Dr. Stephen Sylvester is a former Board member of the Minnesota Committee for the Humanities and Humanities Montana, and a current member of the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau and Speakers in Schools. Dr. Sylvester holds a doctorate in American History and Journalism from the University of North Dakota. He has lectured at MSU Northern, Peru State College, Nebraska, the University of Minnesota Crookston, and the University of Hawaii and Alaska to name a few. He has conducted more than 80 field trips along the Lewis and Clark Trail, and has traveled extensively as he studied social, political, and econmonic changes in China.
Over the past five years, aging former Montanan and former history professor Dr. Stephen Sylvester has visited and lectured in China during five month-long visits. As "Harpo Polo," a combination of Marco Polo and Harpo Marx, he describes China's metamorphosis from an ancient culture to a modern one. As he discusses how his own views of China have changed, he addresses the end of the dynasties, the nationalist period, the leadership of Chairman Mao through the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, and the changes wrought by China joining the world as a modern economy. What does it all mean to China and to the West? Visual material is eclectic and intended to inspire connections with what individual members of the audience already know; interactive discussion encourages participants to draw their own conclutions.
In this interactive presentation, Dr. Sylvester will talk about the weapons used by the Corps of Discovery, some of the myths regarding Native American reactions to the Corps and visa versa. He will also demonstrate flintlock rifles and provide the opportunity for audience participation - tossing tomahawks and tasting elk jerky.