Our World Subjects

abuse is not LOVE

by Felicia Webster

abuse is not LOVE, is a spoken word play with the creative highlights and energy of Dani Cleveland, Doriette Jordan, Paula Bell and Felicia Webster. This highly charged 40 minute play uses interactive dialogue, gospel, hip hop and theater to disseminate information on the cycle of abuse. With personal testimonies and emotional ups and downs,  this is a show that is dedicated to keeping it real and telling the truth about domestic violence, it’s the healing journey and support needed to make it through the storm.

The Desire to Be Heard: Art, Culture, and the Human Experience

by Christopher Krampe

In an increasingly numbers-oriented society, the value of the humanities face heightened scrutiny from politicians, employers, and the general public. Krampe explores the significance and importance of art throughout human history, and why some things are very important, even if they cannot be easily measured or quantified.  The presentation introduces cutting edge archaeological discoveries and research in the exploration of the human need to be heard.

Discoveries from the Fortepiano

by Donna Gunn

Travel back to the Enlightenment where intellectual and creative individualism flourished! Explore and hear the revolutionary developments in the piano that Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart capitalized on in their composing. Experience the marked influence of Affekt and Strum und Drang;  feel the frustrations, angst, and joys expressed through the Viennese Sigh; all distinctive traits of the eighteenth century, where music mirrored the dynamic social changes of the time. Visual presentations and solo piano performance by Gunn.

How Chocolate Twice Conquered the American Continent: A Deliciously Historical Perspective

by Jose Francisco Garcia

The tale begins with 2000 year old murals depicting the uses for chocolate and continues to the present time witnessing the allure and power chocolate continues to have on human society.  Garcia shares the history of cacao and discusses its value as a worldwide commodity.

The African Presence in Spanish America

by Jose Francisco Garcia

Learn how the migration of millions of Africans into the Americas over a period of time stretching from the 16th century to 1862 has influenced the peoples, history and culture of Spanish America.

American History Told Through Mexican American Eyes

by Jose Francisco Garcia

The story of how historical events tie  Americans in general to the Spanish experience in the Americas.….from Cortez to Dia de los Muertos, the co-mingling of cultures contributes to our national heritage.   A quick study to help understand the relevance of Cinco de Mayo, Mexican Independence Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, Dia de los Muertos, Dia de los Ninos and other commemorations crossing over to American mainstream culture.

Beverly Deepe Keever: An Unconventional Woman for An Unconventional War

by Thomas Berg

In her book Death Zones & Darling Spies: Seven Years of Vietnam War Reporting Keever champions women as capable war correspondents and trounces the misconception that the American press “lost” the war.  Berg discusses Keever’s exploration of the war’s poorly understood and under-appreciated earliest years, and how she demonstrates that the president and his advisers—by hubris, ignorance, and choice—missed significant opportunities to understand and fight the war.

What If? History

by Jack Campbell

Campbell reaches back into the 16th and 17th centuries to explore events that helped make the United States of America what it is today. He invites the audience into a discussion about how our country might be different today if not for these events.

Dunne "Dooing" It

by Robert Dunne

Dunne provides a look at traditional Aboriginal culture using such musical instruments as the didgeridoo (an ancient Australian wind instrument made from a tree branch hollowed out by termites), clapsticks and bullroar.

Didgeridoo and Dulcimer, Too

by Phyllis Dunne by Robert Dunne

The Dunnes present the unique sounds of the Appalachian Mountain dulcimer and the Australian Aboriginal didgeridoo. The program invites audience participation as the Dunnes describe the representative cultures. The dulcimer and the didgeridoo are known for their characteristic mesmerizing drones. Phyllis focuses on the history behind American folk songs, while Bob shares the legacy of Australian Aboriginal folk tales and traditions.

Nebraska Goes to China: Research, Education and Relations with Asia’s Rising Power

by Patrice McMahon

Why has China become such an important trade and education partner and what kinds of activities are under way? What does it mean for the state and what’s behind the state’s interest in global engagement? McMahon discusses Nebraska’s current relationships with China.

Caste, Class and Gender: Women’s Work in India

by Meenakshi N. Dalal

This presentation is based on Dalal’s field study of women’s work in rural India. It treats such topics as arranged marriages and the dowry system, the seclusion of women, the caste system and the variety of women’s work in India. Dalal’s presentation is accompanied by a slide show.

