What is the Center for Kansas Studies?

The Center for Kansas Studies is a group of Washburn university faculty who convene regularly to promote and share their interest in Kansas. The Center is dedicated to encouraging Kansas Studies by offering courses in the Kansas Studies Program, by creating resources and providing information about Kansas resources at Washburn University and around the state, by offering programming on Kansas topics, and by providing outreach programs that focus on the past, present and future of Kansas.

The Kansas Studies Minor

To obtain the optional minor in Kansas Studies, a student must complete at least 15 hours from among the courses listed below, with at least 6 of those hours at the upper division level. The Director of the Center for Kansas Studies will serve in the role of department chair for certification that a student has successfully met the requirements for this optional minor.

Yearly Activities

The Center carries out a number of activities each year, all of which focus on the varied and often interdisciplinary study of Kansas history, environment and culture. Its Fellows come from all walks of Washburn University life,  joining together through their common bond of  a scholarly or teaching interest in all kinds of things Kansas.

  • The Center offers a minor in Kansas Studies, in which students construct individual programs made up a variety of different courses from different disciplines, all taking Kansas as a focal point.
  • The Center sponsors an annual speakers series, Speaking of Kansas .
  • The Center webpage makes available a growing assortment of Kansas materials, to be found both under the Kansas Sources and the Lists of Lists. These include both electronic texts of original Kansas literary works and bibliographies of print primary and secondary sources about Kansas. Also included is a list of links to other Kansas-related website.

Beyond the classroom, the Center's programming includes:

  • Supporting the Shawnee County Historical Society in the preservation and interpretation of the Historic Ritchie House as a sesquicentennial project.
  • Continuing the development of the current KANSAS history television series, website and teaching materials project.
  • Identifying materials on Kansas history and culture currently out of print, for which there is publication demand and identifying voids in available resources needed for a fuller understanding of the state's activities.
  • Continuing to maintain and develop the Center's webpage.
  • Encouraging the development of curriculum materials on Kansas for schools and the training teachers in new techniques for teaching Kansas history in the schools. Connected to this the Center will continue its support of Kansas State Historical Society Schoolteachers Seminars in Kansas history each summer.

The Center Co-Directors  welcome questions and suggestions by e-mail (cks@washburn.edu) or phone: Danielle Head, MFA, 785.670.1632; Laura Murphy, PhD, 785.670.2105.

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