IDEA Series


10:00 Olive Sullivan – The Art of Remembering
This presentation will feature a discussion of the use of memories, journals, and historical documents to create poetry and fiction reflecting the ethos of a specific time and place. I will read various short pieces of my creative work and explain the role memory, fact, sensory detail, and imagination played in their creation. Although these pieces start out grounded in personal memory, their transformation into a published work of art impels them into the realm of collective memory.

Olive L. Sullivan is a writer, editor, and teacher of writing. Her creative works have been published in journals including the Midwest Quarterly, The Little Balkans Review, A Room of One’s Own, and The I-70 Review, as well as in two anthologies, one of which was named a Kansas Notable Book in 2013. She has also presented at various conferences, including the Power of Words conference sponsored by the Transformative Language Arts Network, and a conference on diversity sponsored by the national Humanities Inclusion Project. She advises student publications at Missouri Southern State University and enjoys hiking and practicing bookbinding in her spare time.

10:30 Xiaolu Wu – Memory, a biological perspective
The presenter will share the information regarding the brain structures involved with memory as well as the groundbreaking research to manipulate memory, etc.

Xiaolu Wu, Ph.D is an associate professor in Department of Biology. She earned her Ph.D. degree from University of Illinois at Chicago, major in Microbiology and is currently teaching a variety of biology courses including general biology, general microbiology and general virology.

11:00 JT Knoll – True Stories … and Semi-Autobiographical Lies 
Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant writings from my weekly “True Stories” column in The Morning Sun along with original poems and songs to entertain, inform and stimulate further interest in southeast Kansas and its history.

– J.T. Knoll
She gathers her sewing basket
and drives the old Ford up to the bungalow
to quilt.
Sitting around the frame
she trades the local news
drifts back to when she had a man
and children tugged at her apron.
The air hangs fragrant as she leans over her art.

Oh the names the quilts have!
Lover’s Link, Flower Garden, Bowtie and Friendship
Water Lily, Rose, Pansy, and Tulip
The Great Circle, Ocean Waves, Goose Tracks
Road To California, American Beauty, Drunkard’s Path
Pinwheel, Four Patch, Star, and Necktie
Wedding Ring, Sun Bonnet, Fruit Basket, Butterfly
And the light shines good in her bones all day long.

In the evening
she drives the hill toward home
thinks about her children
and sighs.

J.T. Knoll, Pittsburg State. I am a masters level counselor who offers consultation and training services out of my Pittsburg office and am employed as prevention and wellness coordinator at Pittsburg State. A columnist for The Morning Sun, my most recent book is Where The Pavement Ends.

11:30 Norman H. Phillipp/ S. Portico Bowman – Combining Art & Engineering Through Play: Development of an interdisciplinary Toy Design course
What is the power of play? How can toys and games be used to help artists and engineers learn to reapply their skills and experience within a new collaborative environment of toy and game design. This paper covers the continuing work in the application and development of the interdisciplinary toy design course between the School of Art and College of Technology. Successes, challenges and the future development of the course and possible major will be discussed.

S. Portico Bowman, Professor (2001) M.F.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Specialties: Art criticism and writing, Installation art, ceramics, mixed media & sound. Special Honors. Visiting Artist, Initiatives in Contemporary Art and Architecture, 1998 McMaster Museum of Art, funded by The Canada Council, 1997. Saskatchewan Arts Board Creative B Grant, $10,000,1997. Professional Experience: AP Reader, Studio Art College Board 2009-2016, HPA Summer Institute 2010-2015, Kamuela, HI, 2002 Resident Artist, Center of Polish Sculpture in Oronsko, Poland. Exhibitions: Solo 2005, “I’mpact,” Koehnline Gallery, Des Plaines, IL. Publications: Ceramics: Art and Perception, Sculpture Magazine and ArtPapers. Bowman initiated the BETA Toy Design program in a team teaching capacity with Norm Philipp from the School of Construction.

