Talks we give

The humanities is where the past meets the present.

Since 2004 Diane and I have been honored to give talks and programs for the humanities councils of both Kansas and Missouri. Nonprofit groups in those states can book us for little or no money. The humanities council provides the honorarium that helps with our travel expenses.

Women in the Civil War. For women, America’s greatest conflict was also their greatest opportunity since the founding of the republic. Already taking control of their rights with the Seneca Falls revolution, women did a myriad of jobs in the Civil War that they hadn’t been allowed to before — nursing, clerking, running large volunteer organizations, organizing petition drives, and for a daring few, serving secretly in the military. This program is available in both Missouri and Kansas.

Jesse James, Jo Shelby, and Missouri’s War After the War. The Civil War may have ended in Northern victory, but in a state as torn as Missouri, that didn’t mean much. In the chaos of the postwar period, a young guerrilla made himself into a self-styled avenger of the South, while a leading Confederate general had to come to grips with serving the losing side. Two stories that are more relevant than ever today. This program is available in Missouri.

Care for the Creation. As natural resources face unprecedented challenges, people of faith are leading efforts to advocate for what they call “creation care.” Faith communities are looking for common ground to respond to what they agree is a threat to the world that they believe God entrusted to them as stewards. The program will present a diverse range of stories about creation care in Kansas and discuss the role of religious people in civic life.  This program is available in Kansas.

Vegetopia 1856. In the spring of 1856 a band of pilgrims set out for Kansas Territory to establish “heaven on earth.” Even more controversial than their abolitionist stance was their new way of eating — a meatless “vegetable diet” promoted by their eccentric young leader, Henry Clubb. But Clubb’s vision of a thriving colony, laid out in his efficient octagon design, never came to be. This program about the uniquely American tradition of utopian thinking will spur lively discussion on the practicality of chasing dreams. This program is available in Kansas.

Outside the area? We often speak to groups throughout the Midwest that cover our expenses. We’re happy to tailor our talks to the needs of your group. For instance, here’s a talk we gave at the Chicago Civil War Roundtable.

Contact me below if you’re interested! And don’t forget to sign up for HISTORY IS POWER.