BHSU Geek Speak lecturer examines how empathetic beliefs can bind a globalizing humanity

Author: BHSU Communications/Friday, February 23, 2018/Categories: Events, College of Liberal Arts, Community, Events, Faculty, 2018

The Lakota people of North America say, “Mitakuye Oyasin”: we are all related. The Bantu people of Nigeria say, “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu,” meaning that a human being is human because of other human beings.
In her upcoming Geek Speak, “A little more than kin and less than kind,” Dr. Amy Fuqua, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of English at Black Hills State University, will examine the need for connectedness in light of increased diversity and globalization. Fuqua’s lecture will be held at the Jacket Zone at 617 Main St. Friday, Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. All Geek Speaks are free and open to the public.
“I’m interested in community and how community breaks down. In the 21st century, what is the ethic that we need that we don’t have?” Fuqua asks. “Great thinkers like the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Karen Armstrong all point to the same thing—we are missing and must work on our sense of empathy for people very much unlike us.”
Fuqua’s enthusiasm for literature has caused her to turn her questions about community and ethics to the stories people share with each other.
“The ethic of the 21st century,” Fuqua proposes, “requires us to tell the story of our tribe to others and to listen and read the stories other people tell us about their tribe.”
While a Geek Speak might not instantly create budding novelists, Fuqua hopes to build an understanding of the power of shared narratives: “If we know each other’s stories, we have an easier time making connections and cultivating a sense of community when we are surrounded by people quite unlike us.”
The Geek Speak lecture series, sponsored by the BHSU 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 are also presented at the Jacket Zone store located on Main Street in downtown Spearfish.
  • March 1: “Trash Has Two Parents: The Person Who Threw It and the Person Who Walked by…” by Dr. Jami Stone, professor of mathematics education
  • March 15: Postponed
  • March 22: “The Geometry of Redistricting,” by Daniel Swenson, associate professor of mathematics
  • April 5: “Sustainability, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Making the Connection” by Petrika Peters, sustainability coordinator for BHSU
  • April 12: "Rebel Girl: Celebrating a Century of Exchange Between American Popular Music and Feminism” by Dan May, professor of mathematics, and Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, professor of sociology
  • April 19: "Artificial vs. Human Intelligence: The Coming Conflict Over the Definition of Rationality” by Max Marc, associate professor of management
  • April 26: “From Bach to Braindrill: Exploring the similarities between Metal and Classical music and fandom” by David Berberick, professor of music
  • TBA: University Honors Capstone Defenses
To read short descriptions of each lecture topic, visit
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

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