounds, and realities of early incarceration and the history of the institution in Frankfort are highlighted as well as the fate of James Davis and many like him.
Travel: Regions 2, 3, 4, 6
Historian and Author
1715 Stagecoach Road
Hanson, KY 42413
Home Phone: (270) 825-1533
History & CultureReluctant World War II Hero and the Elusive Medal of Honor
Garlin M. Conner, one of Kentucky’s most decorated World War II soldiers, perhaps the most decorated, failed to receive the Medal of Honor. This talk will reveal the details of the heroic soldier’s exploits, praise from his commanders, and the story of efforts to posthumously award him the nation’s highest honor and thereby rectify and obvious oversight.
A Confederate Surgeon’s Tale: Life and Death in the Orphan Brigade
As a surgeon for various regiments of the famous Orphan Brigade and John Morgan’s partisans, Kentucky native John Orlando Scott practiced his trade at numerous Civil War battles, including Shiloh. Ridenour will display Scott’s personal scrapbooks, from which this presentation is taken.
From Pantry to Table: History, Recipes, and Other Gifts
Hear the saga of the Green family dynasty of Falls of Rough and share Kentucky’s culinary past through an heirloom recipe collection rescued from the pantry of the Greens’ 1839 mansion. Carolyn Ridenour joins her husband for this journey into a bygone time when food preparation required perseverance and talent and setting a fine table was a social necessity. Green family dining items will be displayed.
Chair, Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literature & Cultures, University of Kentucky
1055 Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506
Work Phone: (859) 257-1756
Russian Folklore: Belief & Change
This talk will provide an overview of Russian folk traditions and how they survive and adapt to the present, with a focus on rituals, holidays, and family life.
Russian Folk Religion
Rouhier-Willoughby will examine the past and present of folk religion, with a focus on post-socialist revival of Russian Orthodoxy and people's relationship to the church.
Travel: Regions 3, 5, 6
Allen J. Share
Distinquished Teachering Professor, Division of Humanities
University of Louisville
303 Bingham Humanities Building
Louisville, KY 40292
Work Phone: (502) 852-6427
HistoryD. W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation": The Most Controversial Film Ever Made
Kentuckian D. W. Griffith’s landmark film “The Birth of a Nation” exploded onto the silver screen in 1915 and became both celebrated as a cinematic masterpiece and reviled as racist propaganda. This talk will assess Griffith’s film on the centennial of its release and reckon with its place in our and in cinematic history.
"To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds:" Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
One Lincoln scholar concluded that on March 4, 1865, "at this most eloquent moment of his career," President Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech that "is revered by freedom lovers everywhere" and which vies with Gettysburg Address as his greatest oration. This talk will explore the ideas, implications, and meaning of Lincoln's last major address.
The Christmas Truce of World War I and its Significance
On Christmas Eve 1914, at various sectors of the Western Front, British, French, and German soldiers decided, on their own initiative, to have a Christmas Truce, and they began singing Christmas carols to each other across “No Man’s Land.” They then got up out of their trenches and greeted each other in fellowship. This talk will look at this remarkable event and assess its meanings and significance.
"Curse You Red Baron": The Great War and the Birth of Warfare in the Skies
15705 North Highway 11
Oneida, KY 40972
Home Phone: (606) 847-4792
Henry Faulkner: Kentucky Artist
Hearing Kentucky’s Voices
During his lifetime, Kentucky artist Henry Faulkner exhibited and sold his work in galleries around the country. Known for his colorful paintings, eccentric behaviors, and famous friends, the artist and poet was born in Simpson County, grew up in an orphanage in Louisville and a foster home in Eastern Kentucky, and lived more than 20 years in Lexington. This talk about Faulkner’s life and work includes images of the artist and his paintings, and footage from a documentary-in-progress, Understanding Henry.
