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GEEK GUIDE 2019-2020

Unless noted, all lectures are held in Jonas 110 at 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and are free and open to the public.

Geeks of the Past


  • Jeff Wehrung: “Why We NEED Science Fiction!”

  • Dan May: “Bridging the Gap: Diversity in the STEM Pipeline”

  • “East Meets West (River): Creative Readings from BHSU and USD Creative Writing Faculty”

  • Tim Steckline: “Zoot Suits and the Sailor Riots of 1943: Race Terror in Aztlan”

  • Kelly Kirk and Carrie Gray-Wood: “A Taste of Place: The History and Geography of Food in Italy”

  • BHSUArt Faculty: “Beyond the Classroom”

  • Kelly Kirk: “Honoring Veterans' Legacies”

  • Andrey Reznikov “The Role of Bible Translations in Establishing the English Language”

  • Aaron Bauerly “You are the Hero: Interaction with Mythic Archetypes Through Games”

  • Du-Lu Hsiao “How to be Spanish”

  • Desy Schoenewies.: “Drawings from China: Experiences from the BHSU/Baoding University Partnership BHSU Artists at Baoding University”

  • Tami Haaland: “An Afternoon of Poetry with Montana's Former Poet Laureate”

  • Tracy Hunt and Chelsey Groseclose: “The Matrix Within: from Insomnia to Lucidity, the Powers of Sleep and Dreaming”

  • Altman Studeny, Carrie Gray-Wood, Tim Steckline: “Twisted Fibers: Felt as Art, Technique, and Social Critique”

  • David Cremean: “Bruce Springsteen as Storyteller”

  • Jeffrey Winter: “Secrets and Unconventional uses of Microsoft Office”

  • Holly Downing: “Why Our Mascot is Not a Bee—The Frustrations of a BHSU Entomologist”

  • Max Marc: “It's 2019... how 'Blade Runner' predicted Elon Musk, the Simulation, and the coming war with A.I."

  • Chris Hahn: “We’re All Musicians: Exploring the Brain-Music Relationship”

  • Petrika Peters: “Global Dumping: What Happens to Your Electronic Waste?”

  • Alex Lang: “Noise-Makers: Fascists and Music”


  • University Honors Capstone Defenses: Carissa Hauck- “Why Black Hills State University Domestic Students Choose Not to Study Abroad;" Madison Jilek- “Utilizing Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy to Detect Trace Impurities for Rare Event Search Detectors;" Kayti Parish- “Purposeful Movement, its Relationship to Kinesthetic Learning, Ways in which it has Already Been Incorporated into the Classroom, and the Full Body Science Project;"  Khazayma Khan-“A Revival of Justice: An End to Life Without Parole Sentences for Nonviolent Drug Crimes;” Alexandra Hancock- “Let Them Play: Increasing Time Children Spend Outdoors in Midwest Towns of Fewer Than 15,000 People;" Courtney Dahlgren- “Photoredox Coupling of an Activated Aldehyde and Various Trifluoromethylation Reagents;" Thomas Trimble- “Platinum Group Elements: A Sustainability Paradox;" Bobby Russell- “Teaching a Work of Literature through Its Historical Development: A Unit Plan for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Julietand Its Sources;" Abigail Burnett- “Business Plan for Galusha Solar;" and Dakota Becher- "The Pen(is) Mightier than Sealed Lips: An Analysis of Rape Culture Within Young Adult Literature"
  • “Berlin Now: A Portrait of a City after the Wall," Dr. Adam Blackler
  • “America’s Favorite Carnage: Selling Wilderness Ordeals as Spectacle,” Dr. Tim Steckline
  • “Fano-Plane and Di-Graph Poetics: Intersections of Math and Poetry," Dr. Dan May and Dr. Courtney Huse Wika
  • “’A Little More than Kin and Less than Kind:’ The Concept of Relation Across Religious and Cultural Traditions," Dr. Amy Fuqua
  • “’Trash Has Two Parents: The Person Who Threw It and the Person Who Walked by…:’Thriving in the Age of Accelerations," Dr. Jami Stone
  • “Gerrymandering:The Geometry of Redistricting," Dr. Dan Swenson
  • “Sustainability, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Making the Connection," Petrika Peters
  • "Rebel Girl: Celebrating a Century of Exchange Between American Popular Music and Feminism," Dan May and Laura Colmenero-Chilberg
  • "Science", the Expert Problem, and Mass Hysteria,” Dr. Max Marc
  • “From Bach to Braindrill: Exploring the Similarities between Metal and Classical Music and Fandom,” Dr. Dave Berberick
  • "Simulations of History: 8 Second Looks at 4 Iconic Photos," Dr. Tim Stecklin


