Join us each Tuesday for a virtual Connected Conversation to discuss various humanities topics with people around Idaho. Subjects run the gamut from baseball to the environment to politics to poetry.

Each speaker will talk about their topic for about 30 minutes or so and then will take questions and discuss for about 35 minutes more.  Missed a conversation? No problem! You can watch them online and links are included below.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Holley, Director of Programs & Development (jennifer@idahohumanities) or Doug Exton, Program Officer (


Title:  "Fire’s American Century"
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM MDT
Steve Pyne, Emeritus Professor at Arizona State University, Fire Historian

Program Description  A brief survey of how the American wildland fire scene has evolved, beginning with the 1880 census map of forest fires to the present day. Topics will include the Big Blowup of 1910, the CCC, the cold war on fire, the fire revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, the mashup of institutions and policies that characterizes today’s scene, and the quickening of threats that is leading us into a new fire age.

Bio: Steve Pyne is an emeritus professor at Arizona State University, mostly a fire historian, and the author recently of Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America, Year of the Fires: The Story of the Great Fires of 1910,  and To the Last Smoke, a 9-book series of regional fire surveys.

Between Two Fires

The Northern Rockies: A Fire Survey, Vol. 3, To the Last Smoke:

Year of the Fires: The Story of the Great Fires of 1910

To sign up for this event, please click HERE.  After you sign up via Eventbrite you will receive the link to the Zoom conversation via email.

Title:  "Women in Art during the Renaissance and Reformation"
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM MDT
Lisa McClain, Professor of History and Gender Studies, Boise State University

Program Description:  How do the Renaissance and Reformation look different when viewed through the lens of gender? Join us for an exploration of women as both the subjects and creators of art. We’ll explore popular themes in art, such as Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary, and the great works of artists such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Barbara Longhi, Fra’ Fillipo Lippi, and Judith Leyster.

Bio:  Lisa McClain is a Professor of History and Gender Studies at Boise State University. She specializes in the history of Christianity during the Reformation era and the intersections of gender, religion, and popular culture. She is the author of the books Divided Loyalties? Pushing the Boundaries of Gender and Lay Roles in the Catholic Church, 1534-1829 (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018) and Lest We Be Damned: Practical Innovation and Lived Experience among Catholics in Protestant England 1559-1642 (Routledge, 2004), as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles. She is a past Idaho Humanities Council Research Fellow.

To sign up for this event, please click HERE.  After you sign up via Eventbrite you will receive the link to the Zoom conversation via email.

The views expressed by our speakers do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) or the Idaho Humanities Council (IHC).

Past Conversations

Jennifer Stevens

“Boise’s Industrial Past”


“History of Idaho Falls Baseball - 80th Season of Professional Baseball in Idaho Falls"

Scott Slovic Pic

"Semester in the Wild at U of I"

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"History of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness"

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"LGBTQIA+ History in Boise"

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"The Black Experience in Idaho"

Dan Prinzing

"The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial"

Marc Johnson

"Idaho’s Most Controversial Politician: Glen H. Taylor, the Singing Senator"

Ryan Weeks INL

"How INL is Changing the Future of Nuclear Energy"

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"Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp"


"Native Women Writers and Colonial Domesticity at the Federal Indian Boarding Schools"

Rick Just

"The History of Idaho State Parks"

Salome Mwangi

"The Refugee Experience and Boise"

Kathy Aiken

"Seeking Suffrage: The Idaho Story"

Communication department photo, portraits, Allison Corona photo.

"Beyond Fake News: News Literacy and the Informed Citizen"