Nelson Mandela and the End of Apartheid

by John Simmons

An informal discussion about how Nelson Mandela was the right man at the right time, maybe the only man who could have brought down apartheid relatively peacefully.  Simmons incorporates the role of other players including Winnie Mandela and F.W. de Klerk.

The Origins of American Environmentalism

by Fred Nielsen

The intellectual roots of American environmentalism are found in the works of three 19th-century New Englanders—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and George Perkins Marsh. Emerson and Thoreau laid the groundwork for an ethic to protect the environment with their aesthetic and spiritual appreciation of nature. Marsh was the first modern ecologist. Nielsen describes the contributions of each in developing an appreciation for the natural world and the human relationship to it.

The Universal Sacred Hoop

by Nancy Gillis

Presentation explaining and exploring the concept of the sacred hoop image from a variety of tribal traditions, including the interpretation given to John G. Neihardt by the Oglala Lakota Holy Man Black Elk. Emphasis on the cultural and spiritual context. Approx. 45 min.

Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith

by Maisha Godare

An overview of American Muslim life and culture illustrating what it means to be Muslim in America. This interactive, informal talk separates facts from fiction with easy to understand coverage of:

  • Beliefs, practices and values
  • Muslim population data
  • Holidays & celebrations
  •  Islams connection with other faiths

Czech Folk Costumes (kroje)

by Janet Jeffries

National folk costumes, or kroje, in the Czech Lands developed over centuries from the simple garments of the people to the colorful, artistic ensembles one finds today at festivals  and in museums.  Through slide illustrations and her own collection, Jeffries provides an interesting look at some of the literally hundreds of costume variations differing according to districts, villages, and feudal estates.

Understanding American Indian Tribal Governments

by Wynema Morris

Morris asks what it means to be an enrolled tribal member, which leads to the issues of tribal jurisdiction, tribal sovereignty, Las Vegas-style gaming and relationships with the U.S. government. Morris explains the role and function of tribal governments and how the interaction between Indian tribes and early Europeans during the Age of Discovery forged legal and political ties that continue to have an impact today.

American Indian Values for the 21st Century

by Wynema Morris

This presentation provides an in-depth analysis of the world view of American Indian people, along with a comparison of both the American Indian values system and that of the Euro-American.  This presentation includes the values of spirituality and religion, time, nature, sharing and acquisition, work, cooperation and competition, teaching and learning, acceptance of change, religion, aging, power and recognition and law.

Security in the Post-Cold War Era

by Patrice McMahon

McMahon focuses on changes in international cooperation, both with our allies and former enemies, weapons of mass destruction, warfare and how we have come to define security and national interest.

Music of Ireland

by David Marsh

From Sligo to the Ring of Kerry and from Galway Bay to Dublin, Marsh presents various musical styles from the Emerald Isle. He uses many instruments, including the accordion, penny whistle, Northumbrian pipes and bodhran (Irish drum), to perform jigs, reels, rebel songs, and sing-a-longs. His stories tell of Irish legends, elves and fairies, historical events of famine and wars and the joys and sorrows of immigrating to a new land. David has performed Irish folk music for over 20 years with local Irish bands Paddywhack and Ellis Island, the later which can be heard regularly in Omaha and the Kansas City area.

Music of the Germanic Lands

by David Marsh

From sailing songs of the North Sea to yodel music of the Alps, and from the Rhine to Vienna, David presents music from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Drawing on his experience of three years living in Switzerland and a bachelor’s degree in German, David sings folk songs and demonstrates the history of traditional German music on various instruments, including the accordion, autoharp (chorded zither), hammered dulcimer and others. Audiences hear stories and songs, in both German and English, describing the history and culture of Germanic lands.

Music From Around the World

by David Marsh

With over a dozen instruments and stories about each, David entertains with music from around the world. This multi-cultural program is a musical expose of the influence that immigrants from around the world have had on our American culture. Audiences learn about the creativity of the “folk” who developed the instruments and musical styles, the role music has played in traditional cultures and the musical influences various cultures have had on one another in America.

Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on a Safari

by Betty Levitov

Join Professor Levitov and her Doane College students on an unforgettable learning experience as they study African history, literature, and culture during travels through seven countries.  Students encounter new customs and discover a subtle and complex connection among people normally worlds apart.

