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Tuesday, August 3
Why 1955? Why Montgomery?
The Montgomery Bus Boycott was the first and last time that such a large number of African-Americans presented a united front against Jim Crow in the United States over such a long period of time. We can look at some of the circumstances that finally prompted the black citizens of Montgomery, AL to act – the growing influence of the NAACP, the Supreme Court decision Brown v Board of Education, Topeka, KS, the lynching of Emmett Till, emerging leadership, etc. - and imagine what it would take to gain the courage to boycott.
The Trouble with Genius
The question of what is genius and how it is culturally perceived, valued, and sometimes dismissed. We will explore the genius of Tesla, Picasso, Einstein, and even Musk and others today, as we explore how a society and culture built on democratic equality handles the exceptional “genius,” who often does not fit into the normal rules.
The 1910s: Model T Fords, Ragtime, and the New Woman
America in the 1910s moved at a dizzying pace. It was the decade of automobiles, nickelodeons and ragtime music. And it was also the era of child labor reform, the sinking of the Titanic, and World War I. In this illustrated lecture, we’ll take a look at the 1910s, exploring how America confronted modern times in unimagined and occasionally violent ways. Imagine yourself riding a Model T Ford. Watch a clip from a Charlie Chaplin movie. Peek inside a textile factory. Learn why it was in the 1910s, more than the 1920s, that American women changed their place in society forever.
Indian Battles or Indian Massacres?
The question of whether certain violent encounters between American citizens and American Indians were "battles" or "massacres" (or both) remains one of the most hotly argued topics in American history. This workshop will consider the precise definition of a "battle" versus a "massacre" and look at how ethnic as well as military considerations have been important in how each term has been defined. It will also consider ways in which the rise of international law with the Nuremburg war crimes trials, the civil rights and Indian rights movements of the 1960s, and America's changing treatment of Vietnam war veterans may have changed the debate. Seven or so of the most controversial events of the Indian Wars--with emphasis on Colorado's "Sand Creek Massacre"--will provide a focus for discussion.