Cameron University to co-host 2009 Oklahoma Chautauqua

Cameron University will co-host "Lincoln's Legacy of Equality: Voices on the Fringe," the 2009 Oklahoma Chautauqua from June 16-20. Comprised of workshops, local entertainment and educational re-creations of historical figures, the Oklahoma Chautauqua provides the opportunity to time travel to another era and meet some of history's most illustrious characters. All activities are open to the public at no charge.                                                                                                                                                 

CU will host daily workshops that provide glimpses of the social, cultural and political nuances of the era at 10 a.m. in the Cameron Studio Theatre. Afternoon workshops will take place at 2 p.m. at the Museum of the Great Plains. Historical enactments include a monologue "in character" and an opportunity for audience members to pose questions to both the visiting luminary and the scholar/presenter. Performances will take place Tuesday through Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Lawton Public Library.

Now in its 18th continuous year, the Oklahoma Chautauqua is a program of the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa. Major funding is provided in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council.

2009 Oklahoma Chautauqua Schedule

Tuesday, June 16

10 a.m. Workshop: Charles Pace • Warrior Women in the Life of Frederick Douglass • Cameron Studio Theater

"...I have done very little in this world in which to glory, except this one act - and I certainly glory in that. When I ran away from slavery, it was for my people; but when I stood up for the rights of women, self was out of the question, and I found a little glory in the act." - Frederick Douglass, 1888

Who were the female influences in the life of Frederick Douglass? Pace's research reveals that women - domestic and foreign, black and white - were major influences in making Frederick Douglass the man that he was.

2 p.m. Workshop: Dr. Michael Hughes • The Five Tribes in the American Civil War • Museum of the Great Plains

 The Five Civilized Tribes that were removed to present day Oklahoma were bitterly divided during the Civil War. As nations, they suffered far worse than the United States or the Confederacy. This brief overview explores how these Indian nations were drawn into a war not their own and how they took part in several important battles.

7 p.m. Ilene Evans as Harriet Tubman

Wednesday, June 17

10 a.m. Workshop: Dr. Doug Mishler • Was Jefferson Davis Always an American Patriot? • Cameron Studio Theater

This workshop will discuss the division over the Civil War - how the north and south became two separate nations and how Jefferson Davis personified the division as he went from fierce patriot to rebel - or did he?

2 p.m. Workshop: Dr. Carrol Peterson • The Mourning After: The Concept of "The Good Death" and Whitman's "Come Up From the Fields Father" • Museum of the Great Plains

A presentation of "The Good Death" as presented in Drew Gilpin Faust's 2008 book "This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War" will kick-off this workshop. Following an open discussion of the concept and how it was altered by the war, Whitman's poem "Come Up From the Fields Father" will be distributed for comparison with Faust's ideas.

7 p.m. Dr. Michael Hughes as John Ross

Thursday, June 18

10 a.m. Workshop: Ilene Evans • Music, Medicine, and Healing in the Civil War • Cameron Studio Theater

Participants will explore the music of the Civil War by joining in song, anthems, hymns and chants from the period. Also featured will be recipes for food and medicinal use, the effect of sound in healing, mental health and endurance. The workshop reveals a picture of the field hospitals and their battle weary patients, men and women who suffered and left their voices in the land along with their blood.

 2 p.m. Workshop: Dr. Doug Mishler • Jefferson Davis and His Slaves - An Unusual Story • Museum of the Great Plains

A discussion of race in the South, and how Davis' relationship with blacks and slaves was marked by some very unusual circumstances.

7 p.m. Charles Pace as Frederick Douglass

Friday, June 19

10 a.m. Workshop: Dr. Michael Hughes • The Western Frontier during the American Civil War • Cameron Studio Theater  

Some of the most fascinating and little known fights during the American Civil War took place on the far western frontier. This workshop briefly covers the inspiration for Clint Eastwood's "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," the true story of Cochise, and the many controversies over the Sand Creek Massacre.

2 p.m. Workshop: Ilene Evans • Harriet Tubman and The Port Royal Experiment • Museum of the Great Plains

This high-energy creative workshop involves participants in a delightful blend of historical imagination and narrative. Participants will be actively involved in inquiry and problem solving by taking on the roles of various people who lived  in South Carolina along with Harriet Tubman. The workshop examines different points of view during 1863 through the eyes of the people on the ground. Scenarios for characters include the battlefield at Charleston Harbor, the field hospitals at Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard, and the celebration of the Emancipation in Beaufort, SC.

