Blog: A Closer Look

Celebrating Women’s Voting in Wyoming for 150 Years 

Celebrating Women’s Voting in Wyoming for 150 Years 

On December 10, 2019, Wyoming commemorates the sesquicentennial anniversary of Wyoming Territory passing “An Act to Grant to the Women of Wyoming Territory the right of suffrage, and to Hold Office,” commonly known as the Women’s Suffrage Act. I am proud that Wyoming Humanities was selected by...

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Wyoming’s Future Requires Creative Ideas

Wyoming’s Future Requires Creative Ideas

October was National Arts and Humanities Month, and along with November tends to be the busiest time for cultural programming in Wyoming. Between attending events and helping my fellow Wyomingites find out about them, the significance and impact of the creative and cultural network of Wyoming has...

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What We Owe the Dead

What We Owe the Dead

by Keelyn Byram Cemeteries are often overlooked as something the public needs to be concerned with. However, cemeteries serve an important communal purpose and when they fall into disrepair action needs to be taken. But what can be done? There are simple things private citizens can do to help...

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Summer Movies’ Nostalgia

Summer Movies’ Nostalgia

Looking back on this summer’s films, what stands out are quite a lot of sequels: Avengers: Endgame, John Wick: Chapter 3, Dark Phoenix, Toy Story 4, Spiderman: Far from Home, Men in Black International, Shaft, The Angry Birds Movie 2. Some of this summer’s films are less sequels than...

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Teton PowWow, Dancing and Chanting on Sept. 21st

Teton PowWow, Dancing and Chanting on Sept. 21st

At noon on Saturday September 21 the Grand Entry of the Teton PowWow at the Teton County Fairgrounds will mark the beginning of CWC’s first PowWow honoring and celebrating American Indian culture and history.  CWC’s powwow is student-run by the Riverton Campus’ United Tribe Club, so it’s a little...

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Paniolos, Columbus, and Language’s Power

Paniolos, Columbus, and Language’s Power

Summer in Wyoming means rodeo season. Speaking to C-SPAN, Sheridan Mayor Roger Miller noted that the entire city operates around, with, and for the rodeo during the Sheridan WYO Rodeo. History was made just recently at the Cody Stampede. Rodeo and the West are synonymous with each other.  And...

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Wyoming Humanities’ 2019 Summer Reading List

During your summer travels, hikes, and hang outs, don't forget to bring a book! Here are some recent reads by Wyoming Humanities board and staff to get you started: Nancy Guthrie, Board Member: I just finished listening to Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw narrate their book Songs of America. It’s...

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“Hearts of Glass” to Tour Wyoming

“Hearts of Glass” to Tour Wyoming

On June 1, Wyoming Humanities cohosted the premiere of the documentary film, Hearts of Glass, to a standing-room only audience of enthusiastic supporters at the Jackson Center for the Arts. The feature-length documentary about a big idea from small-town Wyoming has been traveling the film festival...

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Coming Soon: One Book Wyoming’s “In Our Time”

Coming Soon: One Book Wyoming’s “In Our Time”

This week, April 7-13, is National Library Week. The theme this year? Libraries = Strong Communities. We couldn’t agree more here at Wyoming Humanities, as previous articles demonstrate. One of the things we love about Wyoming libraries is their investment in reading groups. Here in Laramie, the...

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On the Importance of Stories

On the Importance of Stories

To misquote a former Wyoming Humanities employee: the humanities are our stories. The stories we tell ourselves determine who we are and what we believe. My misremembering of the exact quote causes this to lose some of its immediate effects, yet the truth it contains remains. We find this truth in...

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Remembering President George H.W. Bush

Remembering President George H.W. Bush

Today is a National Day of Mourning to honor the late former President George H.W. Bush, who died last Friday night, November 30, at 94. Friends and family will celebrate his life during a memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington on this day. President Trump is expected to attend...

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“Insatiable,” Diet Culture, and the Female Abject Body

“Insatiable,” Diet Culture, and the Female Abject Body

by Francesca King The concept of dieting has pervaded our society for millennia, but it is in relatively modern times that dieting has become grounded in morality. In an article published earlier this year, The Atlantic proposed the modern day diet had been around since 1918 when Dr. Lulu Hunt...

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Hemingway in the West

Hemingway in the West

In early July, I passed through Ketchum, Idaho and took some time to explore Ernest Hemingway’s history there. Hemingway was an avid sportsman who spent a good deal of time in the Rocky Mountain region hunting, fishing, and writing. He was living in his home of just a few years in Ketchum when he...

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2018 Wyoming Humanities Summer Reading List

2018 Wyoming Humanities Summer Reading List

During your summer travels, hikes, and hang outs, don’t forget to bring a book!  Here are some recent reads by Wyoming Humanities board and staff to get you started:   Sheila Bricher-Wade, Program Officer:  I’m trying to get a better understanding of what I’m hearing on the news, so am reading The...

