Historical fiction, Native American history, the culture of the Oglala Lakota Sioux, and contemporary music will converge at a signature event at Washington State University Vancouver and the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, March 22-26, and Washington State University in Pullman, on March 27.
The week-long, multidisciplinary symposium begins with four lectures and concludes with a concert. The foundation for all of the events is James Welch’s award-winning novel, The Heartsong of Charging Elk.
All events are free and open to the public and there is no charge for parking in Vancouver.
The symposium explores the themes of displacement, intercultural collision and accommodation in Welch’s brilliant last novel about Lakota warriors transported to France in the late 19th century by Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show as players of themselves. The five days in March also celebrate the work of the late Blackfeet/Gros Ventre author himself, one of the most important Northwest writers of the 20th century.
The week begins with a four-night lecture series that includes talks by: noted Plains Indian anthropologist and linguist and editor of Black Elk Speaks, Raymond J. DeMallie historian of the American West and author of Buffalo Bill‘s America, Louis S. Warren
Native American Studies Professor and author of the forthcoming “Killed Beyond Recognition”: The Writings of James Welch, Kathryn W. Shanley (Assiniboine-Sioux) and a conversation about the novel with Lois Welch, Professor Emerita of English, research collaborator and life partner of the late author.
The lecture series takes place Monday – Thursday at 7 p.m. nightly on the WSU Vancouver campus in the Administration building.
The week concludes with an original musical performance of the novel for four voices and ten piece chamber ensemble by internationally acclaimed Seattle composer and musician Wayne Horvitz and libretto by Robin Holcomb and Pulitzer finalist Rinde Eckert: www.waynehorvitz.net/projects/heartsong.html http://www.waynehorvitz.net/projects/heartsong.html
“The Heartsong of Charging Elk,” will be performed on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. The event in Pullman on Saturday will begin at 5:30 p.m. with lectures by Kehtryn W. Shanley, Raymond J. DeMallie, and Wayne Horvitz. The musical performance will follow at 8:00 p.m.
To accompany the spring symposium, WSU Vancouver will offer a variety of programs and events open to the public, including an exhibit of rare books by James Welch and William Cody, photographs by Edward Curtis, and ephemera of the Bufffalo Bill Wild West Show at the Washington State University Library during March and April and lectures and performances by members of the Northwest American Indian tribes.
WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 NE Salmon Creek Avenue, Vancouver WA 98686.
The Vancouver School of Arts and Academics is located at 3101 Main Street, Vancouver, Washington 98663 (parking accessible via F Street and E. 31st Street).
The lectures and performance in Pullman will be in Kimbrough Hall 101 on the WSU campus.
Our Sponsors: Alphagraphics, the Heathman Hotel, Humanities WA, ASWSUV, Global Travel, WSU Vancouver: Office of Academic Affairs, Chancellor’s Office, College of Liberal Arts, Diversity Council; WSU Pullman: the School of Music, VPLAC, the Plateau Center for American Indian Studies, and the Columbia Chair in the History of the American West
For more information, including directions and flyers, visit
www.vancouver.wsu.edu/heartsong http://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/heartsong and http://libarts.wsu.edu/history/graduate-studies/aw-programming.asp
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