Frances Humphrey Lecture Series at the Nevada State Museum

Lectures in this popular series are presented on the fourth Thursday of each month from 6:30 – 8 pm at the state Museum. Doors open at 6 pm; $8 for adults; free for museum members & ages 17 & under Reserve a seat for each lecture 30 days in advance on our website events page. For more info: (775) 687-4810 ext. 243.


April 25

Carson Opera House, Carson City

History of Northern Nevada Theatre

by Jim Bernardi, Ph.D.

From indigenous peoples’ dance rituals to Virginia City’s nineteenth century glory days when major stars routinely toured to Nevada to perform in Piper’s Opera House and other regional venues to the little theatre movements in Reno, Carson City, and others cities and the fabled casino show rooms which boasted appearances by the biggest talents in the world of entertainment. Northern Nevada has experienced a wide array of theatre activities and movements which have enriched our lives and enhanced our cultural legacy.

BernardiJim Bernardi, Ph.D. Theatre Professor Emeritus, University of Nevada, Reno. Jim’s areas of expertise included Theatre History, British Theatre, Experimental Theatre, and Women in Theatre. He directed, designed or acted in nearly 100 plays during the course of his forty-four year career. Annual visits to northern Nevada communities with shows ranging from popular musicals, classics, children’s plays, and popular comedies were particularly rewarding projects. It was during these visits that he learned to appreciate and take delight in the various towns and their idiosyncrasies.


May 23

Westside Slugger

Joe Neal’s Lifelong Fight for Social Justice
by John L. Smith

West Side Slugger Join John L. Smith as he discusses civil rights and political icon, Nevada State Senator Joe Neal. Neal rose from humble beginnings in Mound, Louisiana, during the Great Depression to become the first African American to serve in the Nevada State Senate. As he climbed through the political ranks, Neal used his position in the state senate to speak on behalf of the powerless for more than thirty years. He took on an array of powerful opponents ranging from the Clark County sheriff to the governor of the state, as well as Nevada’s political kingmakers and casino titans.

John L. SmithJohn L. Smith is a longtime journalist and the author of more than a dozen books on some of the most significant characters in Las Vegas history. In three decades as a daily columnist with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he garnered many state and national awards for his work.


June 27

Fueling the Boom: Chinese Woodcutters Chinese woodcutters in the Great Basin 1870-1920
Perspectives from a Historical Archeologist
by Emily Dale, Ph.D.

While the Chinese left behind few written records of their own, they are recorded in the historical documents of others, as well as in the artifacts and sites they left behind. In this talk, Emily Dale will discuss how historical records, archaeological data, descendant communities, and public archaeology painted a portrait of the lives and choices of the Chinese men who used the material culture curated in this exhibit.

Emily DaleEmily Dale, Ph.D. is a Lecturer at Northern Arizona University, specializing in the Historical Archaeology of the 19th-and 20thcentury American West. Her research focuses on immigration, culture contact, and ethnic and racial discrimination. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nevada-Reno in 2016. As cocurator of the Fueling the Boom exhibit, she drew heavily on her dissertation “Chinese Agency in the Era of the Chinese Question: Historical Archaeology of Woodcutting Communities in Nevada, 1861-1920.”

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