Norman H. Philipp, P.E., CM-BIM, Assistant Professor (2009) M.Eng. University of Nebraska, Lincoln & (2012) M.A.Arch. University of Kansas, Lawrence. Specialties: Building Information Modeling, Computer aided drafting & design, 3D Printing and modeling, Industrial design & engineering, Building engineering systems, Design-Build delivery/methodology, Architectural acoustics, noise control and sound system design. Certifications: PE – Professional Engineer licensed in the State of Kansas, CM-BIM – certified manager in building information modeling. Professional Experience: Acoustical Consultant & Project Manager, Yantis Acoustical Design (2004-2007); Campus Engineering Assistant, University of Kansas (2009-2011); Industrial Design Engineer, Finite Engineering Associates 3D, LLC (2011-2012). External Roles: Administrator for AIA CEU on Architectural Acoustics, President of the Ozark Chapter of the Design-Build Institute of America, Secretary for the Construction Division of the ASEE, Faculty Adviser to the PSU-DBIA student chapter, Coordinator for Spring and Summer international exchange programs with Gyeongsang Nation University in Jinju, South Korea. Norm currently teaches in the School of Construction and is working with Portico Bowman towards the continued development of the BETA Toy Design program between the College of Technology and the School of Art.

1:00 Steven Cox – Vance Randolph- Pittsburg’s Folklore Expert
Vance Randolph was born in Pittsburg, Kansas in 1892, son of a teacher and a librarian. He grew up in Pittsburg and began a career in writing and publishing working in the Socialist publishing business of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius in Girard, Kansas. He wrote many of the short “Little Blue Books” that were published by Haldeman-Julius, often using a pseudonym. Randolph went on to live in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, where he felt at home with the natives of the Ozark Mountains. He frequently returned to Pittsburg to live for short periods and to visit. He began collecting Ozark folktales from the locals, many having been passed down for generations. He also collected songs. Randolph collected just about anything someone would tell him, and occasionally they were bawdy to downright vulgar. Randolph published many books on Ozark customs, folktales, and songs throughout his life, often through academic presses. He died in 1980 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The presentation will cover Randolph’s life and feature several of his folk tales.

Steven Cox began working in the Special Collections and University Archives at Pittsburg State University in August of 2015. Previous to that position he was the head of Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 2001-2015. He is a native of Fayetteville, Arkansas and received his undergraduate degree at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) and his master’s degree in information and library science from the University of Kentucky.

1:30 Don Viney – Monkey Business in Southeast Kansas
It concerns the dismissal of a faculty member, John Scott, from the Kansas State Teacher’s College (now PSU). In July 1925, the Scopes Monkey Trial was headline news across the country. Scott was a popular Civics teacher at KSTC. His students planned to hold a “mock monkey trial” downtown in the courthouse. When President Brandenburg (as in Brandenburg Stadium) heard of the mock trial he put a stop to it and took Scott’s class away from him and gave it to Dean Trout (as in Trout Hall). There was a small war between newspapers in Pittsburg and in Kansas City reporting on the event. Scott eventually wrote a scathing satire on KSTC as a model for how to run a fundamentalist school. Part of the story also involves Porter Hall. Brandenburg was close friends with Harry Rimmer, a self-taught but very clever and articulate spokesperson for fundamentalism. Rimmer visited the campus in 1924 and in 1927, the year Porter was opened. Brandenburg tried to hire Rimmer, but he was too busy crisscrossing the country debating scientists on the subject of evolution (Rimmer was an ardent anti-evolutionist). However, Rimmer did set up an anthropology museum on the third floor of Porter Library.

Donald Wayne Viney (b. 1953), a native of Oklahoma, took degrees in philosophy from Colorado State University (B.A. 1977) and the University of Oklahoma (M.A. 1979; Ph.D. 1982). He has been teaching courses in philosophy and religion at Pittsburg State University since 1984. In 2004 and again in 2011 Dr. Viney was awarded the rank of University Professor. He regularly publishes books, articles, and book reviews in professional journals and with academic presses in the area known as philosophy of religion. In his spare him, Dr. Viney composes and records music for guitar and voice. He is married to Professor Maeve Cummings who teaches Information Systems at PSU.