Anne Shelby is the author of ten published books, including poems (Appalachian Studies,) stories (The Adventures of Molly Whuppie and Other Appalachian Folktales,) newspaper columns (Can A Democrat Get into Heaven? Politics, Religion and Other Things You Ain’t Supposed to Talk About,) as well as award-winning books for children (Homeplace, The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree.) She is also a playwright and storyteller. In all genres, Shelby’s work grows out of Kentucky’s rich soil for writers. Her reading will feature works based on the voices of Kentuckians with something to say and their own unique way of saying it.
Aunt Molly Jackson: Pistol Packin’ Woman
In the 1930s, Aunt Molly Jackson (1880-1960) was arguably the most famous Kentuckian in the country. Known as the “Coal Miner’s Wife” and the “Pistol Packin’ Woman,” she became a national spokesperson for striking Kentucky miners and their families, singing her songs and telling her stories in New York and around the country. This presentation describes Aunt Molly’s years in Kentucky coal camps as midwife, folk musician, and union activist, her move to New York (at the request of Theodore Dreiser,) and her later fall into obscurity. This presentation includes songs and quotations from this fascinating and important Kentuckian.
1257 KY Route 1428
Hagerhill, KY 41222
Work Phone: (859) 235-3532
Home Phone: (606) 899.4785 (cell)
Kentucky's Most Hated Man: Charles Chilton Moore
Believe it or not, at one time the notorious atheist advocate Madalyn Murray O'Hair visited Kentucky to pay tribute to the memory of one of her most famous historic counterparts: Charles Chilton Moore of Fayette County. Moore's position as an "infidel" spokesman was made all the more controversial by the fact that he was not only an ex-preacher himself, but the grandson of a pioneer Kentucky minister and church founder, Barton Warren Stone. This presentation is an overview of Moore's life, his times, and his published "infidel" newspaper, The Blue Grass Blade. Whatever else may be said about Kentucky's own historic village atheist, he was never boring.
Elder Daniel Williams: Eastern Kentucky Religious Pioneer
Ever since his name was first recorded in the minutes of the North District Baptist Association and subsequently by missionary Luther Rice and historian John Henderson Spencer, Elder Daniel Williams has been recognized as a pioneer and primary organizing force of early religious activity in eastern Kentucky. As has so often been the case with Kentucky historical figures, however, over time his story has become increasingly shrouded in myth. This talk attempts to dispel some of the more common myths extant about Daniel Williams in eastern Kentucky, and to use direct historical records to give a complete and enlightening account of his activities in the Kentucky mountains of 200 years ago.
Doctoral Candidate, University of Kentucky, Poet and Multidisciplinary Artist
835 West Maxwell Street
Lexington, KY 40508
Work Phone: (347) 450-7771
African American History & Culture
"The Thirteen," is a multimedia narrative which plays homage to thirteen black women and girls who were lynched or otherwise violently murdered throughout Kentucky during the late 19-early 20th centuries. This period is known as the nadir which began during Reconstruction, a time where racism was at its apex in America as black people were slowly being granted voting and legal rights. Despite the presence of the Freedman's Bureau throughout the state of Kentucky, the socio-political leanings mixed with economic agendas and the presence of the KKK, resulted in a high number of cases of violence against blacks. But in January 2013, through a showcase of original poetry, film, photography, music, and visual art, an ensemble of gifted Kentucky musicians and artists enshrined the shared history of these documented thirteen women and girls at Transylvania University, creating a rare opportunity for an audience to both mourn and celebrate their lives. This talk proposes to recreate a smaller-scale version of "The Thirteen" which will include a sampling of film, music, visual art, and poetry from the original show, as well as a candid discussion regarding the research of lynchings and political sentiments in Kentucky during this time period.
Redefining the Region: Pushing Poetry Through Cultural Space
In the tradition of the Black Arts Movement and the Harlem Renaissance, through literary and other creative pursuits, the Affrilichain Poets continue to reveal relationships that link identity to familial roots, cultural development, socio-economic stratification and political influence, as well as an inherent connection to the land. This talk proposes to discuss the legacy of their work in Kentucky and the Appalachian Region within the context of how poetry challenges boundaries and borders erected by public perception and historically-steeped prejudices.
