All lectures are held in Jonas 110 at 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and are free and open to the public.
Professors Kelly Kirk and Chris Hahn: All that is Good is Nastier than Ever: Punk vs. Disco: The Defunkification of the Nation
Does disco really suck? Professors Kirk and Hahn will look at the political, economic, and cultural climate of the 1970s and how it gave rise to disco and punk--two disparate pop styles that seem to be completely opposite in every way.
Geeks of the Future
Dr. Adam Gaffey Always Contested: The Confederate Flag in the Public Imagination
What happens when a symbol changes its meaning? The public and political response to the tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina is but a recent chapter in the expansive rhetorical history of the Confederate flag. Behind the question of whether the Confederate flag flies on state property is a larger conversation on how symbols function as resources of shared history and community, and what probable options publics have when such icons are reconstituted in the crucible of debate. This Geek Speak offers a close look at the complicated origins, political application, and prospective future for what is arguably the most well-known and contested symbol in American history.
Dr. Tim Martinez The Man on the Motorcycle: The Revolutionary Thought of Che Guevara
Many accounts of Che Guevara’s life have focused on biographical details. This presentation will go beyond these interesting events to explore the ideas that guided his revolutionary activity during key parts of his life. Specifically, it will look briefly at the philosophical background of his thinking in the writings of Marx and Lenin, how these ideas evolved in his own thinking from the time of his epiphany during his iconic motorcycle tour of South America to his speculations on the nature of revolutionary change shortly before his death in Bolivia. This presentation will help us understand the relation between ideas and human action. It will also be greatly beneficial by giving attendees some of the intellectual substance behind image of the bearded man in the beret.
Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto I’ll Take You to the Dark Side: Exploring our Fascination with Death and Disasters
The lecture will discuss how multiple sites, associated with war, genocide, and disasters have become popular tourist destinations. It explores the various reasons why tourists visit these sites. Multifaceted issues will be discussed surrounding the extent and nature of interpretation, the suitable political and managerial response, as well as the nature of the experience perceived by tourists, residents, victims and their relatives.
Professors Jace DeCory, John Dixson, Justin Ramsey: Ethnobotany and Indigenous Lakota Plants
Ethnobotany, the study of the classification, use and management of plants by people, involves several disciplines, including natural and social sciences, to show how conservation of plants and local knowledge about them can be achieved. Ethnobotany is critical to the growing importance of developing new crops and products such as drugs from traditional plants. This lecture will introduce the audience to medicinal plants of the Black Hills and the sacredness and beautiful geography and ecosystem of these sacred Black Hills.
Instructor Matt Bauman Now That It’s Too Late: Climate Change and Human Existence
This presentation will fuse ideas from extinction theory, capitalism, and human evolution to show the imminent danger facing the globe as a result of climate change. Among the works synthesized will be Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (2013), Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. The Climate (2014), and Edward O Wilson’s The Meaning of Human Existence (2014). The purpose of the presentation is to reveal the biological devastation our current economy is creating on Earth and how humanity may or may not escape.
Dr. Byron Hollowell Robin Hood Redux: How through Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), CEOs Rob From the Poor and Pay the Rich
Based on Executive Compensation financial empirical techniques, this lecture will explore the raw financial data on a modern Robin Hood tale: Executive Compensation. Every year Executive Compensation is a hotly debated topic in the popular press, and this research data will show why both sides of the popular debate are WRONG in their conclusions. The truth is obtained when we put ideology aside and "let the data speak.” This lecture is guaranteed to frustrate, perturb, and disturb in its undermining of commonsense and Neo Classical Economic Theory. The truth of the financial data just can't be made up it is that fantastic and outlandish.
