BHSU to present special Geek Speak on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Dr. Adam Blacker, assistant professor of history at BHSU, will examine the Holocaust and its memory after 1945 in his Geek Speak lecture on International Holocaust Remembrance Day Friday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110 at BHSU.

Dr. Adam Blacker, assistant professor of history at Black Hills State University, will present a special Geek Speak lecture in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day examining how victims and perpetrators remember the crimes committed by the Third Reich and how the Nazis' quest continues to affect the world today.

Blacker will present, "Stunde Null: The Holocaust and Memory after 1945," Friday Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall room 110 on the BHSU campus. Blacker says the Holocaust is one of the defining tragedies of the twentieth century. Between the years 1939-1945, Nazi Germany orchestrated the murder of nearly twelve million men, women, and children living in Europe and the western expanse of the Soviet Union.

"I hope people leave this presentation with a more complete understanding of the conditions that gave rise to Nazism and why hyper-nationalist populism still appeals to many groups today. It is important to recognize that the Nazis never won more than 37 percent of the vote in a free-and-fair election," says Blacker.

Blacker believes the Volksgemeinschaft still can be seen today.

"Sadly, examples are everywhere. Though the roots of exclusionary hyper-nationalism extend far beyond 2009, the global recession had an especially destructive impact on blue-collar workers and manufacturing communities, as well as countries historically tied to large industrial and post-industrial economies," adds Blacker.

Blacker believes Nazism transformed the cultural and political make-up of the European continent and the most recent example was the construction of the post-World War II global consensus after


"The creation of organizations like the United Nations, NATO, and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), for example, were part of a collective effort to bring states closer together politically and economically and to diminish the influence of nationalism and zero-sum platforms across Europe," says Blackler. "Nazism also affected how people, depending on what side of the Iron Curtain they lived, understood the origins of Fascism, what motivated individuals to participate in mass murder and how various societies memorialized the Holocaust."

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. Some Geek Speaks will be presented at the Jacket Zone.

The following on-campus Geek Speak presentations, which are held Thursdays at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110, are scheduled for this semester:
  • Feb. 2, "Prejudice, Privilege, & Perseverance Through the Lens of Disney's Zootopia" by Erica Whitiker, student engagement program coordinator
  • Feb. 9, "Mathematical Music: Bob Dylan's Extra-Lyrical Artistry," by Dr. Justin Tremel
  • Feb. 16, "Who is the Reluctant Celebrity? - Crazy Horse, Korczak Ziolkowski, Chief Henry Standing Bear, or a University and Medical Training Center" by Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung, assistant professor of management.
  • *Bonus Pre-Speak! "Who is the Reluctant Celebrity" will also be hosted at the Jacket Zone at 1:30 p.m. at 617 Main Street and again at 4:00 p.m. in Jonas 110 on the BHSU Spearfish campus.  Contact the Jacket Zone at 717-5801.
  • Feb. 23, "Truly Revolution? The Haitian Revolution and its Legacy" by Dr. Jason Daniels, assistant professor of history
  • March 2, "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman" Seminal Voices in Feminist Theory" by Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, professor of sociology Dr. Trenton Ellis, assistant professor of human services and Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, assistant professor of English
  • March 16, "Advocating for the Protection of Native Women Through Theatrical, Spoken Word and Slam Poetry Performances" by Dr. Nikki Dragone, assistant professor of English
  • March 23, "Learn Abstract Mathematics By DOING Something" by Dr. Dan May, assistant professor of mathematics
  • March 30, "Bad Bureaucrats? The Future of Whistleblowing in a Post-Snowden World" by BHSU alum and Ph.D. student Cody Drolc
  • April 6, "From Blake to the Beatles and Beyond: The Legacy of Romanticism" by Dr. Martin Fashbaugh, assistant professor of English
  • April 20, "Metapatterns" by Dr. Liz Fayer, instructor/coordinator Project SECOND, and Dr. Joanna Jones, former BHSU professor
  • April 27, "Madness in Popular Culture: The "Insanity" of Women, by Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, professor of sociology
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