Archive for the ‘Area Studies’ Category


Elvis, the King, and Michael, Prince of Pop, had much in common

August 28, 2009

By Molly Armstrong Head

Coming up on Hoosier History Live! this Saturday is a reprise of our “Elvis at Market Square Remembered”  show, with eyewitnesses Zach Dunkin and Rita Rose, then reporters for the old Indianapolis News and Indianapolis Star, respectively.  Zach had given the King’s concert at Market Square Arena a devastating review, and continued, for some time, to receive hate mail for “having killed Elvis Presley!”

I reflected on the Elvis show when Michael Jackson died this summer at the age of 50.  Elvis was dead at  44.  On the Elvis show I had learned that Elvis had been surrounded by “yes men” who were not necessarily of a mind to confront the star about his alcohol and drug abuse and other excesses.  I mean,  who could pull off an “intervention” on a super star, whether it’s Elvis or Michael?!  There is some similarity in the ultimate demise of both of these men which is very sad.  Certainly,  being a super star is not always a bed of roses!

The Hoosier History Live! Elvis show will air Sat., Aug. 29, at 11:30 a.m. and  Wed., Sept. 2, at 9:30 a.m. on  WICR 88.7 fm.  Or you can listen online by clicking WICR.


Food for Thought: Indiana’s Food Culture

August 18, 2009

If you stopped by our booth at the Indiana State Fair during Hoosier Heritage Day and added your hometown’s food treasures to our map of Indiana–thanks! We’ve compiled some of the data into a map of Indiana’s food culture and identified things like food festivals and agribusinesses, as well as livestock and agricultural hot spots. Take a look, here.

Then, add your feedback below. We couldn’t fit everything on the map–and for that, we apologize. But, please continue to help us out by identifying what’s missing in your neck of the woods.


Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic at the Eiteljorg

November 6, 2008

Back in September the Indiana Humanities Council made the final round of grand awards for 2008 (Don’t worry, 2009 is just around the corner and more grants are on their way. Start your application early.) Humanities Initiative Grants are awarded on a competitive basis three times per year and are judged on a variety characteristics. We receive a lot of grant applications and make a lot of awards. Helping so many projects from all over Indiana go from plans to reality is one of the cooler aspects of working here. (Truth be told, I have very little to do with the grants program. Fellow Hoosierati blogger, Nancy Conner is the workhorse of that operation and she does a phenomenal job.)

All of the grants awarded go toward programs in the public humanities and all of them are interesting and important. While I was away, two programs we gave grants to already happened. We awarded a grant to the Asian Help Services to host an Asian Festival back at the beginning of October. And we also gave a grant for a civic discussion on immigration hosted by IUPU-Columbus.

Now that I’m back from Texas and have more-or-less gathered my wits about me, I would like to tell about the next event we helped to fund before it happens.

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is opening a new exhibit, Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic which is sponsored by Barnes and Thornburg and Dorit and Gerald Paul. There are two days of scheduled events planned to mark the exhibit’s opening and as part of those opening ceremonies the Eiteljorg is bringing in Kendra Tagoona and Charlotte Qamaniq to perform katajjaq, or Inuit Throat Singing.

This will truly be a unique experience for anyone that gets to enjoy it. Throat singing is a very old art and the Inuit variety is unique among cultures that practice throat singing. The IHC awarded the Eiteljorg funds for this part of their opening ceremonies and the accompanying talk where Kendra and Charlotte will talk about their culture and their own relationship with this part of their cultural heritage.

The full schedule of the two days of events is:

Schedule of events
November 15
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sale of Inuit art
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Family Activities:  Finger Puppets and Animal Carvings
10 a.m.                Lecture: The Evolution of Canadian Contemporary Inuit Art
Lorne Balshine, President of the Arctic Art Museum Society
Noon                    Peter Irniq builds an Inuksuk on the museum’s front lawn
1 p.m.                  Tour of Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic
Ashley Holland, assistant curator of contemporary art
1 p.m.                  100 Days on Baffin Island: My Experiences with Inuit Culture, Craft and Charisma
John Huston, Arctic explorer
2:30 p.m.             Throat singers performance
November 16
1 p.m.                  Public tour of Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic
2 p.m.                  Indianapolis Women’s Chorus Concert: Sound Sport

7 p.m.                  Indianapolis Women’s Chorus Concert: Sound Sport

Or go to the Eiteljorg website to read more about the exhibit (including a video of a throat singing duo.

For a little bit more on throat singing and it’s role in modern Arctic cultures, NPR did a story earlier this year.


Are You Smarter Than a 12th Grader?

June 13, 2008

The latest thing in humanities education in Indiana is a new high school social studies course called Geography and History of the World. Introduced a couple of years ago, the curriculum is going to be mandatory for students graduating in 2011, unless they take World History and Civilization.

Geography and History of the World begins with the Tigris-Euphrates, Nile, Indus, and Huang Ho/Yellow Rivers (3300–500 B.C.E.) and ends with global climate change (the present). In between are such rich and substantive questions as: What are culture hearths? How are national identities and forms of government affected by world religions? How have the functions of cities changed over time? How do innovative art forms and scientific thought spread from their origins to other world regions? What has been the impact of changing global patterns of trade and commerce on the local community? And believe me, there’s a lot more.

Last summer a few workshops were offered by universities for teachers of this new course, and they were packed. Here’s the kicker: there is no textbook.

Will this ambitious program work in real life schools? We can only wait and see. But the intent is clear, and it has to do with turning Hoosiers into global citizens who are literate in the humanities.

This entry was posted by: Nancy

Una Herencia Mexicana: Otra Vez

June 9, 2008

A few weeks back Robyn Fink from Purdue’s student newspaper, The Exponent, contacted the Indiana Humanities Council to comment on the Mexican Art exhibit in Lafayette (Una Herencia Mexicana). I gave her about two pages of me blabbing away and, skilled reporter that she is, she was able to condense said babbling down to my three most cogent sentences.

You can read her piece here. It’s a little old now but the exhibit runs until August 22nd so it’s still relevant. More importantly of course, you might want to see this exhibit because some people think it might be pretty darn neat.