Dr. Tim Steckline Outgrowing Optimism
Trying to convince a roomful of adults that they can count on Santa Claus would be risible, so long as no still-enchanted children are in the room. But tell a group of full-grown Americans that they can dream their way to prosperity or self-fulfillment or health, and they will fork over their cash and, worse, their hearts. Candide indeed. Political commentator Barbara Ehrenreich's 2009 book Brightsided took up the gauntlet in the crusade against optimism after she was exposed to the positive-thinking protocols that accompany cancer treatment these days. She felt infantilized by the onslaught of pink ribbons and teddy bears, and yearned to return to being an adult. This American curse can be traced back to Ralph Waldo Emerson if you will, or perhaps the dual threats of the 1920s, Aimee Semple McPherson and Dale Carnegie. Now The Secret can rake in followers via dvd, print, public motivational speakers, or group interaction. Little Orphan Annie promises us that tomorrow is only a day away. Our horrific news reports end with an upbeat invitation to rejoin them when things have gotten even better tomorrow. Politicians build their campaigns around positive thinking, so kindly President Reagan sees morning in America, and Bill Clinton enters stage-right to his theme song, courtesy of Fleetwood Mac, "Don't Stop Thinking about Tomorrow." In the past decade some psychologists have been finding in positive thinking a motive force worth studying as behavioral and material.
This critique of the scourge of Optimism will posit that (a) there is no good reason for positive thinking, and (b) there are at least four reasons for avoiding this immature practice. As an improvement, Realism will be advocated: setting goals and deploying means and adjusting means to feedback data. Questions will be invited.
Dr. Courtney Huse Wika: He Who Fears the Wolf Should Never Enter the Forest: Werewolves Among Us
For thousands of years a version of the werewolf has stalked the collective unconscious as a shifting cultural symbol. Every monster, the werewolf included, is “that which warns” and “that which reveals” society’s anxieties, fears, or desires, according to leading monster theorist Jeffery Jerome Cohen. Combining oral history and written documents, old world superstitions, mythology, folklore, and contemporary cultural texts (Twilight, anyone?), this lecture will explore the tenacity and allure of the wolf’s curse.
Dr. Laura Colmenero Chilberg: Studying Society through the Apocalyptic Novel: The Road, The Year of the Flood, The Stand, and On the Beach
Apocalyptic predications and literature about it have been part of the landscape of the literary world for millennia. In reality, what is the Christian story of Noah but one of apocalypse? We find this same attention to the “end of the world” in contemporary literature. Apocalyptic fiction really speaks more to the concerns of the existing society than anything else. This presentation will look at one mid-20th century novel, Nevil Shute’s On the Beach and three more recent novels: Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, and Stephen King’s The Stand.
Dr. Nikki Dragone: Speaking on Behalf of the Natural World’s Rights
On September 13, 2007 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The adoption of this Declaration, together with establishment of three UN bodies dedicated to the recognition and protection of Indigenous rights, represents what Robert A. Williams, Jr. (Lumbee) calls “a measure of the power of [Indigenous] storytelling” through its ability to “raise consciousness,” “to give voice to a new vision of the human rights” and, “to redefine the terms of [Indigenous People’s] survival in the world.” However, Indigenous storytelling in international fora is about more than just Peoples’ rights. As a representative of the Cree Nation to the United Nations for nearly three decades, and as a lawyer of Indigenous Rights, Sharon Venne (Cree) has stated that the narratives continuously shared in these fora since 1977 were and are intended to raise the international community’s “spiritual consciousness” by giving voice to a vision of the Natural World’s rights and redefining not only the terms of their survival, as distinct Peoples, but also redefining the terms of the Natural World’s survival. Rather than arguing a specific point of view, this talk seeks to open up the dialogue about the ways in which Indigenous Peoples’ relationship with the Natural World forms the foundation of an international movement giving voice to the Natural World’s rights through storytelling at international fora. To open up this dialogue, we will begin by reviewing the history of Indigenous storytelling at these fora and briefly discussing the narrative form and content of the stories being told. This will be followed by an overview of Indigenous perspectives about the Natural World, their kinship with it, and the role Indigenous storytelling at the UN and other international fora played and continues to play in founding and maintaining an International movement, rooted in Indigenous Peoples’ relationships with the Natural World. It is possible to argue, that, slow though it may be, storytelling on behalf of the Natural World and the coming generations through the Indigenous Rights’ Movement’s fora may already be obtaining recognition for the rights of and redefining the terms of the Natural World, and by extension to the coming generations.