Joan of Arc: Saint, Witch, Madwoman, Hero?

by Carole Levin

Joan of Arc is one of the most famous people of the 15th century and one of the most famous women in history. A peasant girl who grew up in France during the 100 Years War with England, in 1429 she heard the voices of saints, who told her to ask the dauphin (the king’s eldest son) for an army. In attempting to retake Paris, Joan was captured and tried by the English for witchcraft and sorcery. In 1431, she was burned at the stake, and in 1920 she was canonized. This talk discusses Joan’s life and her image and reputation in the centuries after her death.

Jews in Medieval and Reniassance England: Realities and Representations

by Carole Levin

Levin talks about the lives of Jews in Medieval and Renaissance England, with a focus on the case of Dr. Lopez, a converted Jew who was physician to Queen Elizabeth I. He was accused of attempting to poison her and was executed on rather dubious evidence. Levin also discusses the representation of Jews in Renaissance drama, focusing on Shakespeare’s character Shylock.

Elizabeth I: Power, Politics and Sexuality

by Carole Levin

In the second half of the 16th century, the English people had to deal with their feelings about a ruler who was not only a female, but also unmarried. Levin explores connections between the rumors about Elizabeth’s sexuality and the ways she used power, particularly in her courtships and her relationships with her favorites. Levin gives an insightful look at the politics, pressures and personal life of Queen Elizabeth I.

A Visitor from Russia

by Richard Kimbrough

Kimbrough assumes the personage of Dr. Viktor Ustinov, a Russian visiting the U.S.A. He points out cultural differences ranging from food to education to marriage. Later in the program he drops his “Russian” accent and addresses the audience as himself, but before he assumes his real identity, the audience will be forced to think about cultural and political differences. He has presented this program more than 500 times all across the nation.

Songs, Dances and Games of the Lakota

by Jerome Kills Small

Kills Small describes the history and origin of Native American songs and dances. A lecturer and storyteller who makes hand drums and pow-wow-size wood drums, Kills Small also is a singer of Lakota songs who has traveled extensively as a member of the Oyate Singers of Vermillion, S.D.

Harvesting Foods and Medicines in the Dakota Tradition

by Jerome Kills Small

In this presentation, Kills Small describes the medicinal foods and plants that grow in the Missouri River valley, on the Great Plains and on up to the Rocky Mountains. He talks about the universal uses, legends and history of the plants in Native American life.

U.N. Security Council Reform

by Michael Kelly

After Iraq II, the United Nations Security Council has many obstacles to overcome. The five permanent members–Britain, France, Russia, China and the United States–reflect the power structure of 1945, not that of the early 21st century. This program investigates the changes needed by the U.N. Security Council and what may be its future.

The Resurrection of the Pre-Emptive Strike Doctrine in International Law

by Michael Kelly

This program looks at the United States’ current broad interpretation of the Pre-Emptive Strike Doctrine.  The program also investigates how the doctrine has been interpreted and challenged in the past and how the U.N. responded.

Genocide as an International Crime

by Michael Kelly

This program investigates genocide as defined by international law. In addition, this presentation looks at the history of how the world has reacted to the crime.

Human Rights and Indian Rights: Las Casas to Standing Bear

by Robert Haller

How did the idea of universal human rites, including the rites of indigenous peoples, come into Western consciousness and law? This talk cites the contribution of Bartolome de las Casas, whose arguments lead to the New Laws governing Spanish colonization.; of Judge Dundy’s verdict in the famous trial of Crook vs. Standing Bear (1879) which asserted the “personhood” of native peoples; and the “participant observation” research of Francis La Flesche, which fostered the recognition of the integrity of Native culture. Many other factors entered into the development of the current understanding of human rights; but the Western need to incorporate non-Western cultures into the existing framework of Western thinking played a significant part.

Leslie & Julia Stephen: A Victorian Man and Woman

by Evelyn Haller Harris

In this presentation, Leslie and Julia Stephen, parents of Virginia Woolf, represent Victorian man and woman. A man of enormous energy and achievement, Leslie was an outstanding Alpine climber who wrote a book on the subject. Later, he was editor of The Cornhill Magazine, founder and editor of The Dictionary of National Biography and editor of The Men of Letters series of literary biographies. Julia wrote and published a book as “Mrs. Leslie Stephen” entitled “The Care of the Sick in the Home,” a subject about which she had extensive knowledge. Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron was Julia’s aunt, and this program is illustrated with her images.

Introduction to Classical Mythology

by Evelyn Haller Harris

This program provides an introduction to the basic Greek and Roman myths. As a framework, it uses the most accessible and useful book on the subject, Ovid’s “Metamorphoses.” A contemporary of Christ, Ovid was a skilled rhetorician who constructed an epic composed of myths that were current in the Rome of his time. Haller’s discussion of “Metamorphoses” is based on its Penguin paperback edition, a prose translation by Mary Innes. The slide illustrations she uses include medieval manuscript illuminations.