  • "Weapons of Math Destruction," Dr. Colin Garnett
  • "I Am the Bone Collector, Now What Do I Do?" Professor Gina Gibson
  • "The Joy of SET: Inroads into Combinatorics and Finite Geometry," Dr. Dan May
  • "Imagining Mythica: Hit-and-Run Game Design for the Bullheaded OR Building Narrative Engines for an ADD world at the Intersection of Math, Myth, Movies, and Money OR Perseverance and Beginner's Mind: The Eye-opening March from Mythica to Walmart," Instructor Karl Lehman
  • "The Meaning of Everything: The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary," Dr. Andrey Reznikov
  • "Tasting Life Twice: On Life-Writing and Wellbeing," Dr. Denice Turner
  • "Use of Images for Visualization and Visual Literacy in Language Class," Dr. Du-Lu Hsiao
  • "Something Wicked This Way Comes: The History, Myths, and Rituals of Halloween," Dr. Courtney Huse Wika
  • "Veteran Legacies in the Black Hills," Professor Kelly Kirk
  • "Searching for Riemann: A Brief History and Some Recent Insights into One of the Most Intriguing Unsolved Million-dollar Problem in Mathematics," Dr. Parthasarathi Nag
  • The University Honors Capstone Defenses: "Spirituality: The Cornerstone of the Inca Empire, Katherine Nelson, University Scholar; and "Financial Literacy and Delayed Gratification for BeeSweet Farmers in Zambia", Katelyn Woten, International University Scholar; and "Evaluating the Clonal Structure of Invasive Ivy through Microsatellite Markers," Alissa Iverson, University Scholar
  • "Metapatterns," Dr. Liz Fayer and Dr. Joanna Jones
  • "From Blake to the Beatles and Beyond: The Legacy of Romanticism," Dr. Martin Fashbaugh
  • "Bad Bureaucrats? The Future of Whistleblowing in a Post-Snowden World," PhD student (and University Honors Program graduate) Cody Drolc
  • "Advocating for the Protection of Native Women Through Theatrical, Spoken Word and Slam Poetry Performances," Dr. Nikki Dragone
  • "Do-si-dos and Dihedrals: Mathematics and, wait, what...Dance?!?," Dr. Dan May
  • "Truly Revolution? The Haitian Revolution and its Legacy," Dr. Jason Daniels
  • "Who is The Reluctant Celebrity? - Crazy Horse, Korczak Ziolkowski, Chief Henry Standing Bear, or a University and Medical Training Center," Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung
  • "Mathematical Music: Bob Dylan's Extra-Lyrical Artistry" Dr. Justin Tremel
  • "Prejudice, Privilege, & Perseverance Through the Lens of Disney's Zootopia," Erica Whitiker
  • "Stunde Null: The Holocaust and Memory after 1945," Dr. Adam Blackler
  • "Panic! At the Meat Department. Food Scares as Moral Panics," Dr. Trenton Ellis
  • "Iconography of Desire (And Confusion)," Dr. Avi Jain
  • "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Oscar Wilde: The Dialectical Cowboy," Dr. Tim Steckline
  • "BHSU Edge: Creating the Professional Student Development Program," Karin Humar, International University Scholar
  • "Supersymmetry, Superstrings and the quest for the Theory Of Everything," Dr. Nag
  • "Are We All Related? Race and the Embrace of The Other," Professor Jace DeCory and Dr. Tim Steckline
  • "Lawyers, Home Runs, and Money: The Long and Ongoing Corruption of Professional Baseball, America’s Past-its-Time,"Dr. David Cremean
  • "999 Mona Lisas in the Age of Digital Reproduction: A Tribute to the Life and Work of Walter Benjamin," Dr. Tim Steckline
  • "I'm Like, Who Needs This Grammar Stuff?" Dr. Andrey Reznikov
  • "LGBTQ+: Fleshing Out the Acronym," Dr. William Cockrell, Dr. Lesleigh Owen, Terri Bruce, and Dr. Emilia Flint
  • "Recycling Perceptions," Hailima Yates
  • "Dangerous Minds: Banned Books and their Authors," a panel discussion with Scott Ahola, Emily Eggebraaten, Amber Wilde, and Shana Monnens
  • "Uranium Mining in the Black Hills: An Explosion of Interest," Dr. Lilias Jones Jarding
  • "All We Are Saying: Social Activism in Music," Dr. Trenton Ellis and Dr. Dan May


