Well fellow travelers and students of Indian History, we have a nice opportunity coming up on Monday, April 12 to talk to some local native artists, speakers and dancers in our own student Union on campus. Main events are at noon–including free soup!  Next up this week is a visit by Professor Jim Sherow who is the author of our reading this week “Workings of the Geodialectic” along with “Bison Diplomacy” by Professor Dan Flores.  Group 8 will be presenting during our reading in week 11 instead of this week. Thanks Group 8!


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I’m in Utah looking at the Wasatch mountains that are so prominently featured in the novels of the west by Wallace Stegner. The catch of course is that I’m looking at them through a library window. So there, you can’t keep a good geek down.

I read with some resignation and disgust that Texas is up to old tricks again–politicizing the teaching of US history to young minds in the Texas School system. Perhaps some of you have read about this. If not, go here: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2010/1001.blake.html

So, I ask you. Does it matter? Why should I or you or your dog named blue care if Jefferson was a Christian or if Hispanic history is erased? What is wrong with this picture??

I’m getting more requests for title. Yes yes, more of that.

So, I’m in the Hilton in Portland waiting for an elevator when an instructor in Ethnic Studies at KSU who is also at the conference asked me if I knew about the Native American author/speaker who was coming to campus this semester? WHAT??? Apparently, the Ethnic Studies Department doesn’t think anyone outside of their department is the least bit interested in anyone who is not male and white. I sure get tired of that. I am going to get into trouble for saying so, but how much trouble is it to just send out some email to relevant departments??? How hard is it to look up the spring schedule to see what is being taught? Anyway, apparently this person, whoever they may be, is open to coming to classes and talking about their work. I will look into and see if it’s something we want to do in our class.

In the meantime, I am keeping track of who has found their novel. There are still about 10 of you out there who have not made a decision. . . . time to go to the library.

I have not had anyone request this author yet. Which shocks me because she is a prominent Native Author. Two titles come to mind: Ceremony (which won several awards) and Almanac of the Dead (very cool). Silko is different because she is from the southwest.

Another author to consider is Louise Erdrich. I have a great collection of short stories that would work in my office called the Red Convertible. It’s mesmerizing. Who ever calls it first, I’ll direct the office to go fetch it for them.

Any feedback on Mills Kelly’s talk???

The historians in the room were very nervous this morning as Professor Kelly described how he helped his students create a false history of a pirate on the Chesapeake Bay. Bad Bad Professor Kelly.  I, on the other hand, think its great.  His main premise is that the web is malleable, its easily manipulated and so of course you have to verify what’s out there. How is that different from evidence anywhere else? Now the students in his class can vouch for that firsthand. Just cause it looks nice, doesn’t mean it really happened! And the second part of that of course is that the students DID learn how to find bone fide evidence, solid stuff, the real thing. It’s out there, you just have to go find it and take along a good magnifying glass (your brain works equally well) to get a good look at the evidence. One other tidbit: You need facts to do history, but history is not facts. History is the answer to the question why did things change? It’s never just what/where/who.  Next time, we will tackle the question of SO WHAT??

So Professor Kelly is here in Manhattan now and we had dinner tonight at little grill. Delicious. We were talking about why he uses so many different forms of technology for teaching and why doesn’t he use email? And he said that last semester a student said that she hadn’t got a message from him, and he had sent several emails–so he asked if she got his emails? And her reply was she didn’t really DO email anymore, only when she wanted to talk to old people, like her grandparents, and her professors and stuff. . . OUCH!!

But here is the thing, several of you who have posted here have said, “I don’t know if this is the right place to post this. . ” meaning, you don’t have any experience on webblogs. So, is this all a fiction? Do students at KSU really NOT do email? Do they text and twitter? Are Weblogs like this one passe? Do students build wikis? Or do they just rely on Wikipedia? Are we still in the email era out here in Kansas? Comments welcome. Don’t forget, extra credit will be given (equivalent of a quiz) for attending Dr. Kelly’s lecture at 10:30am on TUESDAY March 9, big 12 room in the Union. Sign in with me.