St. Louis native analyzes turmoil in Ferguson, Mo. during BHSU Geek Speak lecture

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, February 4, 2015/Categories: 2015








           Desy Schoenewies, assistant professor of art at BHSU, will present a lecture on the tensions present in her hometown after the August shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. as part of the Geek Speak lecture series.  Schoenewies&rsquo lecture will be held Feb. 12 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall 110 on the BHSU campus.     



Black Hill State University assistant professor of art and St. Louis native Desy Schoenewies will present a lecture titled "Hands Up Don&rsquot Shoot:  Boiling Points of Tension in Ferguson, Missouri" Thursday, Feb. 12 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall 110 on the BHSU campus.  The lecture is free and open to the public as part of the Geek Speak Lecture Series.

Schoenewies grew up in Bridgeton, Mo. near Ferguson where Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was shot and killed by a police officer Aug. 9, 2014.  Schoenewies has since returned to Ferguson to document the impact of the shooting on the community.  

"This isn&rsquot just a two-sided issue, it&rsquos not a black and white issue," said Schoenewies.  "It&rsquos so much more complex."

Those complexities, according to Schoenewies, include socio-economic factors and the layout of Saint Louis County.

"This shooting could&rsquove happened anywhere in the metro area of St. Louis.  There are systemic problems in the city. Surrounding neighborhoods are facing the same types of socio-economic issues," said Schoenewies.

In her lecture, Schoenewies plans to address the make-up of the city of Saint Louis and how the township&rsquos topographic and governmental structure added to tensions in the wake of the shooting.  

Schoenewies will also share examples of the community&rsquos recovery.

"Yes, there was property destroyed and vandalism in reaction to August&rsquos events, but at the same time artists came in and painted large murals across boarded-up buildings," said Schoenewies.  "There is a resurgence of community appreciation and necessary dialogue underlying the tensions."

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 on Geek Speak, contact Dr. Courtney Huse-Wika, director of University Honors and assistant professor of English at BHSU, at or 605-642-6918.

Upcoming Geek Speak topics include:

Feb. 19: Dr. Nick Wallerstein: "The Sound (and a Bit of Sense) of Poetry from Ancient Times to the Present"

Feb. 26: Dr. Tom Arnold: "Butchers, Buffoons, and 'Basterds': Nazis in Popular Culture"

March 5: Dr. Chris Hahn and Professor Kelly Kirk: "On Black Politic Music of the 1970s"

March 19: Dr. William Cockrell: "On Gender and Gaming"

March 26: Dr. David Cremean: "Breaking Bad and the Inexhaustibility of Extreme Metaphor"

April 9: Dr. Dan May: "&ltInsert Relevant Song Title Here&gt:  The Rise and Fall of American Alternative Rock"

April 16: Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis: "The Truth is in Here: Why 12 Million Americans Believe Lizard People Run the Country (and other "crazy" conspiracies)"

April 23: John Ginther: "On Game of Thrones"

April 30: Dr. Dave Berberick: "On the History of Heavy Metal"

May 5 and May 7: The Defense (Capstone defense for University Honors seniors)

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