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Corps of Discovery Takes to the Airwaves

December 12, 2005

Listeners will hear historians, anthropologists, and textual scholars. They’ll hear Native American experts, musicians, storytellers, religious leaders, and poets. Through these many voices, the Lewis and Clark Expedition will come to life.


Lewis & Clark College and Oregon Public Broadcasting are collaborating to complete a 13-part radio series on the Lewis and Clark Expedition titled Unfinished Journey: The Lewis and Clark Expedition. Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the series will explore humanities themes that inspired the expedition. The series will also address the human, environmental, and political issues that were left in the expedition’s wake.


“This is not a talking-heads series,” says Sherry Manning, director of the College’s bicentennial programs. “We are producing pieces that take us to the badlands of South Dakota and to the shores of the Pacific. We will have original music juxtaposed with archival music. And we are working hard to make this series fresh and original.”


Episodes will focus on such topics as Sacagawea’s story, the relationship between Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the questions surrounding Lewis’ death, issues of sovereignty, the psychology of encounters between peoples of different landscapes and languages, and the lingering mysteries of the expedition.

Eve Epstein, producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting, and Clay Jenkinson, humanities scholar in residence at Lewis & Clark, are collaborating on a 13-part radio series about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The series will be distributed by Public Radio International.


The series will include field reports from sites of interest along the trail as well as original music created by violinist Aaron Meyer ’95 and guitarist Bill Lamb ’88. A DVD to accompany the series is also in the works.


“Our hope is that the synergy of information and inspiration in this radio series will deepen the public’s historical understanding of the Lewis and Clark expedition,” says Manning.


Public Radio International (PRI) has agreed to distribute the series to radio stations nationwide. PRI is slated to receive the first few episodes for distribution later this spring.


Summer Teachers’ Institute


Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education, in partnership with the Oregon Council for the Humanities, is offering a summer institute for secondary teachers titled Lewis and Clark and the Rivers of the West, which will be held August 7 through 12.


The interdisciplinary institute will focus on the critical importance of rivers to the Corps of Discovery: how rivers provided both the rationale for the expedition and the means for conducting it.


The program will be codirected by Clay Jenkinson, humanities scholar in residence at Lewis & Clark; Christopher Zinn, executive director of the Oregon Council for the Humanities; and Janet Bixby, assistant professor of education at the graduate school.


Traveling Exhibition Back in Oregon

Lewis & Clark College’s traveling exhibition, The Literature of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is on display at the Oregon Historical Society through April 3.


The exhibition features some 60 items in 11 display cases and a number of framed wall pieces with items drawn from the College’s unmatched library of expedition-related literature acquired over the past 20 years. Stephen Dow Beckham, Pamplin Professor of History, is the exhibition’s curator.


The exhibit is currently on a national tour. Future stops will include the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma, April 15 through June 12, and the Denver Public Library, August 1 through September 30.


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