Archaeology Review Coordinator
Kentucky Heritage Council
300 Washington Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Work Phone: (502) 564-7005 ext. 115
Home Phone: (859) 246-3940
Fax: (859) 576-0107 (cell)
History & Archaeology
Weeds, Dogs, Mounds, and Mastodons
Did you know that Kentucky was one of a handful of places around the world where select plants were independently domesticated and intentionally harvested? Or that some 5,000 years ago, people along the Green River thought so highly of their dogs that upon death, they buried some of them next to humans in specially-demarcated plots? Did you also know that some of the earliest documented mounds and earth-works of ancient North America are right here in Kentucky? Or that Thomas Jefferson commissioned an early exploration of what is now Big Bone Lick State Park? In this talk, Dr. Stackelbeck highlights these and other interesting points learned from Archaeology that should make every Kentuckian proud of the prehistory and early history in their own backyard.
Historic Cemetery Preservation in Kentucky: Does Sacred Space Ever Stop Being Sacred
Kentucky has thousands of historic cemeteries, from Louisville’s grandiose Cave Hill cemetery to small, simple family plots that dot the Commonwealth’s rural landscape. Each has a story to tell and holds the remains of loved ones — even if the markers have vanished or are no longer legible. The treatment of cemeteries and the burials they contain might seem obvious and without need of explanation, however, cemeteries have been and continue to be in danger from a wide variety of activities — neglect, development, agriculture, separation from descendants, and lack of sufficient preservation resources, among others. In this talk, Stackelbeck discusses some of the principal threats facing the Commonwealth’s many cemeteries, highlighting the differences in perspectives on spaces that are sacred to some and hindrances to progress for others. Without advocating for one perspective over another, she poses important questions for society to ponder as we consider the fate of Kentucky’s forgotten cemeteries.
Kentucky Museum Registrar/Collections Curator at the Kentucky Museum
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #8349
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Work Phone: (270) 745-6260
Home Phone: (270) 842-9631
Popular Culture & Art
No Ordinary Dame: Kentuckian Mildred Potter Lissauer & the Colonial Revival Movement
During the 1930s, the Colonial Revival Movement encouraged Americans to look back at the past and develop the practice of so-called traditional crafts, including quilt making. Mildred Potter Lissauer, a most unusual woman, took this to heart and created the Godley Quilt, an extraordinary textile that still turns heads today. This program uses letters, photos, and illustrations from ladies' magazines and pattern books to tell this unique story of one award winning quilt and the woman who made it.
Fabulous Flappers:1920s Fashion in the Jazz Age
Take a visual journey back to the 1920s, a time when women bobbed their hair, hemlines rose, and societal norms changed radically. This program will incorporate photos, fashion plates, albums, and other materials in a look at fashion trends in the 1920s America with a particular emphasis on what the women of Kentucky were wearing.
Nature's Bounty as Interpreted in Quilts & Textiles
Nature has inspired generations of American quilters, weavers, and fiber artists. Whether serving as a design element or providing the pattern name, plants and animals have influenced the design of many historic textiles, particularly quilts and coverlets, and provided unique opportunities for the interpretation of the glory of nature. This program is based on Power Point images with a particular emphasis on quilts and coverlets with Kentucky connections. Program hosts may wish to invite audience members to bring their own quilts with natural themes for show and tell after the talk.
Georgia Green Stamper
Kentucky Writer, NPR Local Commentator
3220 Penbroke Place
Lexington, KY 40509
Work Phone: (859) 619-5700 (cell)
Home Phone: (859) 264-0465
WritingYou Might as Well Laugh Mother Always Said
"Laughter," Stamper writed, "was my mother's tonic and psychiatrist — and her gift to me." Sometimes called a Kentucky version of Bailey White, Georgia's stories are every man's — told with a Bluegrass slant. In this entertaining presentation culled from her most popular public radio commentaries and newspaper columns, she discusses the unique role humor has played in shaping Kentuckians' culture and philosophy. The rural folk expression "you might as well laugh" became an intrinsic defense weapon in their battle to survive. A former theater teacher and award winning essayist, Georgia leads the audience from laughter to tears and back again.
