BHSU Geek Speak series premieres with history lecture about punk and disco

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, August 27, 2015/Categories: 2015








           Dr. Chrisopher Hahn






            Kelly Kirk



The Black Hills State University Geek Speak lecture series is back for the third year, with the most interesting and controversial topics yet.

The Geek Speak series is held every Thursday at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110 on the BHSU campus. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Geek Speak will open its series Thursday Sept. 3 with "All that is Good is Nastier than Ever: Punk vs. Disco: The Defunkification of the Nation" hosted by Kelly Kirk, instructor of history at BHSU, and Dr. Chris Hahn, assistant professor of music at BHSU.

Concentrating on the &rsquo70s, Kirk and Hahn will explain how social movements and politics influenced and changed music. Kirk will offer a historical perspective, while Hahn will focus on the musical aspect.

"All that is Good is Nastier than Ever: Punk vs. Disco: The Defunkification of the Nation" is a three-part series about music history this is Hahn&rsquos second collaboration with Kirk. Last year the two gave a lecture on funk music.

"It starts with history, where funk music developed. The second lecture looked at what was going on with funk in the early &rsquo70s and related what was going on in American society. This third lecture looks at disco continuation, what was happening to funk and what caused disco to develop," Hahn said.

According to Hahn, politics, social life and economy influenced music to evolve.

"It doesn&rsquot always occur to people that music is a product of society," Hahn said. "What you are listening to is a direct result of what is going on in the world."

Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, Geek Speak series creator and director of the BHSU Honors program, which hosts the lectures, said this year everyone will find a lecture topic to peak their curiosity.

"From the political and historical crossroads of punk and disco society&rsquos fascination with the apocalyptic novel raunch culture the politics of meat examinations of pop culture favorites Sherlock Holmes, Godzilla, and Dr. Who to the influence of religion on both hip hop and science, there is something interest for every individual," Huse Wika said.

Upcoming topics include:

Sept. 10 - "Always Contested:  The Confederate Flag in the Public Imagination" hosted by Dr. Adam Gaffey

Sept. 17 &ndash "The Man on the Motorcycle: The Revolutionary Thought of Che Guevara" hosted by Dr. Tim Martinez

Sept. 24 &ndash "I&rsquoll Take You to the Dark Side: Exploring our Fascination with Death and Disasters" hosted by Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto

Oct. 1 &ndash "Ethnobotany and Indigenous Lakota Plants" hosted by Jace DeCory, Dr. John Dixson, Justin Ramsey

Oct. 8 &ndash "Now That It&rsquos Too Late: Climate Change and Human Existence" hosted by Matt Bauman.

Oct. 15 &ndash "Robin Hood Redux: How through Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), CEOs Rob From the Poor and Pay the Rich" hosted by Dr. Byron Hollowell

Oct. 22 &ndash "Outgrowing Optimism" hosted by Dr. Tim Steckline

Oct. 29 &ndash "He Who Fears the Wolf Should Never Enter the Forest:  Werewolves Among Us" hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika

Nov. 5 &ndash "Studying Society through the Apocalyptic Novel: The Road, The Year of the Flood, The Stand, and On the Beach" hosted by Dr. Laura Colmenero Chilberg

Nov. 12 &ndash "Speaking on Behalf of the Natural World&rsquos Rights" hosted by Dr. Nikki Dragone

Nov. 19 &ndash "Perspectives on Hunger" hosted by Dr. Trenton Ellis and Dr. John Alsup

To confirm topics, dates, and room numbers, check the BHSU Campus Calendar.

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

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