  • "In vitro Nanoparticle Cytotoxicity on Buffalo Rat Liver Cells," Alicia Benz, International University Scholar
  • "The Islamic Moorish Influence on the Architecture in the South of Spain," Ashley Ruegg, International University Scholar
  • "The Social Life of Meat," Dr. Trenton Ellis
  • "A Tour of Voting Systems: How do we choose a winner?" Dr. Dan Swenson
  • "God Show Me the Way: Religion and Hip Hop," Dr. Day May
  • "Not Just a Cheesy Monster Movie: the Multiple Meanings of Godzilla," Dr. Tom Arnold
  • "Draw Something! A Drawing Workshop," Professor Desy Schoenewies
  • "Biblically Speaking: Sin and the Role of Women in the Christian New Testament," Dr. Amy Fuqua 
  • "Preaching to the Nerves Instead of the Judgment:' The Victorian Sensation Novel," Dr. Martin Fashbaugh
  • "The Narcissistic Doctor? Leadership, Ethics, and Dr. Who," Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung
  • "I Was Real Once,” sighed Mr. Holmes: #BelieveinSherlock #FightJohnWatsonsWar," Dr. Nikki Dragone
  • "Public Speaking: Raising Hell," Dr. Adam Gaffey
  • "#BlurredLines: American Raunch Culture," an open discussion with Drs. Courtney Huse Wika, Trenton Ellis, Rickie Legleitner, and Laura Colmenero-Chilberg
  • "Stuffies, Sex and the Contemporary Counter-Reformation," Professor Ann Porter
  • "So Much More Than 'Just a Game:' A Complete Summer Program Curriculum for School-Aged Children Aligned to Education Standards," University Scholar Megan Hohn.
  • "Perspectives on Hunger," Dr. Trenton Ellis and Dr. John Alsup.
  • "Speaking on Behalf of the Natural World’s Rights," Dr. Nikki Dragone.
  • "Studying Society through the Apocalyptic Novel: The Road, The Year of the Flood, The Stand, and On the Beach," Dr. Laura Colmenero Chilberg.
  • "The Origins of Language," Dr. Andrey Reznikov.
  • "Outgrowing Optimism," Dr. Tim Steckline.
  • "Robin Hood Redux: How through Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), CEOs Rob From the Poor and Pay the Rich," Dr. Byron Hollowed.
  • "Now That It's Too Late?: Climate Change and the Anthropocene," hosted by Instructor Matthew Bauman.
  • "Ethnobotany and Indigenous Lakota Plants," hosted by Professors Jace DeCory, Justin Ramsey, Tara Ramsey, and John Dixon.
  • "I'll Take You to the Dark Side: Our Fascination with Death and Disasters," hosted by Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto.
  • "The Man on the Motorcycle: The Revolutionary Thought of Che Guevara," hosted by Dr. Tim Martinez.
  • "Always Contested:The Confederate Flag in the Public Imagination," hosted by Dr. Adam Gaffey.
  • "All that is Good is Nastier than Ever: Punk vs. Disco: The Defunkification of the Nation," hosted by professors Kelly Kirk and Chris Hahn.
  • "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).
  • "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).
  • "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game," John Ginther.
  • "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)aphor," Dr. David Crimean.
  • "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 Cockerel.
  • "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.