7 p.m. Dr. Carroll Peterson as Walt Whitman

Saturday, June 20

10 a.m. Workshop: Dr. Carrol Peterson • Whitman's poems on Lincoln • Cameron Studio Theater

A reading of "Oh, Captain! My Captain!" and portions of "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" will be followed by an examination of the texts and a group discussion of Whitman's views on American optimism and the tragedy of Lincoln's death. Since Americans are now intensely focused on politics and the national economy, the group discussion may turn to the recurrent mixture of hope, dissatisfaction, and disappointment in American political life.

2 p.m. Workshop: Charles Everett Pace • Frederick Douglass: Manhood and Black Soldiers in the Civil War • Museum of the Great Plains

Central to Frederick Douglass's idea of liberation was the concept of "black manhood" in the fight for freedom. When President Lincoln agreed to allow black men to enlist in the Union army, Douglass served as a recruiter for the Massachusetts 54th and 55th Regiments. This session will explore the obstacles that black recruitment had to overcome among white Union soldiers and the general public (both white and black) as well as the circumstances that gave Douglass second thoughts about his success in recruiting black soldiers, including his own three sons.

7 p.m. Dr. Doug Mishler as Jefferson Davis

About the Scholars

Ilene Evans as Harriet Tubman

Ilene Evans creates educational theater programs that span a vast range of arts disciplines including music, dance, drama, and storytelling. An inventive storyteller, she uses movement, music and sound to weave a fabric of delight and understanding. Evans has taught, lectured, and performed throughout the United States and Europe. She received her B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Trinity College in Deerfield, IL and is currently working on her Master's degree in storytelling at East Tennessee State University.

Dr. Michael Hughes as John Ross

Michael Hughes teaches U.S. history, American Indian studies, and Chickasaw culture at East Central University in Ada. He has published numerous articles in Civil War and American Indian history and was the founding editor of the former "Journal of the Indian Wars." His ancestry is similar to that of Chief John Ross: Scot and Eastern Cherokee (as well as Muskogee and Powhatan). Hughes has performed as 10 different Chautauqua characters, including Alexander Graham Bell, Michelangelo Buonarotti, William Lloyd Garrison, Ernie Pyle, Marshal Bill Tilghman, and Bob Wills.

Dr. Doug Mishler as Jefferson Davis

In the last 15 years, Mishler has brought history to life in more than 1,000 Chautauqua presentations and one-man shows, performing as P. T. Barnum, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Ford, activist William Lloyd Garrison, war correspondent Ernie Pyle, explorer Capt. William Clark, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, the Reverend Billy Sunday, artist Thomas Hart Benton, and journalist Edward R. Murrow. He recently added Confederate president Jefferson Davis, social novelist Upton Sinclair, and Governor George C. Wallace. With a Ph.D. in American cultural history, Mishler teaches at the University of Nevada.

Charles Pace as Frederick Douglass

Besides being a Program Advisor at The Texas Union, University of Texas at Austin, Charles Everett Pace has taught at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Purdue University, and Centre College of Kentucky. A 17-year veteran of The Great Plains Chautauqua, Pace was one of two chautauquans to give the keynote address at the final Presidential debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. Pace has also conducted public diplomacy missions on behalf of the U. S. government in 25 cities and nine African countries. He does chautauqua presentations on Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. DuBois, Langston Hughes and Malcolm X. This provides the background for his latest work in "Creative Leadership Training for Today's Students."

Dr. Carrol Peterson as Walt Whitman

Carrol D. Peterson, Doane College Professor Emeritus, was named a Phi Beta Kappa scholar at the University of Arkansas, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English. Dr. Peterson taught at Doane College in Crete, NE, from 1964 to 2001, with intervals studying at Yale and serving as Visiting Professor of English at Kwassui University in Nagasaki, Japan. Dr. Peterson became involved in Chautauqua in 1989, when he joined the Great Plains Chautauqua tours, interpreting the character of Thomas Paine. With the same touring organization, he later began portraying Walt Whitman and Jack London. He has also interpreted James Thurber and has toured with numerous Chautauqua groups, including ones in Oklahoma, North Dakota, Maryland, and both Carolinas.

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June 4, 2009
PR# 08-104