Visionary Landscapes: Willa Cather and the Search for Place in the West

College of Southern Idaho Blaine County Center (Hailey); Martha (Max) Despain, Associate Professor of English at the United States Air Force Academy (now stationed at the Pentagon); Karen Ramirez, English and Women and Gender Studies Departments, and the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, Boulder; and Steve Shively, Associate Professor of English at Utah State University. The keynote address by John Swift of Occidental College in Los Angeles, “Outside Man’s Jurisdiction”: Willa Cather and Western Inhumanism,” was open to the public on Sunday, July 22.  Other public presentations included a musical presentation of a Libby Larsen composition – My Ántonia Song Cycle by Del Parkinson and Jennifer Black, Boise State University; and “An Encompassing View:  Photographs of Willa Cather’s Southwest Landscape” presented by Jan Boles, College of Idaho.

Participating teachers were enthusiastically positive in their wrap-ups and in their evaluations.  Some sample comments include:

“This week has been life changing for me.  The scholars were welcoming and gracious; participants were very well-prepared and added a great deal to my intellectual experience.  Thank you so much for this opportunity.” – Teresa Kolsen, Ammon

“I finally figured out this year that the academic stimulation that always happens at this institute is not a given.  The IHC’s vision and experience carefully assembles a community of scholars and diversity of participants that exudes intellectual curiosity and community.  Thank you so much.”

“I don’t know how this experience could have been any more rewarding.  As I internalize all of my learning this week, the ways it will impact my students – infinitively!”

“This week was a spa for my mind!” – Gail Kohntopp, Filer

“Inspiring!!  Totally exceeded my expectations!  This week totally took me outside my box and made me think in new ways.  What a great service you are providing to the teachers of Idaho.  What a rare treat!!” – Luke Waldron, Malad