Around the Nation: State by State

By Lifson, Amy | Humanities, January/February 1998 | Go to article overview

Around the Nation: State by State

Lifson, Amy, Humanities


A new play, bus tours, an exhibition, and a conference are part of the continuing series "Transforming Barbed Wire," about the two largest Japanese American internment camps in Arizona during World War II. See page 34.


The Grapes of Wrath, Matewan, The Milagro Beanfield War, and Do the Right Thing are four films being viewed and discussed in a series that explores the breakdown of the American dream. Beginning in February, "Doing the Right Thing: Reconciling the American Dream" will focus on how film directors John Ford, John Sayles, Robert Redford, and Spike Lee interpret justice, hardship, and disparity in economically fractured communities.

"Kubrick on Evil: Crassus in Spartacus" is the topic of a lecture February 18 at Wesley College in Dover. Nik Gross of the University of Delaware discusses how the role of Crassus in Stanley Kubrick's film serves as a metaphor for the societal tensions seething under the placid facade of the 1950s. A children's workshop on January 17 tells the story of Delaware's role in the Underground Railroad. "Last Stop to Freedom" is sponsored by the Quaker Hill Historic Preservation Foundation and will be held at the Wilmington Friends Meetinghouse.

"From Petitioner to Participant" is an ongoing book series on women's suffrage. Topics include Carol Hoffecker's Delaware Women's Suffrage on January 26 and Lois Scharf's Eleanor Roosevelt on February 23.


During the Great Depression, researchers for the Federal Writer's Project collected biographies of Florida's early pioneers. Now these stories are getting second lives as theatrical readings for the public. The readings are followed by audience discussions with scholars of American history, literature, and cultural anthropology. Performances will be in Venice and Naples during January and February.


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein changed the meaning of horror; Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter changed the face of adultery; and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde changed how people look at evil in themselves. These and other books will be discussed in "Gothic Fiction through the Ages," beginning January 6 at the Knox County Public Library in Vincennes. Scholar and librarian Richard King of Vincennes University will lead the discussions.

Thirty classes of children grades one through twelve will compete in theater performance at the Plays of America Youth Theater Festival, January 17-18. The festival promotes literacy and local and American history through performance. Actors and playwrights will also lead workshops for teachers on how to integrate historical drama into the classroom.

"Heritage Preservation in an Age of Economic Growth: Maintaining a Balance" is a seminar advising communities on how to retain their cultural identity. It runs January 223 at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison.

Sarah Cuffee was a freeborn, African American woman who lived in postCivil War Indiana. She was a seamstress who campaigned for women's rights in the 1870s. Actress Ophelia Wellington portrays Cuffee in two performances this winter: January 21 at the Princeton Community Middle School and February 7 at the Anderson Public Library.

Sixties poet Etheridge Knight is honored at Butler University. See page 36.

A literature circle featuring young adult books with diverse female characters commences February 9 at the Eastwood Middle School in Indianapolis. Titles include The Clay Marble by Minfong Ho and Julie of the Wolves by Jean George.

The exhibition "Out of the Attic" displays historical fashions from 1790 through 1920 at the Wayne County Historical Museum in Richmond beginning February 15.


A thirteen-part series on Kansas public television tells the story of the Kansas River Valley. Rollin' Down the River traces the route of the Kansas River through the towns and cities that form the Kaw Valley, revealing through video three aspects of each community: local history, cultural and artistic heritage, and the natural environment. …

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