Butter in the Morning: Extraordinary Ordinary Kentuckians
Georgia Green Stamper's essays often appear on the back page of Kentucky Humanities magazine. The author of two books (Butter in the Morning and You Can Go Anywhere), a local NPR commentator and newspaper columnist, she grew up in Wendell Berry country on her family's tobacco farm. In this presentation her understanding and appreciation of the region's character is on display, celebrating the ordinary Kentuckians who called her rural crossroads home. From farmers in bathrobes who taught her the true meaning of the Christmas story, to the Widow Rogers who freed her slaves and gave them both her blessing and wherewithal to immigrate to Liberia — Stamper's people are extraordinary. Like the frog that fell into the cream can but kept paddling, they come up sitting on a pad of butter in the morning.
Our Stories: Yours and Mine
"Kentuckians are great storytellers," Stamper says. "It may even be an inherited trait." Every family, every community, seems to have a stash of unique and treasured memories passed from one generation to the next. However, in a technology driven society that does not stop to sleep, much less to linger on the front porch telling stories, she worries that our oral heritage will soon be lost. She maintains that our local and personal stories play an essential role in binding family and community, and in defining who we are as a people. With humor and reflection, she shares tales of her place and kin, encouraging listeners to remember and preserve their own.
2002-2004 Kentucky Poet Laureate
762 Minnie Way
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Work Phone: (270) 535-3903 (cell)
Home Phone: (270) 842-4511
The Land We Dreamed: Kentucky Before Boone
The Land We Dreamed is the final book of Survant's trilogy of narrative poems about rural Kentucky. It is a novel-like collection of narrative poems that imagines the earliest explorations of Kentucky, a time little known to most readers and barely touched on by modern historians. For the most part, this is a time long before the familiar period of Daniel Boone and the mass settlement of the late 18th century. Through the voices of nomadic Ice Age hunters, to proselytizing French Jesuits of the 17th century, to Shawnee chiefs, to wandering hunters and the first settlers, The Land We Dreamed tells the story of Ken-ta-tha, the land of tomorrow, as the Wyandotte called it. This was a Promised Land for both the native people and the Europeans who floated down the Ohio or poured through Cumberland Gap. It is a story both tragic and heroic, reflecting the paradoxical nature of large human migrations, with their inevitable conflicts over land and the accompanying squandering of natural beauty. Though the Land We Dreamed makes use of what little historical record there is, it is not a history. It is a small net of imagination that seeks to say "what it was like" in those distant times, to give the emotional truth of lived life to the earliest inhabitants and explorers of the beautiful place that would become Kentucky.
Kremena Todorova & Kurt Gohde
Associate Professor of English & Full Professor of Art, Transylvania University
300 North Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508
Home Phone: (859) 948-3433
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
Culture & Community
Art Beyond the Classroom: Make the World a Better Place by Making Art with Your Neighbors
This presentation will focus on a class Gohde and Todorova have team-taught at Transylvania University for seven years: “Community Engagement Through the Arts.” From creating collaborative public artworks to recording oral history interviews with members of the community to organizing quilting-bee-like workshops, this course seeks to utilize the power of art to challenge preconceived ideas, and to build and sustain community. This talk will include a slideshow of images and a few short videos based on different class projects.
Art and Community: Capturing Kentucky’s Stories
In this presentation Gohde and Todorova will discuss two of their collaborative artworks that have become unique ways to capture the photographs and stories of people who call Lexington home: DISCARDED (discarded-usa.com) and the Lexington Tattoo Project (lexingtontattooproject.com). Each artwork not only required community participation, but also drew inspiration from and relied on ideas from the Lexington community. In the end, this is a talk about the power of art to preserve stories, transform lives, and build community. This presentation will also include a screening of the Lexington Tattoo Project video artwork.