Drs. Trenton Ellis and John Alsup: Perspectives on Hunger
Dr. Ellis’s lecture will target domestic food insecurity in the 21st century. The USDA estimated that about 14.3 percent of American households were food insecure in 2014. This translates to about 17.6 million households in the United States or around 49 million people who did not have enough to eat. In a country where one popular restaurant chain has stuffed tiny hotdogs into the crust of their large pizzas, why do so many people still struggle with accessing food? Dr. Ellis is a rural sociologist with a research focus on food and agriculture. In this brief talk he introduces some information on the state of hunger in the United States and what is being done to reduce domestic food insecurity. Dr. Alsup will address perspectives on world hunger. Based on his teaching mathematics in Tanzania and other experiences in the developing world, he will offer some perspectives on world poverty and hunger.
3 The University Honors Program Capstone Defense
The Rise of Raunch Culture: An Open Discussion
"There is a widespread assumption that simply because my generation of women has the good fortune to live in a world touched by the feminist movement, that means everything we do is magically imbued with its agenda, but it doesn't work that way. ‘Raunchy’ and ‘liberated’ are not synonyms. It is worth asking ourselves if this bawdy world of boobs and gams we have resurrected reflects how far we've come, or how far we have left to go," writes Ariel Levy in her hotly contested book Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. Join a panel of Black Hills State professors from across campus for an open discussion on raunch culture, rape culture, slut shaming, and the current state of feminism in America.
Dr. Adam Gaffey Public Speaking: Raising Hell
This Geek Speak proposes a historical and analytical overview on agitators who have taken oratory as a form of public protest. Some speak of prophecy and others speak for open rebellion, but all speak as a form of empowerment. This talk will focus particularly on speakers who were members of historically marginalized groups, including Harvey Milk [first openly gay elected official], Angelina Grimke [daughter of slave-owning family who became perhaps the most famous abolitionist speaker for a brief time in the early 1800s], as well as the ideologically ostracized, such as Eugene Debs [socialist presidential candidate four times, once from a jail cell], and John Brown [of Harpers Ferry infamy). Students will leave this Geek Speak with a clearer sense of how historical misfits have nevertheless sought to alter public attitudes, often at great personal risk.
Dr. Nikki Dragone: “I Was Real Once,” sighed Mr. Holmes: #BelieveinSherlock #FightJohnWatsonsWar
What if, as some Sherlock Holmes fans have mused, we lived in their world – Sherlock’s, Watson’s and Moriarty’s. What if we followed Dr. John Watson’s blog religiously, having read all of the cases Watson posted to the blog. What if we “loved Sherlock and his intrepid blogger in the way the kid love pop music and bad fashion trends and movie stars. And, what if, one day, some sh___y tabloid told the whole world he was a fake and [our]hero appeared to commit suicide” (Emily Asher-Perrin in “What is the #BelieveinSherlock Movement? And How Did it Get so Widespread so Quickly?). The new generation of Sherlock fans were thinking exactly this way. So much so, that within hours of the January 15, 2012 airing of Sherlock’s “The Reichenbach Fall,” where our hero appeared to have committed suicide in disgrace, the “Believe in Sherlock” movement started among a new generation of Sherlock Holmes’s fans. Within two weeks, this movement, which began on the internet, went viral and spread worldwide. “Believe in Sherlock, “ “’Fight John Watson’s War,” “Moriarty was Real” and other meme’s were sported on T-Shirts, bracelets and buttons and posted on subway platforms, university bulletin boards and coffee shops. This was not the first time that Sherlock Holmes fans initiated a movement in protest of his supposed death. In fact, in 1893 when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, tired of Holmes receiving more adoration from the fans than he, as Holmes creator, attempted to kill Holmes off by having him tumble into Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls while fighting with Moriarty in “The Final Problem,” fans united in protest. Twenty-thousand loyal fans pulled their subscriptions from The Strand magazine according to scholars Leslie Klinger and Daniel Stashower. London’s young men donned black arm bands and mourning crepe on their silk hats in solidarity with Holmes (Klinger xxxii). One woman crossed the street and assaulted Doyle for killing Sherlock (Klinger xxxii). Doyle’s own mother reproached him for even contemplating Sherlock’s demise (Stashower 126). Despite that, it took Doyle ten years to resurrect Holmes in “The Adventure of the Empty House.” What is it about Sherlock Holmes -- a fictional anti-hero of Victorian England -- that continues to command what Holmes’ scholar Tom Keogh rather understatedly calls “continued cultural staying power” in the 128 years since Doyle introduced him to the world? That is what this Geek Speak seeks to explore.
Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung The Narcissistic Doctor? Leadership, Ethics, and Dr. Who
This Geek Speak lecture discusses the concept of narcissism through the backdrop of Dr.Who. We will specifically examine how narcissism can be defined in terms of characteristics such as overconfidence and entitlement, and how these characteristics independently affect an individual's leadership and ethical behavior. After examining the Doctor’s behavior we will determine whether his narcissistic tendencies are a benefit or hindrance to himself, his companions, the earth, and even time itself.
Dr. Martin Fashbaugh “Preaching to the Nerves Instead of the Judgment”: The Victorian Sensation Novel
As a real or perceived threat to class divisions, social mores, and rigid gender roles, the English literary establishment saw the Victorian Sensation Novel of the 1860s (by authors such as Ouida, Charles Reade, Ellen Price, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and Wilkie Collins) as an ideological threat. This lecture will go over this genre’s characteristics, the historical conditions contributing to its popularity, its influence on so-called “serious” Victorian fiction, and its lasting influence on Western culture. For example, with its romantic triangles, adulterous relationships, melodramatic circumstances, snobbish upper-class characters, and attractive villains, the Sensation Novel produced the archetypes for the present-day television soap opera. My presentation intends to challenge students’ perceptions of Victorian literature and culture as stuffy and highly moralistic while also helping them to appreciate the Sensation Novel’s enormous impact on contemporary pop culture.
Dr. Amy Fuqua: Biblically Speaking: Sin and the Role of Women in the Christian New Testament
A pregnant, young girl, sane but prone to visions, willing to travel by donkey in her 9th month, and to entertain guests both flamboyant and humble: this is the ideal woman as presented in founding Christian texts. Impossibly, she is both innocent and maternal. Some New Testament women succeed as minor versions of her. Lazarus’s sisters, for example, prove their devotion. So does the mother of John the Baptist, Elizabeth. Perhaps the only New Testament woman as interesting as Mary is Mary Magdalene, who, despite having once suffered from demons, and despite her later reputation as a recovering prostitute, achieves the honor of being the first to see Jesus after his resurrection. Christian texts leave little middle ground between virgin and whore. Art and literature in the western tradition make that ground even smaller.
Dr. Nate Deichert: Can religion and science get along? Sure, but should they?
This Geek Speak will explore the relationship between religion and science. In this talk, Dr. Deichert will discuss some of the tensions that have arisen over the years between the two areas as well as describe the impact of fundamentalism on this relationship. He will also explore religious belief in the scientific community and what factors influence scientists' beliefs (or lack thereof). Finally, the lecture will conclude with a discussion of the implications of this relationship, and specifically its influence on people's health.
Dr. Tom Arnold: Not Just a Cheesy Monster Movie: the Multiple Meanings of Godzilla
For many kids (Dr. Arnold included!), Godzilla movies were a Saturday afternoon staple: settling in on the couch, to watch Godzilla destroy Tokyo and/or do battle with evil space monsters like the three-headed Monster Zero (his personal favorite). It resembled pro wrestling, and with heroes and villains. Depending on the movie, Godzilla played either role, sometimes both. The first Godzilla movie, Gojira, was taken very seriously in Japan upon its release. It was only when the movie reached America that it became the cheesy monster movie beloved by millions.
