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Humanities Hotline

About the Humanities Hotline

The toll-free Humanities Hotline delivers interesting short stories anytime, day or night. It’s simple: Dial 1-888-416-2018 and choose from a menu of humanities highlights, like a poem by Langston Hughes or the brief story of a presidential visit to Russell. These bite-sized micropresentations cover Kansas stories – both serious and light-hearted – and are researched and presented by experts across the state. 

The Humanities Hotline provides an accessible alternative to today’s Zoom culture and encourages the people of Kansas to participate in lifelong engagement with the humanities.

HK is partnering with 17 organizations to help spread the word throughout the state, including Abilene Public Library, ArtsConnect Topeka, Augusta Public Library, Clearwater Public Library, Dorothy Bramlage Public Library in Junction City, Coffey County Library SystemEmporia Public Library, Finney County Public Library in Garden City, Garnett Public LibraryGoddard Public Library, Hays Public Library, Lawrence Public Library, Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Museum of World Treasures in Wichita, Norton Public Library, Ottawa Library, and Wamego Public Library. Visit them in person or follow them on social media for hotline updates and information.

Humanities Hotline topics change monthly. Call the toll-free number as often as you like. It’s free and available at the touch of a dial or the tap of a keypad. Call today!

Support for the Humanities Hotline has been provided by Cox Charities and the Lewis H. Humphreys Charitable Trust.

Current Humanities Hotline Topics 

  • Ignacio Carvajal, Ph.D. recites his poem “a letter to the wetlands.” Listen here.

Humanities hotline Topics December 2021

Humanities Hotline Topics November 2021

  • Teacher and artist José Faus reflects on buffalo through story and his own poetry. Listen here.
  • Erin Pouppirt, Master of Counseling Psychology from KU and Member of the Kaw Nation, shares a brief history of her own fourth cousin and the 31st Vice President of the United States, Charles Curtis. Listen here.
  • Rob Meseke from Wabaunsee County talks about the old-fashioned technique of loose stacking hay in northeast Kansas. Listen here.
  • Ignacio Carvajal, Ph.D. recites his poem “a letter to the wetlands.” Listen here.

Humanities Hotline Topics October 2021

Humanities Hotline Topics September 2021

Humanities Hotline Topics, August 2021

Humanities Hotline Topics, July 2021

Humanities Hotline Topics, June 2021

Humanities Hotline Topics, May 2021

Humanities Hotline Topics, April 2021

Humanities Hotline Topics, March 2021

  • Mary Kohn, Associate Professor of Linguistics at Kansas State University, explores the ways in which Kansas dialects have shifted over the years. Listen here.
  • Valerie Mendoza, Director of the Title III Strengthening Institutions grant at Washburn University, tells the story of Hazel Gomez, a beloved leader of Topeka's Hispanic community. Listen here.
  • Author and historian Linda O'Nelio Knoll talks about the Amazon Army, a group of women who marched for coal miners' rights in southeast Kansas in 1921. Listen here.
  • Miranda Ericsson, Reader's Librarian for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, reviews two books in honor of women's history month. Listen here.

Humanities Hotline Topics, February 2021

Humanities Hotline, December 15 - 31, 2020

Humanities Hotline, December 1 - 15, 2020

  • Eric Cale, Director of the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, talks about the history of the electric guitar. Listen here.

  • Sheilah Philip, Professor Emerita of Theatre at Johnson County Community College, shares lessons about civil disobedience and moral courage from Sophocles’ Antigone. Listen here

  • Jordan Poland, President and CEO of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, discusses Kansas’s long-time love of golf. Listen here

  • Lori Goetsch, Dean of Libraries at Kansas State University, shares the history of the restoration of the Overmyer murals in the historic Farrell Library. Listen here

Humanities Hotline, November 15-30, 2020

  • Gene Chávez, public scholar, shares the history of the tortilla and a recipe for tortillas or sopapillas. Listen here.
  • Devon Mihesuah, Cora Lee Beers Price Professor in the Humanities at the University of Kansas, discusses the cultural importance of indigenous food. Listen here.
  • Aaron Barnhart, public scholar, tells the story of Henry Clubb's Kansas Vegetopia of 1856. Listen here.
  • Journalist Beccy Tanner talks about the history of Jell-O and shares a few of her favorite Jell-O salad recipes. Listen here.

Humanities Hotline, November 1 - 14, 2020

  • Angela Bates, Executive Director of the Nicodemus Historical Society, shares the legacy of Nicodemus, Kansas. Listen here. 
  • Daniel Ireton, Associate Professor at Kansas State University, talks about the history of the board game. Listen here. 
  • Laura Moriarty, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Kansas, reads from her 2012 novel The Chaperone, set in Wichita, Kansas. Listen here
  • Dawn Hammatt, Director of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, talks about Eisenhower’s experience growing up in Abilene, Kansas. Listen here. 

Humanities Hotline, October 15 - 31, 2020

  • University of Kansas English Professor Giselle Anatol talks about the history of the vampiric “soucouyant.” Listen here

  • Washburn University Lecturer and Poet Dennis Etzel, Jr. shares “The Mystery of the Black Fans.” Listen here

  • McPherson College English Professor Kim Stanley discusses the role of ghosts in literature. Listen here

  • Emporia State University English Professor Emeritus Jim Hoy tells “The Legend of the Blue Light Lady” of Hays. Listen here

Humanities Hotline, October 1 - 14, 2020


Humanities Hotline Survey

Please take a moment to take the Humanities Hotline survey. HK appreciates your feedback.

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