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Modern Cultural Conversations about Motherhood

Modern Cultural Conversations about Motherhood

Diablo Cody is probably still best known for writing the breakout 2007 hit Juno, the film that follows the quirky, titular high schooler as she navigates an unexpected pregnancy and her plan to give the baby up for adoption. Cody’s most recent script, Tully, sees her reuniting with Juno’s director...

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Humanities and the Importance of Critical Thinking

Humanities and the Importance of Critical Thinking

In the late 1970’s, two psychologists, Dr. Daniel Kahneman and Dr. Amos Tversky, set out to understand why “we” were failing ourselves in the rise (or fall) to Homo economicus – some semblance of a consistently rational, self-interested being capable of pursuing optimal decisions based on...

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Democracy and the Informed Citizen & Upcoming Summer 150ths

Democracy and the Informed Citizen & Upcoming Summer 150ths

In the upcoming months Wyoming Humanities will help Wyomingites explore what it means to be an informed citizen as well as the history of tribal nations’ negotiations and treaties with the United States.  In short, the summer and fall of 2018 will see programs that encourage folks to reflect on...

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2018 Major Grant Opening and Deadline Announcement

2018 Major Grant Opening and Deadline Announcement

Wyoming Humanities is announcing the opening of its Major grant program for 2018. Beginning April 1, applicants seeking funding for larger humanities projects between $2,001 and $10,000 may submit applications through our online portal – visit www.thinkwy.org/grants and click “Apply Now.” New to...

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Mainstreaming Education in Video Games

Mainstreaming Education in Video Games

Last year, we talked a bit about the gamification of learning in a digital age and how fiction and gameplay can work to introduce emotionally difficult or hard-to-talk about concepts such as suffering in war. Frequently, the central premise of these games is the content, which the games address...

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Opening the 2018 Olympics

Opening the 2018 Olympics

This February billions of people around the world will tune in to the radio, internet, and television for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. In a tradition nearly 100 years old, over 90 countries will come together, represented by their best athletes, to join the spirit of...

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2017 Year in Review

2017 Year in Review

By Erin Pryor Ackerman As the year draws to a close, we here at Wyoming Humanities are reflecting on programs over the last year that have been particularly inspiring.  Much of our programming in 2017 has been about empowering the people of Wyoming to share and reflect on their and others’...

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Sports Are Never Just About Sports

Sports Are Never Just About Sports

Why sign your kid up for swimming or soccer?  Physical exercise, sure, but also as a strategy to teach her the benefits of discipline, teamwork, and a sense of fair play.  Sports are also a means of creating community, both for players and for fans.  Cheering for a team can build an investment in...

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Big Brother is Watching You

Big Brother is Watching You

George Orwell’s famous phrase, first published in 1949, still taps into concerns many have today.  Orwell’s 1984, after all, depicts a society in which citizens’ lives are surveilled by the government and government technology.  A classic example of dystopian fiction, Orwell’s novel was...

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Humanities and the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Humanities and the 2017 Solar Eclipse

There are few concepts so critical to our human experience and humanity as language. In the Bible, the naming of the beasts and birds is the first task set to Adam, even before Eve is created. And of all the punishments God could have brought early man, it was confounding of language that was...

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Diversity: A Solution to the Decline of the Humanities?

Diversity: A Solution to the Decline of the Humanities?

Last year, a study found that the number of bachelor’s degrees in the humanities had “declined 8.7 percent from 2012 to 2014, falling to the smallest number of degrees conferred since 2003 -- 106,869.” 8.7 percent over two years may not seem especially alarming, but this is part of a larger trend....

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What’s Up with That National Monument Thing?

What’s Up with That National Monument Thing?

The American Antiquities Act of 1906, is one of America’s most important conservation tools. An important achievement in the progress of land management and preservation efforts it provided the first general legal protection of cultural and natural resources in the United States. In the last...

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Land-Grant Universities, the Humanities, and Equal Access

Land-Grant Universities, the Humanities, and Equal Access

I have long straddled the fence between the humanities and the social sciences, one foot in each world, never quite understanding why the fence is there at all. As an English major interested in linguistics and discourse analysis and an international studies scholar interested in politics and...

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The Lost Dauphin of Mississippi

The Lost Dauphin of Mississippi

This month I will give you a reprieve from the bad news from Washington, DC upon which we’ve been focusing. We will be asking you to help us advocate for the NEH, as it means our very existence, during the coming months as Congress begins their own process and considers what guidance they take...

