Our 2019 Winter Lecture Series will take place in January and February. Join us in the North Wing Program Room on Tuesdays at 2:30. All lectures are free and no registration is required.

Two lectures this year are FRANK Talks. FRANK Talks “encourage participants to weigh facts, provide the opportunity to put them in context, and consider different points of view.”

Program information below courtesy of azhumanities.org.

We would like to thank our sponsors:


Upcoming Lectures

February 12 – Frank Talk: “Borders, Walls and Immigration”
Presented by Scott Warren. Immigration is one of the most divisive issues facing our country and our state. Who comes in and out of the U.S., and how? Do current immigration laws effectively promote national security and economic prosperity, without compromising human and civil rights? In Arizona border security and immigration policies are more than media and political talking points. They shape our everyday lives, and the land and people that live here in complex ways. Join us for an interesting FRANK Talk on immigration and borders.

February 19 – “Arizona Goes to the Moon”
Presented by Kevin Schindler. Arizona played a key role in preparing to send humans to the moon in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The Apollo astronauts themselves traveled to the Grand Canyon and volcanic fields around the state to learn geology and practice their lunar excursions. Meanwhile, U.S. Geological Survey engineers worked with NASA staff members to develop and test instruments while artists joined forces with scientists to create detailed maps of the moon that were critical to navigating around lunar surface.

Previous Lectures

January 8 – Frank Talk: “We the People: What Does It Mean to Be a US Citizen?”
Presented by Dr. Thomas J. Davis. What does it mean to be a U.S. citizen? Few discussions directly address the question or the difference between citizens and others in the United States. What is it that makes or allows citizens to be different from others? What can or should citizens be able to do that others cannot or should not be able to do? Join us for this FRANK Talk to explore the meaning of citizenship and how it informs the values of civic life, and public participation and policy in American democratic institutions.

January 15 – “Life on the Lazy B as Lived by an American Cowboy and Rancher”
Presented by H. Alan Day. In 1880, Alan Day’s grandfather homesteaded the Lazy B ranch.  This dusty dry tract of land produced a Supreme Court Justice, a lauded Arizona state senator, and a career rancher, cowboy, and land conservationist. Alan explores the ranching and cowboying life from the chuck wagon years of his childhood, through his adult years of increasing bureaucracy, airplanes, computers and now even drones. At the heart of his stories lie adventures that most of us will never experience, as well as a deep love of the natural world.

January 22 – “John Wesley Powell: Into the Great Unknown”
Presented by Chris Glenn and Sandy Sunseri. Millions of travelers visit the Grand Canyon each year, but just 150 years ago, this was still considered the “last blank spot on the map.” One man, a one-armed civil war veteran, was determined to navigate and document the Colorado River as it winds through the canyon. Therefore, on May 24, 1869, John Wesley Powell set out with nine men, four boats, and ten months of rations on an adventure that would nearly kill them. Three months later Powell emerged 1,000 miles down-river with five men, two boats, and only one week of moldy flour left. Listen to their story and see film clips of the raging Colorado as it was in Powell’s time.

January 29 – “Specters of the Past: Arizona’s Ghost Towns”
Presented by Jay Mark. The promise of unimagined riches is what brought many of the earliest colonizers to the Arizona Territory. Following the trail to the discovery of the mother lode, they built, then dismantled and finally abandoned communities when mines played out – leaving behind tantalizing clues of difficult hardships. Some towns survived like Bisbee, Jerome, Tombstone and Oatman. Most disappeared, gradually becoming absorbed back into the desert from which they arose. This presentation explores more than a decade of historian Jay Mark’s journeys to these fascinating ghost places, along with their stories – long-forgotten places like Charleston, Contention City, Mowry, Fairbank, Gleeson and Congress.

February 5 – “Cowpokes, Crooks and Cactus: Arizona in the Movies”
Presented by Gregory McNamee. Tyrone Power, Andy Devine,  Katy Jurado, Steve McQueen and, of course, John Wayne. From the earliest days of film, Arizona has been a setting and subject for hundreds of films. Some, like Junior Bonner and Red River, are considered classics, others, such as Billy Jack and Evolution, surely less so. Some may even be classics in the making, from Tombstone to Near Dark. In this entertaining talk, Gregory McNamee, a frequent contributor on film to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and former columnist for the Hollywood Reporter, looks at the Grand Canyon State on the silver screen.