5: University Honors Capstone Defenses @ the Joy Center 

5: Tim Steckline - "Conspiracy Theory Minus the Smirk: The Structural Analysis of Hustles and Hoodwinks"

Those in the know define “conspiracy theory” as “crazy people making crazy talk.” This term is a warning that a rational person should not waste time on what you might hear next. While admittedly at times the pattern-seeking part of our social sense can grow beyond plausibility, our reasonable caution is tempered by our realization that in our modern world there are complex organizations that do operate in secrecy. How can we sort the hustles from the hoodwinks? In an attempt to develop a serious method for the clear-eyed and clear-headed study of conspiracy theory, let’s try to make sense of Building 7, QAnon, Dealy Plaza, the Deep State, K Street, and moon landings. Our structural analysis of such organizations takes us back to their origins in the Assassins, the Templars, the Boston Tea Party, the CIA, your neighborhood bank, and purported debunkers offering gifts of fresh Trojan Horses. For the Systematic Listener, the Searcher of Hidden Crevices, the Debunker of Debunkers, we shall distill 7 Precepts for the Hygienic Study of Conspiracy Theory. These include Carp Detection [sic], Meta-Skepticism, Phil Dick’s Louvered Onion, the Gospel of St. Godel, Pynchon’s Principle of Mirror Genesis, and RAW’s Law of Levity. A Certificate of Completion will be issued to those who master all 7 Precepts.


12: Trenton Ellis - "Hungry Jackets: Exploring Food Insecurity on Campus"

Food security “means access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life” (USDA 2019). Most Americans (88 percent) live in food secure households (USDA 2017). People who lack access to enough food are considered food insecure. Nationwide, just under 12 percent of Americans can be categorized as food insecure (USDA 2017). As with most social problems, some groups struggle more than others. As many as 45 percent of U.S. college students exhibit some level of food insecurity (Goldrick Rab et al. 2019). But what does food insecurity look like at BHSU? What are its impacts on students? And what might our community do to respond? Dr. Trenton Ellis explores these questions through a Geek Speak highlighting his recent study on food insecurity at Black Hills State University. September is Hunger Action Month and thus attendees are asked to please bring one college student appropriate non-perishable food item in support of the BHSU Student Food Pantry.


19: Jarrett Moore - “Manufacturing (Real)ity”

This lecture will explore the Foucauldian concept of power and how our discourse(s) serve to create the reality in which we live. Using critical discourse analysis, Foucault’s ideas will be outlined and applied to several modern examples of how media and political narratives serve certain groups of people and lead to hegemony of ideas by setting the context of the discourse.


26: Clarissa Thompson - “Mindful Movement: Campus Yoga and Meditation”

Brief: Join certified 500 hour Yoga Instructor Clarissa Thompson for an all-levels yoga flow and meditation. You will be introduced to the physical and mental practice of yoga in this session. Expect to move and then sit for a short meditation. Bring a mat if you have one, we will have some extras if you do not have your own mat.

Yoga is an ancient practice of movement, mindfulness, and connection. Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “to Yoke” and in this practice we yoke or bring together the scattered elements of our being: body, mind and soul. The power of this practice is not just in the ability to move, but in the ability to gain confidence, a sense of wholeness and create community. Making time for you, to unwind and distress is a MUST! Come learn the amazing benefits of this practice!

