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Published February 24, 2016
Mexican-American workers in wine country, glacier exploration in the Wind River Range and church tithings for the Black Power movement are discussion topics for a University of Wyoming program Saturday, March 12, in Jackson.
The spring term of Saturday University -- the University of Wyoming’s popular, free one-day college education program -- concludes with three lectures at the National Museum of Wildlife Art beginning at 8:30 a.m. with refreshments.
Area residents have the opportunity to go back to college for a day, with two UW professors and a Central Wyoming College (CWC) faculty member lecturing. Participants may attend one, two or all three lectures in Jackson, plus the final luncheon and roundtable discussion at 12:30 p.m.
In its eighth year, Saturday U is a collaborative program that connects popular UW and Wyoming community college professors with lifelong learners. Offered six times a year -- twice each in Jackson, Gillette and Sheridan -- Saturday U is sponsored by the university, the UW Foundation and Wyoming Humanities Council, and is presented locally by CWC, the National Museum of Wildlife Art and Teton County Library Foundation.
Listed below are program topic descriptions and professors lecturing:
9 a.m. -- “Mexican-American in the Napa Valley: Wine, Tourism and Race in the Wine Country,” Lilia Soto, UW American studies and Latina/o studies assistant professor.
Soto will examine the experiences of Mexicans in California’s Napa Valley as workers and as wine makers. Soto says the workers have been hidden from the Napa Valley narrative, rendering them new immigrants at best and invisible at worse. To uncover their stories, Soto will provide multiple historical moments in her presentation.
10:15 a.m. -- “Living the High Life: A 12,000 Year Love Story of Humans and Ice Near the Dinwoody Glacier,” Todd Guenther, CWC anthropology and history professor.
Last summer, CWC students conducted research as part of the college’s interdisciplinary climate change expedition. The expedition was organized to document recession of the glaciers, water flow and quality, and human relationships with ice and water in the high alpine during the last 12,000 years.
The group discovered the highest known bison jump in North America at 11,000 feet above sea level near the Dinwoody Glacier in the Wind River Mountains, thousands of feet higher than the next known jumps. It became immediately apparent that Wyoming’s prehistoric cultures were much more diverse than previously understood, Guenther says.
“The bison jump and other sites discovered are attracting international attention because they suggest that from Clovis times, Native Americans have routinely sought out the highest and seemingly most forbidding places to hunt mammoth and other big game, and even wintered in what seems to us a prohibitively harsh alpine environment,” he says.
CWC serves the Wind River Indian Reservation, and about 30 percent of the school’s archaeology students are Native American.
“These young people are excited about providing information that could require the rewriting of textbook accounts of their ancestors’ lives,” Guenther adds.
11:30 a.m. -- “Tithes and Offerings for Black Power,” Kerry Pimblott, UW African American and Diaspora Studies assistant professor.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, church executives from several of the nation’s largest denominations united in extending massive financial support to Black Power organizations. In communities across the country, this controversial move helped improve legal services, housing and employment, but also attracted fierce opposition from within and outside the church, Pimblott says.
Using the city of Cairo, Ill., as a case study, Pimblott’s presentation explores both the promises and perils of church-based funding for the Black Power movement.
For more information, visit the Saturday U website at www.uwyo.edu/saturdayu/.