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Life/Immigration/Unique Topics

The American Grain Elevator:   Linda Laird, author. Laird discusses these iconic features of the plains, why and when they began, purposes, materials used and more.

Encounter with Zombie Culture: Myth and/or Fascination:   Dr. Cécile Accilien, director, Institute of Haitian Studies, University of Kansas. Hear the true history of what we’ve come to call zombies. Learn what it might reveal about our culture that we’re so smitten with them. 

Feel Your Oats (With Help From a Goat):   Jerry Harper, attorney. From a virility cure that involved goats, to fame, fortune, a run for the governorship and more, Dr. Brinkley did it all. Hear about his life and what we might learn from him.

Harvey Houses: America’s First Fast Food:   Dr. Anita Specht, associate professor, Kansas Wesleyan University. A Harvey House sign was a welcome sight to weary train travelers. Learn about this iconic and successful restaurant chain, its Kansas connection and the “Harvey Girls.”

History on a Piece of Cloth: Kansas Flour Sacks:   Nancy Jo Leachman, collector and explorer. Leachman discusses how she collects and dates flour sacks, using sacks mainly from the 1920s to the 1940s. Learn how these mini-billboards served political and advertising purposes and showed cultural themes.

Immigration in Kansas:   Matthew Sanderson, associate professor, Kansas State University. Compare past and current trends, community benefits and challenges when new people move in. Sanderson shares how new cultures become part of, and impact, their community.

Kansas Legends and Folktales: Jim Hoy, author, professor, Emporia State University. Hoy explores some of the fantastic Kansas folktales and legends. Learn how these stories help us understand the character and people of our state.

Tank Tops, Torpedoes & Tire Smoke:   Ed Barr, associate professor, McPherson College. From headlights to fins, learn about the breakthroughs and breakdowns of 1950s car design, as well as the people behind them.

Understanding the Maya and the 2012 Apocalypse: Fact or Fiction?:   Dr. Heather McCrea, assistant professor, Kansas State University. What was all the hoopla about? Dr. McCrea helps separate fact from fiction. Explore apocalyptic theories, the Mayan calendar, writing systems and more.

The Worst of Times: Life in America during the Great Depression:   Dr. Robert Weems, Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History, Wichita State University. Weems discusses some major causes of the Great Depression, its impact on the American economy, projects designed to ease the pain and how Hollywood helped out.