Third World Poverty, America and Development

by James S. Wunsch

Since the avalanche of new nations during the 1950s and ’60s, a shared goal for the United States and the Third World has been “development.” Much time, treasure and labor has been poured into this task, yet the results are ambiguous. Some experts even argue that the Third World has gotten poorer for all this effort. In what ways have we and Third World governments understood and tried to combat their peoples’ deep poverty? Why is America involved in these issues? This presentation focuses on various strategies, the results and the most promising approaches.

Contemporary Africa

by James S. Wunsch

It has been some 40 years since most of Africa achieved its independence. While hopes were high at independence time, many African states have experienced economic decline and political instability. The presenter, who has lived, taught, done research and traveled in much of Africa since the early 1970s, explores the reasons for these problems, what the African states are doing to improve their prospects and what the United States can do to help.

The Journey of Spoken Word

by Felicia Webster by Michelle Troxclair

The Wordsmiths present the history and nuances of Spoken Word, that part of the Great African Oral Tradition by which familial stories, history, traditions, morals and values, hopes and dreams, pain and tragedy are all relayed through cleverly woven poems and stories. It is the dramatic delivery of the soul through clever wordplay, tonal semantics, metaphor, odd syntax and characterization. It has grown, expanded and evolved. It is powerful, as words often are—when delivered with fervor, soul and spirit of African American people.

Our Plains Indian Heritage

by Phyllis R. Stone

Stone, a descendant of Chief Iron Shell, an elder of the Rosebud Sioux tribe and a Sun Dancer, explains the uses and traditions of handmade items she brings for this presentation — items from both past and present American Indian cultures. Dressed in a traditional Sioux woman’s dress, she speaks about the life of the Rosebud Sioux as she shares artifacts. She describes life on the reservation and how her family combines their Indian heritage with other interests. Also included in the talk are artifacts and legends of the Mountain Man and the relationship of that culture to the Indians of the Plains.

Lifestyles of Lakota Women

by Phyllis R. Stone

As a descendant of Chief Iron Shell, a peace chief of the Rosebud Sioux, Stone shares her expertise on the lifestyle of a Lakota woman from birth to death. She describes changes that have come about in modern times, contrasting the contemporary lifestyles of Lakota women with past traditions. The degree to which Lakota women lead lives separately and distinctly from men in their tribe is discussed, and variations of practices that can be found among women in the tribe are described. Stone’s intimate knowledge of her Rosebud Sioux people and their ceremonies, her native attire and artifacts make this a rich and unique experience for young people

The Diversity of Life in South Asia

by Robert Stoddard

This program focuses on the everyday lives of people in South Asia, especially India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan, as expressed in their work, folk art, architecture and religion. Emphasis can be adjusted according to the needs of your group. This is not a travelogue. Rather, the contents draw upon the experiences of the presenters during several periods of living and studying in South Asia. The presentation may consist of either explanations and interpretations of colored photographs (that would be displayed best as wall hangings) or commentaries on slide photos.

Encounters with World Music

by Randall Snyder

These introductory remarks on non-Western systems of art and folk music include such topics as Islamic music from North Africa and the Middle East, the structure of the North Indian raga, the Indonesian gamelan and traditional music from Korea. This presentation features recordings, video material and demonstrations of instruments.

The Real Pirates of the Caribbean

by John Simmons

Simmons gives an account of the reality of pirate life, law, and terror tactics; explains pirate terminology; and tells of treasure and a few famous pirates including Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Henry Morgan, and some notorious female pirates.

A Musical Journey Across America: Songs That Helped Shape a Nation

by Chris Sayre

From the engaging sea shanties of the Eastern Seaboard to the haunting songs of the Appalachian Mountains, from the blues of Mississippi to the pioneer songs of the American West, Chris Sayre brings to life the rich and varied music of the continental United States. Performing on guitar, mandolin, banjo, slide guitar, concertina, melodeon, lap dulcimer and musical saw, Chris captivates his audiences and leaves them with a deeper understanding of how we got to where we are today.