Ernest M. Tucker
Deptment of History
Ashland Community College
510 West Pamela Drive
Ashland, KY 41102
Home Phone: (606)928-8125
Tools, Implements, and Devices of the Civil War
Tucker will display a selection of tools, implements, and devices that would have been used on the farm at the time of the Civil War. He will demonstrate how they were used and share the fascinating stories associated with them. Tucker has spent more than 40 years collecting these items ash the stories..
The Kitchen: The Warmest Room in the House
From Tucker's extensive collections come these household devices that were supposed to lighten the loads of the average housewife. Used by our grandmothers and our great-grandmothers circa 1900-1940s, they seem quaint by today's standards and not as efficient as we once thought them to be. Electric appliances have replaced almost all of these devices, but they continue to fascinate people who are interested in the past.
William "Beau" Weston
Professor of Sociology, Centre College
600 West Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Home Phone: (859) 583-5173
The World is Getting Better
The world has improved in the modern age in nearly every respect we usually measure. The last two generations, in particular, have been a time of great strides forward on most fronts in most parts of the world. The world is richer, healthier, longer-lived, freer, more democratic, less violent, more equal, more tolerant, and happier. Even many of our problems are the problems of a rich world, such as obesity, diseases of old age, and climate problems from vastly increased energy availability. This presentation is about the many ways in which the world has gotten better, and the few in which it hasn't. An equally important part of the talk is why we are so inclined to resist believing the good news.
Travel Regions: 3, 4, 5, 6
President, Round of Applause, Founder, Whistle Work
537 Cane Run Road
Lexington, KY 40505
Home Phone: (859) 420-5315
My Old Kentucky Home: The Remnants' Peace
This talk will explore the forced and chosen migrations and state, national, and international contributions of Kentucky's sons and daughters who reflect the African Diaspora specifically and people of color in general. Using Kentucky's state song as a focal point, this talk recognizes the evolution of perspectives on the song's lyrics and intent as it follows the waves and ebbs of diversity in Kentucky's population and image. The talk proceeds in a celebratory tone meant to evoke state pride, increase understanding, fill a void in an area regarding Kentucky's contributions and render an invitation for peace on the state song; a song which for many decades was a source of pain and embarrassment for many Kentucky citizens of various racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. Last, but not least, it acknowledges the diaspora's skill and solace in returning/acknowledging/making Kentucky home.
Once Upon a Time on Georgetown Street
This presentation highlights the West End/Georgetown Street Corridor in Lexington. The talk begins with giving the listener a clear understanding of the concept of place. Examples such as Harlem, Paris (France), and England will be given for context. Georgetown Street will then be presented as a place of advocacy, education, and innovation as the contributions of its residents to Kentucky is highlighted. Many of these contributors are acknowledged in Kentucky's Database of Notable African Americans. The audience will see the evolution of the street from farm and agriculture to urban and residential with a resident base that, though predominantly African American, is multicultural and in the midst of a new wave of white and Latino constituents.
Travel: Regions 3, 5, 6
Professor of Political Science, Western Kentucky University
355 Marylan Avenue
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Work Phone: (270) 745-6190
Home Phone: (270) 782-3048
History & Civics
The Living Declaration of Independence
When Thomas Jefferson penned the American Declaration of Independence, he articulated the timeless truths that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." Since July 4, 1776, these truths have been invoked, discussed, and debated with new historical circumstances in America and throughout the world. The Declaration is truly a "living" document. In this presentation, Professor Yager will closely examine the religious and political language of the Declaration with special attention given to how Abraham Lincoln invoked the first principles of the Declaration in his debate with Stephen Douglas prior to the Civil War.
From Religious Toleration to Religious Liberty in America
The fundamental natural right to religious liberty is one of the most important features of American religious and political traditions. Both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison made enormous contributions in advancing religious liberty in the early American Republic and their views were significantly informed by the work of English philosopher John Locke. Professor Yager's presentation will examine Locke's arguments on religious toleration and how those arguments influenced Jefferson and Madison as they argued not only for religious toleration, but for religious liberty as well. Professor Yager will conclude his talk with an analysis of contemporary understandings of religious liberty and how those understandings square with how Jefferson and Madison understood religious liberty — one of the most important of all natural rights.