Chautauqua to cover wide range of topics

Tracy Deutmeyer and Rhaason Mitchell

From the 1996 elections to everyday chemistry, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Chautauqua ’96 will cover it all.

After a successful Chautauqua celebration last fall for the dedication of Carrie Chapman Catt Hall, the College of LAS is holding a similar three-day series of lectures and discussions beginning today, LAS Dean Elizabeth Hoffman said.

“We hope to make this an annual event to coincide with Career Day. In the future we would like to look at an LAS Career Week like the College of Business has,” Hoffman said.

The Chautaqua movement started in the state of New York in 1874. It fostered civil discourse on a broad range of topics in the arts and sciences. It began as a camp for Sunday school teachers but turned into a more broad educational and political movement that has traversed the country.

“In the early days of Chautauqua celebrities such as William Jennings Bryant and Will Rogers traveled and spoke at Chautauquas around the country,” said LAS spokesperson Kay Kirkman.

The Iowa Sesquicentennial Quilt, which has been featured at the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C., will be on display today through Thursday in Room 302 of Catt Hall.

“The quilt is only going to be displayed at one location in each county of the state, and we are very happy that it will be displayed here while it is in Story County,” Hoffman said.

Today’s events will feature topics on the social sciences, including a noon speech on the 1996 elections by Steffen Schmidt, also known as “Dr. Politics.”

Barbara Mack, professor of Journalism will be mediating a discussion entitled “The Evolving Role of the First Lady: A panel discussion of the changing expectations of the First Lady.”

Members of the panel will include Amy Bix, assistant professor in history; Amy Slagell, assistant professor of English; Ray Dearing, professor of speech communications and Tom Rice, professor of political science.

“Chautauqua ’96 will be an event for the campus and the Ames community. It will highlight the expertise we have in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” Hoffman said.

Wednesday’s highlights include a visit by Des Moines Register columnist Chuck Offenburger and his wife Carla. The couple will discuss their Iowa Sesquicentennial Bike Ride across the country.

“When we left from California we were 300 Iowans passing out some 150,000 invitations to the Sesquicentennial. By the time we reached Washington, D.C., we were 300 Iowans who were excited about Iowa,” Carla said.

Chuck said, “We would do it again in a minute. There is nothing like seeing the Big Horn Mountains from the seat of a bicycle. We can’t wait to share our experiences with everyone, and we hope to inspire others to do the same thing.”

Thursday’s highlights include a discussion titled “The African American, Latino and Native American Religious Experience” by Mary Sawyer, associate professor in religious studies and Hector Avalos, assistant professor in philosophy and Latino studies.

The Chautauqua ’96 festivities end Thursday. Closing ceremonial festivities include performances by ISU Dance, a children’s choir and carillon, as well as a tour of Catt Hall and an Ice Cream Social.

“It should be a very interesting and educational experience, I hope a lot of people come and check it out,” Kirkman said.


All events are free & held in 302 Catt Hall

Tuesday, September 17

11:30 a.m. — Opening ceremonies

Speaker: Elizabeth Hoffman, LAS dean

Noon: — Iowa elections ’96 (Bring lunch or call 4-3697 to order)

Speaker: Steffen Schmidt, political science prof

1:30 p.m. — 30-Second Politics: A Look at Commercials

Speaker: Dianne Bystrom, Catt Center director

3:00 p.m. — The Evolving Role of the First Lady

Speakers: TBA

4:00 p.m. — Debate Watch ’96

Speaker: Dianne Bystrom, Catt Center director

Wednesday, September 18

9:00 a.m. — The Age of the Universe: Why the Controversy

Speaker: Lee Anne Willson, physics and astronomy prof

10:30 a.m. — Everyday Chemistry

Speaker: Dennis Johnson, chemistry prof

Noon — Iowa: The Middle Land (Bring lunch or call 4-3697)

Speaker: Dorothy Schwieder, history prof

1 :30 p.m. — Iowa Sesquicentennial

Speakers: Chuck and Carla Offenburger

3:00 p.m. — Genealogy Workshop

Speaker: Martha Deyoe, Story Co. Genealogical Society

Thursday, September 19

9:00 a.m. — Minority Religious Experiences

Speakers: Mary Sawyer, religious studies; Hector Avalos, phil.

Noon — Christian Petersen: ISU Sculptor-in-Residence

Speaker: Lynetto Pohlman, University Museums director

1:30 p.m. — The Mind and Body Connection

Speaker: Diane Cardwell, McFarland Clinic, P.C.

5:00 p.m. — Chautauqua Closing Celebration

Performances: Carillon concert, children’s choir and ISU Dance

6:00 p.m. — Closing Program (Box supper)

Tour of Carrie Chapman Catt Hall

Ice Cream Social