This Geek Speak will explore the origins of the movie, its meaning in Japanese culture, and its transformation into a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. The main sources will be William Tsutsui’s book Godzilla On My Mind, the movies themselves, and a variety of pop culture spinoffs, such as toys, games, and the word “Godzilla” itself, whose latter half has become a pop culture mainstay.
Dr. Dan May: On Hip Hop and Religion
This Geek Speak will explore the connections between religion and hip hop: how has hip hop been influenced by religion? Has religion been influenced by hip hop? What are the common characteristics shared by the two?
Professor Desy Schoenewies: Draw Something!
Get your pencils sharpened, because this Geek Speak will get you geeked out on drawing! We will explore what it means to draw through a brief history of drawing and how the practice of mark-making has evolved to incorporate the latest technologies. We will discuss why artists still practice traditional drawing techniques and explore some contemporary drawing methods! We will understand how drawing expands our critical and analytical thinking skills. A resurgence in drawing and keeping sketchbooks is sweeping the nation with programs like The Sketchbook Project! We'll look at how to keep a sketchbook and to get involved with a community of fellow sketchers! Basic drawing supplies will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own. Everyone -EVEN YOU- can draw!
Dr. Dan Swenson: A Tour of Voting Systems: How do we choose a winner?
With the 2016 elections coming up, we take a look at some different voting systems which are used around the world, including Plurality voting (used in South Dakota and other places), Instant Runoff Voting (used in Minneapolis and other places), and Borda Count (used in Heisman Trophy voting, among others). Different voting systems can yield different winners, and also can affect voter behavior: perhaps by giving an incentive for you to vote against your favorite candidates. Are some of these systems better than what we're using now? You be the judge!
If you know how to count, you know more than enough math for this session.
Dr. Trenton Ellis: The Social Life of Meat
Both within the classroom and in research, Dr. Trenton Ellis highlights the social life of food. Meat has meanings beyond the nutritional ramifications of meat consumption in three important ways. First, abstaining from meat involves changes in social relations. The process of adopting a meat-free diet involves changes in the relations people have with animals and impacts the relations they will have with fellow meat-eaters. Second, meat is a symbol in that it has meaning beyond its physical and nutritional characteristics. Within the United States, meat is strongly connected to the social construction of masculinity. Look no further than these Slim Jim commercials for what might happen if you are not being masculine enough. And finally, though we are often not conscious of it, when we consume meat we are participating in a complex social interaction with a number of actors. When we eat meat, we are enrolling in a relationship with breeders, ranchers, food marketing companies, and even entire ecosystems. Whether you love or loathe eating meat, Dr. Ellis’ presentation on the “Social Life of Meat” will satisfy your intellectual appetite.
28 The University Honors Program Capstone Defense
Geeks of the Past
•"Just Do It: Sports Participation & Onset of Sexual Behaviors in Adolescents," hosted by Kristin N. Prescott (Defense)
•"Cracking the 'Hermeneutically' Sealed Box of Structuralism: A Poststructuralist Reading of Nicos Poulantzas," hosted by Cody A. Drolc (Defense)
•"Mathematical Instruction: Sometimes Change is Good," hosted by Myranda K. Mattke (Defense)
•" Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game." John Ginther
•"In the Name of the People: Castro's Revolution in Theory, Practice, and Results," hosted by Kim R. Kaufmann (Defense)
•"Harry Truman and the Atomic Bomb: A Complex History and Analysis," hosted by Lucas C. Fralick (Defense)
•"The Truth is in Here: Why 12 Million Americans Believe Lizard People Run the Country (and Other “Crazy” Conspiracies)," Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis.
