Center for Kansas Studies
1993 Newsletter
Washburn Center for Kansas Studies Newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 1 - Fall 1993
1700 SW College, Topeka, KS  66621

Coordinator: Dr. Marilyn Geiger (<913>231-1010 ext. 1762)
Jean Attebury, History
Tom Averill, English
Dr. Lyle Baker, Education
Dr. Bill Cecil-Fronsman, History
Dr. Daniel Harden, Education
Dr. Ross Johnson, Biology
Wilma Rife, Mabee Library
Dr. Sara Tucker, History
Ann Ukena, Mathematics
Rachel Vukas, Mabee Library
Dr. Bill Wagnon, History
Dr. Tom Wolf, Biology

Newsletter designed by Gina Nelson and Stephanie Taylor as class project in

By Dr. Marilyn Geiger, Professor of History
     The Washburn University Center for Kansas Studies began in January
1988 with the formation of a committee of interested, interdisciplinary
faculty members.  Capitalizing on our sources, expertise and proximity to
the state Capitol, the WU Center's goals are to encourage Kansas studies;
create resources and provide information about Kansas resources at Washburn
and around the state; offer programming and courses on Kansas topics; and
provide outreach programs on Kansas, its past, present and future.
     During the 1992-93 academic year, we sponsored an exhibit of Kansas
Grassroots Art and presented a special program to celebrate Kansas Day on
our campus.  We also brought seven guest lecturers to varoius departments
to speak about their areas of expertise on Kansa topics.  To commemorate
the 150th anniversary of the Oregon Trail, a one-day tour is tentatively
scheduled for June, weather permitting.
     This is the second newsletter of the Center for Kansas Studies.  We
invite you to attend our activities in the forthcoming year.

Sept. 23 - Stephen Meats, poet
Oct. 14 - Gerald Shapiro, fition writer, 7 p.m., Morgan 177
        - Dr. Tom turpin, "Aspects of Entymology Associated with          
Nov. 11 - Denise Low, poet, 7 p.m., Memorial Union
Jan. 27 - John Edgar Tidwell, professor English, discussion on 
        Franklin Marshall Davis in Kansas; 4:00 in Kansas Room
        of Memorial Student Union
April 26 - Artaria Quartet of Boston, 2:30 p.m., White Concert             

Spring Tour to be announced
All presentations open to the public

by John Saenz
     Washburn University has a new minor called Kansas Studies beginning
this semester.  This minor will promote Kansas studies and encourage
students to learn more about Kansas.
     The minor in Kansas Studies requires 15 hours selected from the
following courses; Kansas Archology; Kansas Ecology; Kansas Literature;
Kansas in the Movies; Kansa Folklore; Kansas History; Topeka and Urban
Experience; American State and Local Government; Political Science
     This minor is listed in the 1993-94 University catalog on page 67. 
More information can be obtained by contacting the coordinator of Kansas
Studies, Dr. Marilyn Geiger.


PRAIRYERTH: (A DEEP MAP) by William Least Heat-Moon.  Boston: Houghton-
Mifflin Company, 1991.
     PRAIRYERTH, A DEEP MAP is a detailed study of a remnant of the once
vast American tall-grass prairie, the Kansas Flint Hills.  Initially,
author William Least Heat-Moon, with his self-styled "woodland sense of
scale," contemplates the difficulties of his undertaking: "Before me lay
the Kansas of popular conception from Coronado on - that place you have to
get through, that purgatory of mileage."
     Then taking as his subject a single 30x26 mile prairie segment of
Chase County, Kansas, population 3,013 - the author examines it in the
recommended way for dealing with prairies distances: by concentrating, not
on the ever-receding horizon, but on the "deep map" of the place.  What
follows are thoughtful essays on the county's past and present - its
settlements and landscapes; its plants, animals and human inhabitants.
     The book's 12 sections, based on the central 12 U.S. Geographical
Survey maps for Chase County, are each introduced by dozens of quotations
from an amazing variety of other writings.  Heat-Moon labels these extracts
"From the Commonplace Book" and among the most revealing is the collection
of nineteenth century accounts by Europeans and eastern Americans of the
indigenous people, The Kaw Indians.  The dated excerpts (1802-1872) from
the writings of traders, travelers, missionaries, government agents and
settlers provide a painful chronicle of the disintegration of a Native
American culture.
     Natural history writing at its finest is found in his treaties on the
flora: Osage orange, cottonwood, prairie grass; the fauna: hawk and coyote;
the geology: Permian Sea sediments and subterranean Nemahas.
     According to William Least Heat-Moon, "PrairyErth" is a name for
prairie soils, "From the old taxonomy," and this 624-page "deep map" is a
fine celebration of the nation's heartland and Kansans' sense of attachment
to it.

AMERICA'S GREAT PLAINS.  By Anne Matthews.  New York: Grove Weidenfeld,
     Kansans, along with other residents of the Plains states, were
outraged in 1991 when two Rutgers academics Frank and Deborah Popper
published a study recommending that millions of acres in 10 states be
converted into an ecological preserve of grasslands and migratory animals.
     Author Anne Matthews, Plainsborn and Princeton educated, writes for
the New York Times.  She traveled with the Poppers for a year from Montana
to Texas as they defended their "Buffalo Commons" proposal to hostile
audiences in the towns and cities of the region.  The Poppers - he is a
regional planner, she a geographer - support their argument with county-by-
county statistical portraits of land-use distress in the Plains, models
that show the classic boom-and-bust cycle of drought and depopulation.
     Matthews presents their case and that of the vocal opposition with an
intelligent evenhandedness, enhanced by her own articulate concern for the
people, the land and the values of America's heartland.


     The Center for Kansas Studies, in tradition of keeping fine Kansa
literature in print, announces the publication of KENNETH WIGGINS PORTER:
THE KANSAS POEMS.  Porter, a native of Sterling, Kansas, wrote some of the
finest poems available on the Kansas Dust Bowl.
     According to an introduction by center fellow Tom Averill, "Kansas
poetry after Porter is much the better for him, and the Kansas poems in
this volume are a tribute to his craftsmanship and intelligence.  Both
combine to make his work pivotal, to make Kenneth Porter a turning point in
Kansas poetry."

"Resources Guide for Kansas Studies," $1.00
"Sources in Kansas History 1990," $2.00
"That Trick of Silence - Steven Hind," $5.50
"Dust and Short Works by Marcet and Emmanuel Haldeman-Julius,"   $12.00
"The Kansas Poems," Kenneth Wiggins Porter, $5.00
These may be purchased through the Washburn University Bookstore, Washburn
University, 1700 College, Topeka, KS  66621.  Make checks payable to
Washburn University.  (Kansas residents add 5.25% sales tax.)
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