Crazy Horse sculpture to be discussed in upcoming Geek Speak Lecture at BHSU

Author: BHSU Communications/Friday, February 10, 2017/Categories: 2017

Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung, assistant professor of management, will discuss the Crazy Horse Memorial and how a sculptor and a Native American Chief aimed to impact the Native American population. The lecture will take place Thursday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall 110 on the BHSU campus. A bonus pre-speak of the same presentation will be hosted at the Jacket Zone (617 Main Street, Spearfish) Thursday, Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m.

The next Black Hills State University Geek Speak lecture hosted by Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung, assistant professor of management, will look at the influence Korczak Ziolkowski and Chief Henry Standing Bear had on the Crazy Horse Memorial.

Wehrung presents "Who is The Reluctant Celebrity?" Thursday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall 110 on the BHSU campus. A bonus pre-speak of the same presentation will be hosted at the Jacket Zone (617 Main Street, Spearfish) Thursday, Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m.    

Wehrung says there are many lessons that can be learned from studying the Crazy Horse sculpture.

"I first became interested in this project because it represents the extreme of our ability as human beings to think big. It is a prime example of resilience in the face of challenges, but also the importance of family in order to overcome challenges, says Wehrung.       

According to Wehrung, there is debate about whether the sculpture, as a memorial to a deceased American Indian, has value for the Native people but the memorial's sculptor, Ziolkowski, always viewed the sculpture as a means to a greater end. Rather than discussing only the memorial, Wehrung says the focus of the talk relates to the impact that is occurring from the creation of the Indian University of North America and other efforts to directly support the Native people right now.

Wehrung says a quote by Korczak Ziolkowski embodies the ultimate purpose of the Crazy Horse Memorial.

In Ziolkowski's own words, "A piece of sculpture put on view that has for its sole purpose naught but a figurement of attraction as its goal is not sufficient therefore, although the carving of Crazy Horse will be one of the wonders of the world when it is finished, the ultimate purpose of this gigantic work, besides taking its place in history, is to create a university, a museum, and a medical center for the benefit of the Indian people of our country, so that in this way we may give something to these people who have given us so much."

The Geek Speak lecture series, sponsored by the BHSU University Honors program, features academic discussion and topics not normally discussed in the traditional classroom. The goal of the weekly lectures is to expose students to diversity within the disciplines.

For more information, contact Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, director of the University Honors Program and assistant professor of English, at 605-642-6918 or email Courtney.HuseWika@BHSU.edu.

In addition to the on-campus presentations, some Geek Speaks will also be presented at the Jacket Zone store in downtown Spearfish.

The following on-campus Geek Speak presentations, which are held Thursdays at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110, are scheduled for this semester:
  • Feb. 23, "Truly Revolution? The Haitian Revolution and its Legacy" by Dr. Jason Daniels, assistant professor of history
  •  March 16, "Learn Abstract Mathematics By DOING Something" by Dr. Dan May, assistant professor of mathematics
  •  March 23, "Advocating for the Protection of Native Women Through Theatrical, Spoken Word and Slam Poetry Performances" by Dr. Nikki Dragone, assistant professor of English
  • March 30, "Bad Bureaucrats? The Future of Whistleblowing in a Post-Snowden World" by BHSU alum and Ph.D. student Cody Drolc
  •  April 6: "From Blake to the Beatles and Beyond: The Legacy of Romanticism" by Dr. Martin Fashbaugh, assistant professor of English
  •  April 20 "Metapatterns" by Dr. Liz Fayer, instructor/coordinator Project SECOND, and Dr. Joanna Jones, former BHSU professor
  •  April 27, "Madness in Popular Culture: The 'Insanity' of Women, by Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, professor of sociology
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