speakers bureau: meet the speakers
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DESCRIPTIONMeet Humanities Iowa's speakers for the Speakers Bureau program. Each speaker has a photo, bio, and description of his/her program(s).
Meet the Speakers
Roy R. Behrens, University of Northern Iowa
Roy R. Behrens is a professor of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, he
teaches graphic design and design history. He is an editor and writer for
periodicals and books and his writings have been featured on Nova (PBS),
Equinox (BBC), Living in Iowa (IPTV) and BBC Radio. His most recent book
is False Colors: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage (2002). He can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (319) 273-2260.
Seagoing Easter Eggs: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage Everett
Warner, an artist born in Vinton, Iowa, supervised US naval camouflage in
World Wars I and II. He made important contributions to the development
of "dazzle painting," a method of ship camouflage in which confusing,
colored shapes were applied to the sides of a vessel to prevent German submarines from aiming at
it accurately from a distance. These deceptively painted ships, which the public likened at the time
to Cubism, resembled, as one writer called them, "a flock of sea-going Easter eggs." This and other
stories of camouflage artists, designers and architects are told in a slide-illustrated 45-minute talk.
Participants will come away with an understanding of the relevance of visual perception to art, the
function of protective coloring in nature, and how the principles of camouflage are used in print
design, paintings, architecture and more.
Grant Wood and Frank Lloyd Wright: Little Houses on the Prairie Grant Wood and Frank
Lloyd Wright had similar influences: Japanese-inspired esthetic principles, the Arts and Crafts
Movement and Gothic Revival architecture. During this slide-illustrated, 45-minute talk,
participants are invited to explore the parallels between the works of Wood and Wright, and how
artists express human values, whatever the medium.
Galin Berrier, Des Moines Area Community College
Galin Berrier has been an adjunct instructor in history at Des Moines Area
Community College in Ankeny since 1994. He is the author of the chapter
on the Underground Railroad in Iowa in Outside In: African -American
History in Iowa, 1838-2000, published by the State Historical Society of
Iowa in 2001. He interprets the Law Office and the Bank to visitors to the
1875 "Town of Walnut Hill" at Living History Farms and conducts tours at
the Des Moines Art Center. He makes interactive presentations on the
Underground Railroad for school classes over the Iowa Communications
Network. He can be reached at (515) 965-8242.
The Underground Railroad in Iowa The Underground Railroad,
historians agree, is shrouded in myth and legend. Did it really exist in Iowa,
and if so, when and how? Was it highly organized or did its "conductors" and "station agents"
mostly improvise? Were fugitive slaves usually hidden beneath trap doors in cellars or were they
more likely to be concealed in attics and garrets or outdoors in heavy brush and timber? What part
did African Americans themselves play in helping fugitive slaves find their way to freedom? How
many fugitives are likely to have passed through Iowa and how do we know if reputed "safe
houses" actually existed in our own communities? These are some of the questions addressed in
this inquiry into a sometimes controversial but always fascinating episode in Iowa's history.
Where did they go from here? The Underground Railroad from Iowa to Canada Where did
black freedom seekers go when they left Iowa? Only in rare cases can we trace their steps all the
way to Canada, but we can be fairly certain that some were sheltered by Owen Lovejoy at
Princeton, Illinois or hidden on board Great Lakes steamships at Racine, Wisconsin or aided by
Quakers like Zachariah Shugart in southwestern Michigan. What challenges faced them along the
way and what kind of life did they build for themselves after they reached safety in Canada?
Richard Caplan, The University of Iowa
Richard Caplan is Professor Emeritus of Dermatology at the University of
Iowa College of Medicine. While serving for 21 years as Associate Dean for
Continuing Medical Education, he founded and developed the Program in
Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities, where an endowed chair has
been established in his honor. Medical ethics, medical history and literature-
and-medicine are among his areas of interest, along with matters musical
(he is an accomplished performer of piano and clarinet). He is also a
recognized expert on Sherlock Holmes and he is the founding leader of the
Younger Stamfords, Iowa City's Sherlock Holmes Society. He can be
reached by e-mail at email@example.com, (319) 335-6584 (w) or
(319) 338-0394 (h).