3: Andrey Reznikov - "The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster and His Dictionary"

Noah Webster today is mostly known – if known at all – as the compiler of the first American Dictionary of the English Language. Indeed, his dictionary is the most famous, but not his only creation. His spelling book, which sold millions of copies, created new spelling rules – rules we still use today. But that is not all. Even though Webster personally did not take part in writing of the US Constitution, his passionate political speeches and essays in support of the united country, during the time when the United States were anything but united – were a powerful influence in creating the real union of the first 13 states. Thus, he truly is the forgotten founding father – of the new country and its new culture, and his dictionary of American English is a testament to that.


10: Aaron Bauerly - "Grey Gaming: The Rise of the Antihero"

Beginning after World War I, and continuing after World War II, antihero protagonists have become an increasingly popular trope in modern media. Video games are no exception. Advances in computer and gaming technology have allowed for highly dynamic narratives that let the player participate in the swirling of light and dark, allowing the same protagonist to become a flawed hero, an antihero, an agent of retribution, or even a sympathetic villain. Join me in an examination of games in which player action and complex programming structures impact story and character development, often revolving around moral choice and ambiguity.


17: Christopher Landauer and Chris Fuchs: "Wizard, Fighter, Rogue RPG Design: Community Building Through Gaming"

Christopher Landauer is an Industrial Engineer by vocation (Stanford) and a Roleplaying Game Engineer by avocation. Engineers are typically tasked with building things, and together with Chris Fuchs, Christopher L. has spent the better part of the last decade building communities, building audiences, and building worlds in the Gaming space.

Chris “Savage Mommy” Fuchs is a proud Geek. He has been gaming since the late 90’s, Starting with 2nd Edition D&D and playing with the same gaming group for that entire time.
Between them they organize the Rocky Mountain Savages, the largest RPG group in the Mountain West and coordinate RPGs for the largest tabletop conventions in the same region. They host the Savage Cast, a popular podcast and appear on several other media properties which promote gaming and the game community.

They just released Buccaneer: Through Hell and High Water, their first RPG gaming book and have multiple other projects in the pipeline for publication. Chris L has also done creative work for Electronic Arts, one of the largest video game companies, was the first person to solve all the puzzles in Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, and ran a treasure hunting forum with tens of thousands of active participants. If the first step of being a Geek means being honest and open about the things that excite you and the things that you love, the second step is finding ways to integrate those passions in to your life and career.


24:  This Geek Speak has been moved to November 21.

31: Laura Colmenero-Chilberg - “Trick-or-Treating, Jack-o-Lanterns, and Feeding the Dead: How the Ancient Roots of Halloween Connect to Present Day”

Halloween! Costumes, trick-or-treating, candy corn, ghosts, and vampires! We are all familiar with our present-day Halloween practices, but where did this spooky holiday originate? In this Geek Speak, we will discover the ancient roots of this favorite holiday and follow its wandering path to present day. Come ready to peak behind the veil of Halloween!

7: Erica Whitiker - "Hello. Hey! What Up?!?!: The Subtle Art of Code Switching"

There is an unspoken need for marginalized groups to engage in code switching (transferring between two or more varieties of language) in order to appear more professional and less threatening. This lecture will discuss the subtle art of code switching and how it plays into marginalized populations inability to show up authentically. We will also discuss some personal experiences the presenter has faced and how code switching is a part of their daily lived experiences.


