Geek Speak series at BHSU kicks off with probe of iconic photographs

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, August 28, 2017/Categories: 2017

Dr. Timothy Steckline, professor of speech, presents the first Geek Speak lecture of the academic year at Black Hills State University. Steckline will present "Simulations of History: 8 Second Looks at 4 Iconic Photos," Thursday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall 110. 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 lectures are free and open to the public.

The ever-popular Black Hills State University Geek Speak lecture series kicks off Aug. 31 for the academic year with a lecture for historians and Instagram enthusiasts alike.

Dr. Timothy Steckline, professor of speech at BHSU, presents "Simulations of History: 8 Second Looks at 4 Iconic Photos" Thursday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. in Jonas 110. All Geek Speak lectures are free and open to the public.

Steckline will present four photos during the lecture: The Flag-Raising at Mt. Suribachi (1945) by Joe Rosenthal, The V-J Day Kiss (1945) by Alfred Eisenstaedt, The Napalmed Girl (1972) by Nick Uts, and The Tank Man (1989) by Jeff Widener, while leading a discussion on the photographic construction of historical reality.

"A photo can be framed, cropped, edited, and captioned, and now these days it can even be digitally manipulated in such a way that it means something unrelated to the original real-time event," says Steckline. "A second look at a familiar photo can reveal how it has been re-contextualized to mean something never intended by the photographer."

Dr. Courtney Huse-Wika, director of the University Honors Program and associate professor of English, says the series was started four years ago as a way to expose students to diversity within the disciplines and to encourage student-faculty dialogue outside the class in a more informal setting.

"Its legacy now is the wonderful and engaged larger community of community members, faculty, staff, and students. We have become something of an academic family, gathering every Thursday to learn, discuss, connect, and feed our inner geeks," says Huse-Wika.

Huse-Wika says audience members will be certain to find a lecture of interest this year: from a three-part panel on religious diversity in the west, to alternative energy myths, to the similarities between classical and metal music.

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. Some Geek Speaks will be presented at the Jacket Zone store located on Main Street 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:
  • Aug. 31: "Simulations of History: 8 Second Looks at 4 Iconic Photos," by Dr. Timothy [TAB]  Steckline, professor of Speech
  • Sept. 7: "Weapons of Math Destruction," by Dr. Colin Garnett, assistant professor of [TAB]  mathematics
  • Sept. 14: "I Am The Bone Collector, Now What Do I Do?" by Gina Gibson, associate [TAB] [TAB]  professor of digital communication
  • Sept. 21: "The Joy of SET: Inroads into Combinatorics and Finite Geometry" by Dr. [TAB] [TAB]  Daniel May, assistant professor of mathematics
  • Sept. 28: "Imagining Mythica: Hit-and-Run Game Design for the Bullheaded OR Building Narrative Engines for an ADD world [TAB]  at the Intersection of Math, Myth, Movies, and Money OR Perseverance and Beginner's Mind: The Eye-opening March from [TAB] [TAB]  Mythica to Walmart" by Karl Lehman, instructor of English
  • Oct. 5: "'The Meaning of Everything': The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary" by Dr. Andrey Reznikov, professor of [TAB] [TAB]  English
  • Oct. 12: "Tasting Life Twice: On Life-Writing and Wellbeing" by Dr. Denice Turner, assistant professor of education
  • Oct. 19: "Use of Images for Visualization and Visual Literacy in Language Class" by Dr. Du-Lu Hsiao, assistant professor of [TAB]  Spanish
  • Oct. 26: "Something Wicked This Way Comes: The History, Myths, and Rituals of Halloween" by Dr. Courtney Huse-Wika, [TAB] [TAB]  director of the Honors Program and associate professor of English
  • Nov. 2: "Veterans Legacies in the Black Hills" by Kelly Kirk, instructor of history
  • Nov. 16: "Searching for Riemann: A brief history and some recent insights into one of the most intriguing unsolved million-[TAB]  dollar problem in mathematics" by Dr. Parthasarathi Nag, professor of mathematics
  • Nov. 30: University Honors Capstone Defenses
  • Dec. 7: University Honors Capstone Defenses

To read short descriptions of each lecture topic, visit www.BHSU.edu/Honors

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.
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