Medical Ethics, Moral Dilemmas Should you have yourself cloned if you can't have children or
need "spare parts" to prevent or repair a fatal illness? If genetic testing reveals a probability of
your developing diabetes, would you change your lifestyle? These and many other ethical questions
arise frequently for health care professionals. This program offers an opportunity to discuss these
important questions with the founder of the Program in Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities
at the University of Iowa.
Sherlock Holmes in Turn-of-the-Century Britain The stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have
inspired generations of readers devoted to Sherlock Holmes. Dr. Richard Caplan, an authority on
Sherlock Holmes, recently published a book concerning Doyle's famous detective. This special
interest in the subject also allows exploration of life in Britain at the start of the twentieth century,
as well as providing much enjoyment. Using his background in medicine and his love of literature,
Dr. Caplan explores the persisting phenomenon of the great detective's astounding longevity.
Michael Carey, Poet, Farragut *
Michael Carey farms 800 acres in Farragut and is the author of four books
of poetry, a teaching manual, and two historical plays. Carey is also a co-
founder of Loess Hill Books, a fine-arts subsidiary of Mid-Prairie Books. His
work has been published in anthologies and magazines across the United
States, Great Britain and Ireland. His life and work have been featured by
the Wall Street Journal, Time, and The Associated Press, as well as on Christian Science Monitor
Television and Iowa Public Television's "Living in Iowa" and "Touchstone" programs. (712) 246-
Reading and Writing the Land/Farm Poetry Michael Carey will read from his popular essays,
"Reading and Writing the Land" and "Translations," the latter of which concerns his move from New
York City to a farm outside the small town of Farragut, Iowa. He will also present selections from
"Local History, Poetry and Myth," which deals with how we mythologize our local histories through
art. His humorous and insightful prose explores how culture and "agri"-culture cross-pollinate in
the fertile Iowa soil. After reading the essays, Carey will read a selection of his poetry from his
acclaimed books The Noise the Earth Makes, Honest Effort and Nishnabotna. All three books are
inspired by the Iowa farm landscape.
Carpenter of Song- Poems of Trees Mr. Carey will read a cycle of poems based on the Celtic
alphabet of ancient Ireland. Every letter represents a tree, a month of the year and an aspect of
being. Carey gives a rich and personal talk on the redemptive qualities of Irish natural, spiritual
and poetic symbolism. He also writes and talks about trees native to the Iowa landscape. The
ancient word for "poet" literally translated meant "Carpenter of Song."
* Prior to booking Michael please contact our Humanities Iowa office.
Hal Chase, Des Moines Area Community College
Hal S. Chase was born in Des Moines during WW2, but grew up in legally
segregated Frankfort, KY from eight to eighteen. He teaches U.S., African-
American, and Iowa history at DMACC, and coordinated and contributed a
chapter to Outside In: African-American History in Iowa, 1838-2000. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 248-7250.
Outside In: African American History in Iowa The program is a 15
minute audio-visual survey of the major people, organizations, and events
in Iowa's African-American history from its territorial beginning in 1838 to
the present. It also emphasizes the African-American history of the place
where the presentation is made, and Dr. Chase works with local people
prior to the presentation to uncover and incorporate this material into the program. In addition,
audience members are encouraged to bring their stories, scrapbooks, and family albums to the
presentation and share their content.
*Additional Resources: Outside In: African-American History in Iowa, 1838-2000 ($40, including
shipping, from the State Historical Society of Iowa-Des Moines. 515-283-1757) All receipts from
the sale of Outside In go into an account in the State Historical Society Foundation and can only be
used to acquire, preserve, and promote the African-American history of Iowa. None of the authors
has or will receive any compensation for their contributions.
Robert Dana, Iowa Poet Laureate (2004-08)
Robert Dana was born in Boston, served in the South Pacifi