14: Parthasarathi Nag - "A Brief History of Black Holes"

With the recent [April, 10th, 2019] observation of a Black Hole in the center of the supergiant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 using an global array of radio X-ray telescopes known by Event Horizon Telescope it might be an appropriate time for briefly reviewing certain aspects of this object in general. Our story will start from the 18th century with mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace who postulated using Newton’s theory of gravity the first idea of a Black Hole. During the early 20th century mathematician David Hilbert and physicist Albert Einstein formulated the General Theory of Relativity. In a few months after the announcement of the result [1915], Karl Schwarzschild obtained a solution [in the middle of a trench during WW-I around 1916] to the Hilbert-Einstein equation which had an interesting aspect to it called “singularity”. One of the consequence of this is an extremely warped space-time, so much so that even light cannot escape and we have a Black Hole. However, it was found by Arthur Eddington and Finkelstein that this is an “apparent singularity” and a Black Hole can be characterized along with the idea of a White Hole which could be the nature of Big Bang. These effects are still classical without any quantum effects till physicist Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bekenstein theorized that Black Holes should radiate which ultimately leads to a Black Hole evaporating. Along with this presentation on Black Hole we will also point out how this has influenced certain interesting paradoxes one of which is called the Information Paradox that has resulted into the “Black Hole War” between Stephen Hawking on one side and Gerard ‘t Hooft/Leonard Susskind on the other side.

Kelly Kirk and Hayley Bowen: "Veterans' Legacies, Veterans' Impact: the 93rd CTD in the Black Hills" 

Between 1943 and 1944, Black Hills Teachers College (BHTC) hosted the cadets of the 93rd College Training Detachment (CTD). While the presence of these cadets had a significant impact on the University and its history, the Black Hills region left its own mark on the lives of those stationed here.

16: Dr. Miro Hacek - "Yugoslavia: Heaven Or Hell on Earth?"
Black Hills State University’s first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Miro Haček of the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), recalls the life of an average person in Yugoslavia – a very special kind of socialist country that existed from the end of the Second World War until 1990/91. The country was based on worker self-management, and politics of Cold War neutrality, with a unique leader, Josip Bronz Tito, who is still adored and missed but is also hated by many in former Yugoslavia. 

23: Tim Steckline  - "Gates without Walls: An Anarchist’s Appeal for Open Borders" 
A gate normally functions as a way in or out of a perimeter. But from St. Louis to San Francisco, and from El Paso to Edmonton people have constructed Gates without Walls. These gates stand freely, with no walls to direct converging traffic: these gates are symbolic of an Open Invitation. Free-standing gates can be easily circumvented, so their symbolism makes them less than functional. The American West has promoted gates without walls through much of its long tradition. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is replicated in the Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance to Yellowstone, and both are echoed by the Golden Gate.

The counter impulse in our West is a desire to enclose, whether with forts or barb wire or survey lines or camp fences or reservation boundaries or national borders. These can become Walls without Gates, for they are designed to resist escapes. The West has long promised gates but it has erected walls. It may be time to live up to the ideals of the West, to the Gates of Open Invitation. This is an argument for open borders, something many are accused of proposing but few actually defend, and fewer defend without apology. Calls for the erection of walls without gates are anti-human, anti-organic, and anti-aesthetic. Life should move about freely.


30: Du-Lu Hsiao - "Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé: The story behind Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games."

Freddy Mercury began to feel a huge admiration of Monserrat Caballé since he saw her performing for the first time in Verdi’s Un ballo in Maschera at the London Royal Opera House in 1983. That admiration continued for several years, and during Mercury’s tour A Kind of Magic (1986), he stated in an interview that his favorite opera singer was “Montsy” and that she “has the best voice of all living human beings". Thus, after many attempts from Mercury to meet with the opera star asking if they could meet and perform together, in 1987, without a warning, he sat down at the piano at the former Hotel Ritz in Barcelona and began to improvise Exercises in Free Love. It was the first time Queen front man Freddie Mercury met Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé. This meeting led to a legendary musical partnership, and friendship, between the best of classical and contemporary music to create the iconic anthem of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Join us in this Geek Speak to understand how the chemistry between Mercury and Caballé generated an amazing friendship story behind the 1992 Olympic Games.

