Casper College Humanities Festival hosts performances and presentations - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Casper College Humanities Festival hosts performances and presentations

Image Courtesy of Casper College

The 34th annual Casper College Humanities Festival kicks off on Wednesday, Feb. 20. This year’s fesitval is titled “Around the World” and will run from February 20-22, according to a Casper College news release.

The “Three Continents” photography exhibit associated with the Humanities Festival is already on display in the Mildred Zahradnicek Gallery of the college’s music building. It features the works of Casper based photographer Jacek Bogucki.

Casper College professor emeritus Dr. Barbara Mueller will deliver the Demorest Lecture at noon on Thursday, Feb. 21. This keynote lecture is named after former Casper College English instructor Margaret Demorest.

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Mueller’s lecture is titled “Exploring the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.” The news release explains that Mueller has visited each of the seven sites considered to be the world’s modern wonders.

“According to Mueller, millions of voters in 2007 selected the new seven wonders of the world: The Great Wall, China; the Taj Mahal, India; Petra, Jordan; the Colosseum, Italy; Christ the Redeemer statue, Brazil; Machu Picchu, Peru; and Chichen Itza, Mexico,” the release says.

Wednesday, Feb. 20 “Around the World” events:

The first event of the festival is called “Living Library.” That will take place at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the College’s library.

“The purpose of the Living Library is to promote conversation, encourage understanding, and foster a culture of inclusivity,” a description of the event on the Humanities Festival Schedule reads. “Participants should expect to encounter perspectives they have never before considered, viewpoints different from their own, and life experiences that may challenge their own ways of thinking, all within a safe and positive atmosphere at the Goodstein Foundation Library.”

Casper College adjunct History instructor Lance Jones will then deliver a presentation at noon on Wednesday, according to the news release. His presentation is titled “Missus Victoria’s Sons: Around the World with the British Army 1837-1901.” The event schedule says that will take place in the Goodstein Foundation Library Classroom.

Casper College costume instructor Darrell Wagner’s workshop follows Jones’ lecture at 1 p.m., also in the library classroom. The news release says Wagner’s workshop is called “Avoiding Cultural Appropriation.”

“Wagner will begin with a definition and examples of cultural appropriation, followed by a walk-through on how this concept applies to the arts, and end with a Q&A,” the news release reads.

Thursday, Feb. 21 “Around the World” events:

Most of the Festival’s Thursday activities will take place in the Wheeler Concert Hall. Casper College President Dr. Darren Divine will deliver a welcome speech at 9:15 a.m.

Casper College music instructor Veronica Turner will then give a presentation that the news release says is called “Traveling with Puccini: A Look at the Settings from Puccini’s Operas.” That should start at 9:30 a.m. according to the schedule.

Casper College biology instructor Dr. Will Robinson will then deliver a lecture titled “Buzzin’ Around the Sugar: Cultural Significance of Bees and Honey from Mesoamerica to Mesopotamia” at 10:30 a.m.

“The worldwide cultural significance of bees and honey is vast,” reads the schedules description of Robinson’s lecture. “The Koran celebrates the value of honey, and Buddhist festivals revere the giant honey bee of Southern Asia. The Mayas deified the stingless ‘Royal Lady Bee.’ Many species of bees produce honey, and the hives in which people keep them have evolved from ancient Greece to modern times.”

Mueller’s keynote Demorest Lecture, with an introduction from author Audrey Cotherman, will follow at 11:45 a.m., according to the news release.

University of Wyoming Professor Dr. Caroline McCracken-Flesher eill deliver a presentation at 1:30 p.m. The schedule says that will be titled “Writing the Way West: British Authors on the Union Pacific.”

“2019 sees the 150th anniversary of the completion of Union Pacific’s Transcontinental Railroad.,” the schedule’s description of the presentation reads. “With the line newly complete, Robert Louis Stevenson and Oscar Wilde rode the rails through Wyoming. What did they see?”

Casper College dance students will perform at the end of dance instructor Aaron Wood’s 2:30 p.m. presentation. Wood’s presentation is titled “Michio Ito’s Living Legacy,” according to the news release.

“Ito’s codified technique has spanned time and has connected countless generations and diverse communities,” the schedule’s description of Woods’ presentation reads.

The final event on Thursday will take place at the College’s Thomas H. Empey Studio Theatre in the Gertrude Krampert Center for Theater and Dance. That will be the 7:30 p.m. performance of “Rashomon” directed by Dr. William Conte.

“This English adaptation of a classic Japanese film will be staged in the vibrant, colorful style of Kabuki.” the schedule reads. “The stories of a murdered samurai, his victimized wife, and a roving bandit collide in court. Each version of the crime is played before the audience.”

Tickets for the “Rashomon” performance are available at They are $12 for the public and $10 for students.

Friday, Feb. 22 “Around the World” events:

Friday is the last day of the Humanities Festival. The news release says that Friday will kick off at 9 a.m. with Lebanon Valley College Dr. Holly Wendt’s presentation titled “One Pilgrim’s Progress on the Camino de Santiago.”

“The Camino de Santiago, the Way of Saint James, is an ancient pilgrimage route leading to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain,” reads the schedule. “Popularized in the Middle Ages, the Camino still attracts pilgrims both secular and sacred from all over the world.”

Blues performer Teague Bechtel will give a 10 a.m. talk called “African Roots: The Blues in American Music.”

“Bechtel will discuss the origins of the music, how it was preserved in African-American culture, the development into modern music, and finally its impact on the genres of American music,” the news release says.

Casper College Spanish instructor Eric Atkins will then give a presentation called “La Muerte: Death and Life in Mexico” at 11 a.m.

“Mexico is our next-door neighbor,” the schedule reads. “And, ironically, it is a country about which we have many misconceptions. This session seeks to shed light on some of those misconceptions, one of which [is] El Día de los Muertos.”

The last event of the festival will be Bogucki’s artist talk for his “Three Continents” exhibit in the Mildred Zahradnicek Gallery. That will take place at noon.

Excepting the “Rashomon” performance, the rest of the Humanities Festival events are free and open to the public.

The “Around the World” Humanities Festival schedule is available here.L