•"Love Me I'm Rich: The Rise and Fall of American Alternative Rock," Dr. Dan May
• “Breaking Bad and Inexhaustible Extreme Met(h)abhor," Dr. David Cremean
• “You Want to Send a Message, Use a Telegram.” Theatre, Politics, and the Art of Confrontation," Dr. Pam Wegner
•"The Videogame Monologues: An Examination of Gender in a Male Dominated World," Instructor Will Cockrell
•"All That Is Good Is STILL Nasty: The Continuing Funkification of the Nation Part I: Funk and Urban Culture in the 1970s," Dr. Chris Hahn and Professor Kirk
•"Butchers, Buffoons, and 'Basterds': Nazis in Popular Culture," Dr. Tom Arnold
•The Sound (and a Bit of Sense) of Poetry from Ancient Times to the Present," Dr. Nicholas Wallerstein.
•"Hands Up Don't Shoot: Boiling Points of Tension in Ferguson, Missouri," hosted by Professor Desy Schoenewies.
•"The Rhetoric of Equality: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Arguments on Civil Rights," hosted by Dr. Adam Gaffey.
•"Disruptive Depictions of Disability in South Park," hosted by Dr. Rickie Ann Legleitner.
•“Welcome to the Zombie-Ridden Landscape of the Real: The Walking Dead and the 21st Century Passion for the Real," hosted by PhD Candidate Tyrone White.
•"The Fall Defense: Revealing Tournament Theory's Motivational Techniques within Hollywood Movies; On Finding Hope" hosted by Julie Gueswel and Jordan Louks.
•"The Geek Chic" hosted by Dr. Robb Campbell
•"Lincoln and Gettysburg: From Rhetorical Artistry to National Totem," hosted by Dr. Adam Gaffey.
•"For pairs of lips to kiss maybe / Involves no trigonometry : Mathematics and Poetry," hosted by Dr. Dan May.
•"Practical Magic: The Myths and Rituals of Halloween," hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika.
•"The Dark Mouse: The Evils of Disney," hosted by Dr. Tim Steckline.
•"Why Democracy Needs Good Novels: The Future of Fiction," hosted by Dr. Amy Fuqua.
•"WE ARE #RAVENSNATION: Violence in the NFL," an open panel discussion. Hosted by Drs. Marker, Anagnopoulos, Gaffey, and Wallerstein.
•"All That is Good is Nasty: The Funkification of the Nation," Hosted by Dr. Chris Hahn.
•"Happy? The Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment:" Hosted by Dr. Jami Stone.
•"The Super History of America's Superheroes," hosted by Professor Kelly Kirk.
•The Defense: "The Surveillance Industrial Complex: America's Privacy Crisis;" "Distinguishing the Meditative Benefits of Drawing Within and Without Borders on Acute Stress," hosted by Nicole Faas and Kaitlin Schneider, respectively.
•"This is Gonna Suck: The Vampire in History and Literature," hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika.
•"A Look at Beauty: Bias, Brokenness, and the Pursuit of Truth," hosted by Professor Gina Gibson.
•"Children Beware! Stephen King and Evil in Its Many Forms," hosted by Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg.
•"My Bloody Valentine: The Psychology of Serial Killers," hosted by Dr. Emilia Flint.
•"Just a Shadow You're Seeing That He's Chasing: Bob Dylan, Mystic," hosted by Dr. David Cremean.
•"What Does the Fox Say: The Animal in Art and Society," hosted by Dr. Ann Porter.
•"We Wish you a Merry and Terrifying Christmas: Myths, Histories, and Legends of the Holiday"
•"56 Houses Left: Urban Decay and Abandonment," hosted by Professor Desy Schoenewies.
•"Killing the President: JFK and the Conspiracies," hosted by Dr. Sasha Pursley.
•"The Good Death: Death and Dying in the Civil War," hosted by Professor Kelly Kirk.
•"Your Guide to the Apocalypse: The History of Zombies," hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika.