Aukera: A History of the Basques in Idaho @ Moscow Public Library
Aug 1 @ 5:30 pm

Speaker:  John Bieter

This audio-visual presentation on the history of the Basques in Idaho is built around a Basque application of Marcus L. Hansen’s “Law of Third Generation Return.” In short, what the son wishes to forget, the grandson wishes to remember. Bieter focuses on each of these generations and the organizations that they established, and what they felt they needed at that time in Idaho. While many may know about the Basques in shepherding, Bieters’ generational research offers a fresh perspective. He first examines the immigrant generation (from 1890 until the early 1920’s), then focuses on the Basque-American generation (from the 1920’s until about 1949), and finally looks at the American-Basque generation (from about 1950 to the present). Each generation has a different perspective to their culture and a different experience in Idaho.

Smarties Trivia Night @ The Linen Building
Aug 2 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Smarties Trivia Night @ The Linen Building

Grab your thinking caps, some friends, and join us for Smarties in August!

Join us on Friday, August 2nd at the Linen Building (1402 W. Grove Street) in Boise for an adults-only night of trivia, food, beverages, and fun! Doors open at 6 p.m. with trivia starting at 7 p.m. sharp! Enjoy music, prizes and a raffle while you ponder art, sports, history, philosophy, literature, and the humanities. You and your friends will form teams to beat other teams in wits and smarts.

Tickets are available by clicking HERE or by calling the IHC at 208-345-5346. Tickets are $40 each or two for $75. You can create teams from 2 to 8 people. Be sure and tell us who your friends are in your group when signing up. Remember – no more than 8 people are allowed in a group!

Your ticket includes heavy appetizers and one free drink coupon. A no-host bar will be available throughout the evening. Smarties awards and trophies will be given out at the end of the night!

We are also looking for event sponsors at only $750. That includes a table for 8, heavy appetizers, 8 drink coupons, 8 tickets for the raffle, your logo in event advertising, an the opportunity to give out company swag to attendees!

Event proceeds will directly benefit IHC statewide programs.

Early Idaho Work Songs @ Copperfield Park
Aug 15 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Speaker:  Gary Eller

This event is at a campground in Oxbow, OR.  Please bring a lawn chair and a jacket.

Divided Loyalties and Tribal Rights: Agriculture and Irrigation at the Fort Hall Indian Reservation @ Moscow Public Library
Aug 28 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Speaker:  Amy Canfield

The history of the west has been shaped in almost every way by water: processing it, using it, appropriating it, and corralling it. The task of irrigating arid and semi-arid regions proved difficult, especially on American Indian reservations as ore non-Indians moved onto reservation lands. Examining the events surrounding irrigating the Fort Hall Indian Reservation demonstrates the legal, practical, environmental, and moral questions that plagued irrigation projects on reservations. Different federal officials who purported to have the tribe’s best interests at heart routinely compromised Shoshone-Bannock control of its valuable water resources, resulting in harmful consequences for tribal landholdings and finances.

This Flotsam and Jetsam of Human Passions: Idaho War Horses to the South African War, 1899-1902 @ CSI Herrett Center for Arts and Science
Sep 10 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Speaker:  Philip Homan

This is a custom topic.

Poet Richard Blanco Coming to Boise @ Boise Centre West
Sep 19 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Prize-winning Poet Richard Blanco to Speak in Boise in September

Historic presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco will deliver the Idaho Humanities Council’s 23nd Annual Distinguished Humanities Lecture on Thursday, September 19, 7 p.m., at Boise Centre West. Blanco is one of the most beloved and influential poets and storytellers writing today.

Tickets are available by clicking HERE or by calling the IHC at 208-345-5346. General tickets are $65 and Benefactor tickets are $130. Benefactors are invited to a private pre-event reception with Blanco at 5 p.m. The evening will begin with a no-host reception and silent auction at 6 p.m. at Boise Centre West. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m., with Blanco’s talk to follow. Blanco’s books will be available from Rediscovered Books for signing afterwards.

Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. History, Richard Blanco is the youngest and the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his three collections of poetry: City of a Hundred Fires, which received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburg Press; Directions to the Beach of the Dead, recipient of the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center; and Looking for the Gulf Motel, recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award.

He has authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and the Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, winner of the Lambda Literary Award. His inaugural poem “One Today” was published as a children’s book, in collaboration with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey.

Blanco’s latest book of poems, How to Love a Country, both interrogates the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unkept promise of its ideals. In this new collection of poems, his first in over seven years, Blanco continues to invite a conversation with all Americans. Through an oracular yet intimate and accessible voice, he addresses the complexities and contradictions of our nationhood and the unresolved sociopolitical matters that affect us all.

He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary doctorates. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Wesleyan University. He serves as the first Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.


Since 1997, the IHC has brought top historians, journalists, novelists, and other writers to Boise for the Council’s annual event. Previous speakers have included such luminaries as Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, novelist John Updike, NewsHour anchor and author Jim Lehrer, presidential historian Michael Beschloss, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham, and author, journalist, and columnist Anna Quindlen.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Writer Viet Thanh Nguyen Coming to Coeur d’Alene @ Coeur d'Alene Resort
Oct 25 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Prize winning writer, Viet Thanh Nguyen, will deliver the IHC’s 16th Annual North Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture on Friday, October 25, 7:00 p.m., at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

The event is made possible in part by major support from Marc and Vicki Brinkmeyer and Idaho Forest Group. The IHC also is grateful for additional critical support for the event from Lewis-Clark State College, North Idaho College, University of Idaho, and Idaho Public Television.

Tickets are available by clicking HERE or by calling the IHC at (208) 345-5346. General tickets are $65 and Benefactor tickets are $130. Benefactors are invited to a private pre-event reception with Nguyen at 5:00 p.m. The evening will begin with a no-host reception and silent auction at 6:00 p.m. at the Resort. Dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m., with Nguyen’s talk to follow. Nguyen’s books will be available onsite for signing afterwards.

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s writing is bold, elegant, and fiercely honest. His remarkable debut novel, The Sympathizer, won the Pulitzer Prize, was a Dayton Literary Peace Prize winner, and made the finalist list for the PEN/Faulkner award. The Pulitzer Prize citation reads, “[The Sympathizer] is a layered immigrant tale told in the wry, confessional voice of a ‘man of two minds’—and two countries, Vietnam and the United States.”

Viet and his family came to the United States as refugees during the Vietnam War in 1975. As he grew up in America, he began to notice that most movies and books about the war focused on Americans while the Vietnamese were silenced and erased. He was inspired by this lack of representation to write about the war from a Vietnamese perspective, globally re-imagining what we thought we knew about the conflict. The New York Times says that his novel, The Sympathizer, “fills a void…giving voice to the previously voiceless while it compels the rest of us to look at the events of forty years ago in a new light.” His voice is refreshing and powerful as he urges readers to examine the legacy of that tumultuous time and its aftermath from a new perspective.

The audacious novel has also been described by The Guardian as having a “Whitman-like multiplicity” as it “reads like the absolute opposite of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.” Viet’s book Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War was a finalist for the National Book Award. Author Ari Kelman praises Nothing Ever Dies saying it, “provides the fullest and best explanation of how the Vietnam War has become so deeply inscribed into national memory.” His newest work, a collection of short stories titled The Refugees, explores questions of immigration, identity, love, and family.

Viet was the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. The MacArthur Foundation noted that Viet’s work “not only offers insight into the experiences of refugees past and present, but also poses profound questions about how we might more accurately and conscientiously portray victims and adversaries of other wars.” Along with teaching at the University of Southern California, he works as a cultural critic-at-large for The Los Angeles Times.


Thanks to support from the Idaho Forest Group and other sponsors, the IHC has been bringing prominent historians, journalists, and novelists to Coeur d’Alene since 2004, including presidential biographer Robert Dallek, western writer Ivan Doig, journalist Susan Orlean,  National Book Award-winner Timothy Egan, Civil War historian James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Anthony Doerr, bestselling novelist Jess Walter, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham, and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Adam Johnson.

Classical Christmas Piano Favorites @ Memorial Community Center
Dec 6 @ 6:00 pm

Speaker: Del Parkinson

The piano has enjoyed immense popularity for three centuries. Its versatility has led to the 88 keys being called “an orchestra contained in a single instrument.” This presentation will focus on the role of the piano in shaping the development of music. Selections for this live performance range in style from Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” through Debussy’s “Clair de lune.” Parkinson’s down-to-earth narration gives the background of each piece in order to heighten the listening experience.

Cookies and beverages will follow the concert.