Andean Folk Music and Cultures of South America

by Oscar Rios Pohirieth

Experience the Andean cultures of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Chile through an acoustic journey and storytelling. The founder and director of the award-winning Lincoln-based Andean musical group Kusi Taki (Quechua for Enchanting Music) will play traditional South American instruments including the Quena (flute), Zampoñas (panpipes), Charango (ten-stringed small guitar) and Bombo (goatskin drum) and sing in Spanish and Quechua to bring alive the cultures and history of the indigenous peoples of the Andes.

A Day in the Life of a Victorian Lady

by Patricia Pixley

Using authentic artifacts and costume, a day in the life of a Victorian lady unfolds, from breakfast through afternoon tea. By examining the social customs, dress, etiquette and decorative furnishings of the 1870s and ’80s, audiences learn about the social conventions surrounding the organization of the household, the maintenance of social status and the role of etiquette in determining place in the Victorian-era community.

Modern Czech Art and Architecture

by Bruce Garver

Modern Czech art and architecture reflect the Czech people’s desire to resurrect and cultivate every modern movement in the arts, technology and politics, as well as the best of their national traditions. Garver’s illustrated program describes and evaluates the principal movements in modern Czech art and architecture and discusses the outstanding representatives in each of movement, beginning with impressionism in art and neo-classicism in architecture, beginning in the 1890s.

Contemporary Politics and Society in the Czech and Slovak Republics

by Bruce Garver

Garver addresses developments in the Czech and Slovak republics since the breakup of Czechoslovakia Jan. 1, 1993. He begins by examining the “Velvet Revolution” of November 1989 and the dismantling of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia before examining continued efforts by Czechs and Slovaks to rebuild political democracy and a market economy and to rejoin the European community of nations. He discusses efforts by Czechs and Slovaks to maintain good relations with one another while implementing improvements in the political, economic and cultural life of their countries. The presentation concludes with an assessment of the current problems and prospects of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

Storytelling and the Hispanic Oral Tradition

by Linda Garcia-Perez

An experienced storyteller, Garcia-Perez draws on her experiences as a young girl in Omaha’s Mexican-American barrio. Her stories convey a universal message of humor, wonder and tradition. The presentation can be tailored to focus on one of the following topics:

  • “Traditional Hispanic Stories for Families and Children” – using stories to bring to life the myths, fantasies and tales of Latin cultures
  • “Keeping the Oral Tradition Alive: Abuelita (Grandmother) Stories I Heard When I Was a Girl” – examples of stories based on rights of passage
  • ” Traditional Mexican, Central and South American Motifs as Vehicles for Folk Tales” – depicting the life and times of Hispanic People

Goddess Worship

by Meenakshi N. Dalal

This program uses slides and discusses “Worship of Goddess Durga,” the biggest festival in West Bengal during early autumn. The status of women in India is explored along with the cultural discussion.

Cultural Practices in India

by Meenakshi N. Dalal

Dalal discusses the many facets of Indian tradition and culture, including arranged marriage, the caste system and goddess worship.

The Irish Odyssey: Where the Irish Came From

by James P. Cavanaugh

In this presentation based on research for a book he is writing, Cavanaugh examines the origins and travels of the Irish people from 12,000 B.C. to the present day. Using a multidisciplinary approach, he discusses the progress of the Irish according to linguistic, archaeological, anthropological and genealogical findings.

T.E. Lawrence, the Arab Revolt, and World War I in the Middle East

by John Calvert

This talk examines World War I’s dark inheritance in the Middle East. Drawing on a rich cast of characters — T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), the Hashimite princes of the Arab Revolt, British and French colonial officials – the talk brings to life the making of the modern Middle East, explaining how the post-war imperial carve-up laid the foundations of future conflict and poisoned relations between the Middle East and the West.

America in the Eyes of an Islamic Fundamentalist

by John Calvert

Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), the prominent ideologue of Islamic fundamentalism, studied in the United States from 1948 to 1950. This presentation traces Qutb’s journey across America, focusing on his six-month stay at Greeley’s Colorado State College of Education (now the University of Northern Colorado). Letters and articles that Qtub wrote are examined as sources for his observations on American society, allowing audiences to enter the worldview of Islamic fundamentalism and understand how others view Americans. Slides and materials, collected by Calvert in Cairo and Greeley, are featured.

Traditional Folk Music

by Bill Behmer by Gwen Meister

This presentation is a brief overview of Anglo-American folk music, including 500-year-old British Isles ballads and American folk songs over the centuries. Gwen Meister and Bill Behmer describe the “folk process” as they accompany themselves on mountain dulcimer, fiddle, autoharp and other traditional instruments.