6:  Janette Hettick - “Change is  Hard:  Explaining, Reframing, and Coping with Life Transitions”

Nancy Schlossberg first developed Transition Theory in 1984, and has since spent much of her career thinking and writing about the big changes that humans encounter throughout their lives.In this Geek Speak, we will define transition and explore those humans encounter throughout the life cycle. We will examine why changes affect different individuals differently.Ultimately, we will learn to use the framework to better understand ourselves and those around us and to create coping and helping mechanisms during times of change.

13: Dan May - “That Song Changed My Life: The BHSU Community Reflects on the Power of Music”
(An Interactive Geek Speak Experience:  Bring  Your Stories!)
Inspired by the similarly-titled book by NPR Music’s Bob Boilen, this session will feature the diverse voices of BHSU students, staff, faculty and community members. We will individually celebrate the ability of music and song to move, challenge, comfort, guide or surprise us. Each person will share a time in their life when a particular piece of music provided an especially meaningful soundtrack. From this disparate set of unique and personal stories, unifying themes will emerge, and we will collectively reflect on the power of sound to provide shared meaning in our lives.

20: David Berberick - "School music vs. Our music. Why is this a thing and what can we do to change it?"

School music programs are facing a dilemma in our state as fewer and fewer people are pursuing teaching the subject in our state as well as existing teachers are constantly working to keep students in their programs. However, music in society continues to be everywhere in our society. Why then with such a high demand for music do we continue to fight to have people teaching and learning it in our schools? Perhaps it has to do with the content taught in music programs differing from what people seek in society. In this Geek Speak, we will explore the problem of school music content, examine potential changes that need to take place in schools, and discuss how people choose to engage with music.


27: Nick Drummond - "Hollywood and Politics: Using Movie Scenes & Television Shows to Illustrate a Point"
Is political science boring? It doesn’t have to be! In this Geek Speak, I will demonstrate how the instructional use of television shows and movie scenes can bring to life political subject matter for students. Topics to be explored include party politics, constitutional design, humanitarian intervention, presidential legacy, electoral politics, and effectual virtue. Scenes will be selected from: (1) John Adams, (2) The West Wing, (3) Game of Thrones, (4) Black Hawk Down, (5) Apocalypse Now, and (6) The Manchurian Candidate.

Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Geek Speaks have been cancelled for the remainder of spring 2020.  Please check back in early summer for the 2020-2021 lineup.


2: Amy Fuqua - “How to Read (and love!) Poetry”

Anyone can read and love a good poem. Poetry doesn’t require special training or secret decoder ring. Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” is just two lines written in contemporary English. William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 is a highly formal poem written more than four hundred years ago. Yet, both of them deliver delight to anyone who can read sentences in English. We will read and discuss the delights of a handful of poems written in English and then—for those who wish to add some music and geometry with their art--we will explore poetic form and meter. These elements just make the experience richer.

16: Courtney Huse Wika: Poetry Workshop I - “A Spontaneous Overflow of Powerful Feelings:” A Two-Part Poetry Writing Workshop

The 2018-2019 Geek Speak lineup comes to a close with a two-part poetry workshop in celebration of National Poetry Month and inspired by e e cumming’s words of advice: “Well, write poetry, for God's sake, it's the only thing that matters.”

Join us for readings from regional poets and an introduction to poetry through creative exercises and training in critical reading, poetic form and technique, and revision.

23: Poetry Workshop II - “A Spontaneous Overflow of Powerful Feelings:” A Two-Part Poetry Writing Workshop

The 2018-2019 Geek Speak lineup comes to a close with a two-part poetry workshop in celebration of National Poetry Month and inspired by e e cumming’s words of advice: “Well, write poetry, for God's sake, it's the only thing that matters.”

Join us for readings from regional poets and an introduction to poetry through creative exercises and training in critical reading, poetic form and technique, and revision.

30: Open Poetry Reading

Come celebrate the end of National Poetry Month with readings from BHSU faculty, students, and Spearfish community members. Bring a poem to share!