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Race: Its place and portrayal in film making

Race: Its place and portrayal in film making

The 1915 film Birth of a Nation holds a troubled place in American film history.  On the one hand, it has long been credited as a skillful, even masterful, piece of filmmaking, one that helped to cement much of the visual grammar that films still use today. On the other hand, the film is...

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Continuing a Conversation about the Humanities

Continuing a Conversation about the Humanities

By now you will have seen that the FY2017 budget has been approved and the NEH (and your state humanities council!) has escaped unscathed for the remaining five months of the federal budget year. Nevertheless, our greatest battle appears to lie ahead through the remainder of this fiscal year as...

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Determining the True Cost of the Humanities

Determining the True Cost of the Humanities

A conversation is going on in Wyoming and all around our country, and it is about the very soul of our nation. On March 16, the Trump administration released its first federal budget plan which called for the elimination of 62 agencies and programs, including the National Endowment for the...

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Libel in Heart Mountain: A University of Wyoming Mock Trial

Libel in Heart Mountain: A University of Wyoming Mock Trial

On Monday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the College of Law room 178, the University of Wyoming Law School will hold its next mock trial. This event kicks off a week of programming related Heart Mountain and immigration. This year’s trial is a timely and emotive case involving World War II internees at...

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The Humanities, The Economy, and STEM

The Humanities, The Economy, and STEM

It’s 1986: The Cosby Show and Cheers are at the height of popularity, the Soviet Union is still intact, and the World Wide Web has yet to be invented. It’s also the last year Congress will pass substantial immigration reform thanks to our very own Senator Al Simpson in the Simpson-Mazzoli...

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How to Slay a Dragon; or, What Fiction Can Teach Us

How to Slay a Dragon; or, What Fiction Can Teach Us

So reads the epigraph to Neil Gaiman’s novella Coraline. At the most basic level, this paraphrase of a G.K. Chesterton quote does what an epigraph should, hinting at the story’s larger theme. Coraline, the hero of the story, is thrilled when she discovers a locked door in her new apartment that,...

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Humanities’ Role in Cultural Awareness

Humanities’ Role in Cultural Awareness

Word got back to us that a call had been made to local law enforcement inquiring if they planned on doing something about the fact that the most famous “illegal immigrant” in America was coming to Jackson, Wyoming. We knew that featuring a talk by Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning...

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Public Humanities Programs and the “Elite” Narrative

Public Humanities Programs and the “Elite” Narrative

Taking a closer look the state of our nation and our state after what most will agree was the most combative presidential election of our lifetimes, clearly reveals the lack of civility and divisions of class, race, and culture that the campaign has exposed. Many of my fellow humanities council...

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#WhatsYourSource

#WhatsYourSource

Earlier this month “fake news” got daily coverage when a man shot a rifle in the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington D.C. Having read online articles claiming (falsely) the restaurant was the center of a child sex slave ring, Edgar Welch of North Carolina traveled to the pizzeria to investigate...

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American Indian History is American History

American Indian History is American History

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="2283" img_size="large" add_caption="yes"][vc_column_text]By Shannon D. Smith, Executive Director One hundred and fifty years ago, on December 21, 1866, an alliance of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Northern Arapaho fighters overwhelmed and defeated the...

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A Year in Review

A Year in Review

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="2271" img_size="large" add_caption="yes" alignment="center"][vc_column_text]By Erin Pryor Ackerman, Grants and Membership Manager As we move into December, holiday letters will soon pepper our mailboxes, catching us up (willingly or not) on friends’,...

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Is politics about facts or something else?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In Season 5 of The West Wing President Bartlet, that fictional Democratic ideal of a president, has a problem. He can nominate a liberal-minded judge as a Republican Supreme Court justice’s successor, but doing so means tip-toeing through a political minefield....

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Reviving Civility in Politics…Is It Possible?

By Shannon Smith A Pew Research Center survey conducted in June of this year found that six-in-ten Americans (59%) felt exhausted by the amount of election coverage, and of people who weren’t following the election very closely at that time, nearly 70% said they were worn out by the coverage. I...

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When all you've got's a hammer …

When all you've got's a hammer …

In the last three decades there’s been a crisis, of sorts, for the humanities to prove their value to our society. Some of our greatest thinkers have taken up their quills to defend an activity often seen as the scholarship of leisure. In general, these screeds have either bored people to tears or...

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A New Era for Wyoming Humanities

A New Era for Wyoming Humanities

Fifty-one years ago, on September 29, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act at a White House Rose Garden ceremony. Five years later, in October 1970, Wyoming was one of two states that participated in an experiment that...

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Water on the Page

Water on the Page

Water on the Page “I am haunted by waters.”  That famous closing line of “A River Runs Through It” gestures towards the intricate connections between the narrator’s family, the rivers they fish, and a deeper understanding of the world and our place within it.  The waters haunting the narrator...

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