2:00 Megan L. Bever – Jayhawks and Tigers and Bears! Oh my!:  College Mascots and Civil War Memory
This presentation explores the Civil War imagery embedded in the mascots of and rivalry between the University of Kansas Jayhawks and the University of Missouri Tigers. It explores how vicious guerrilla attacks between pro- and anti-slavery forces along the Missouri-Kansas border in the 1850s and 1860s has been turned into a playful college rivalry, with stuffed mascots and drunken fans flippantly making allusions to warfare, John Brown, and William Quantrill. Likewise, the presentation will explore the lack of serious controversy surrounding the Jayhawk and Tiger in an era when other mascots have come under fire. Specifically the presentation will compare the mascots at KU and Mizzou to the University of Mississippi’s Civil-War-inspired Colonel Reb, a mascot recently deemed racist and transformed into the Rebel Black Bear. The presentation illustrates that while Americans find the use of white supremacist symbols problematic, most college sports fans have no misgivings about harnessing memory of the Civil War to incorporate its violent imagery for their entertainment.

Megan L. Bever: I am a historian of the 19th-Century United States. I received BA in History from Purdue University in 2007 and my Ph.D. at the University of Alabama in 2014. My current book project, based on my dissertation, explores the use and meaning of alcohol in Civil War America. I am co-editor (with Scott A. Suarez) of The Historian behind the History (University of Alabama Press, 2014), a collection of interviews with southern historians. My research has been published in the Journal of Sport History and Civil War History, and she has presented her work at multiple conferences including the Society of Civil War Historians, the Society for Military History, the Organization of American Historians, and the Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression. In 2011-2012, she served as editor of The Southern Historian.

2:30 James Greene, Steven Cox, and Students – Exploring Memories and Materials in the Pittsburg State University Special Collections
How does memory work as a collective process? How do communities determine what memories are worth preservation? Our presentation will describe our engagement with these questions through our research in the Axe Library’s Special Collections at Pittsburg State University. James Greene, assistant professor of English, will explain the project his Technical Writing students undertook to sort unprocessed collections in the archives. Students Alexandra Battitori, Steven Benzel, and Dillon Fleming will present information and images from the collections they organized for this project. Finally, Steven Cox, university archivist, will describe the process for selecting and preserving material in PSU’s Special Collections. By sharing this research, we hope to promote a conversation over how material texts can define the range of possibility for collective memory.

James Greene is an assistant professor of English at Pittsburg State University. His scholarship has appeared in Early American Literature and his current book project focuses on the relationship between writing, violence, and sovereignty in the personal narratives of Revolutionary War veterans.

3:00 – Key Note: Dave Loewenstein

Dave Loewenstein is a muralist, writer, and printmaker based in Lawrence, Kansas. In addition to his more than twenty public works in Kansas, examples of his dynamic and richly colored community-based murals can be found across the United States in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Iowa, Chicago, New Orleans and New York City, and in Northern Ireland and South Korea. Loewenstein’s prints, which focus on current social and political issues, are exhibited nationally and are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Yale University,  and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles. He is the co-author of Kansas Murals: A Traveler’s Guide, a 2007 Kansas Notable Book Award Winner, published by the University Press of Kansas; and the co-director of the documentary film Creating Counterparts which won Best Documentary at the 2003 Kansas Filmmakers Jubilee. Loewenstein has been recognized widely for his work, including the 2001 Lighton Prize for Arts Educator of the Year from Kansas City Young Audiences, the 2004 Tom and Anne Moore Peace and Justice Award given by the Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice, a 2006 Phoenix Award from the Lawrence Arts Commission, a 2007 Kansas Press Association 1st Place Columnist Award for his column “Blank Canvas,” and in 2014 he was named one of the founding Cultural Agents for the new US Department of Arts and Culture. The book from his most recent studio project Give Take Give, is funded by the Rocket Grants program.



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