VANCOUVER, Wash — Washington State University Vancouver’s Honors Program is hosting a free lecture titled “Rivers and Rodeos: New and Old West,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Student Services lecture hall.

The lecture is the third installment of the six-part series “Out of Many Voices: American Identities and Global Experience,” an examination into the complexities of American identity in a global era of accelerating integration and increasing diversity.       

In “Rivers and Rodeos,” WSU writers and professors Alex Kuo and Joan Burbick will examine the myths of the American West and what they tell us about this region.

Burbick is a professor in WSU’s American studies program and former senior research fellow at Stanford University. She is the author of  Rodeo Queens and the American Dream,” a study of the world of rodeo queens and their role in the shaping of the American West. Burdick will discuss the contradictions between the ranching and modernizing West in her talk, “The Drowning West.” 

Kuo’s talk, “Damming the American West,” presents a contextual discussion of high dams and their social and environmental impacts. He is a professor in WSU’s comparative American cultures and English departments.  His most recent book, “Lipstick,” received a prestigious American Book Award.

This public lecture is sponsored by WSU Vancouver’s Honors Program, in tandem with the Center for Columbia River History, a consortium of the Washington State Historical Society, WSU Vancouver and Portland State University. For more information, call (360) 546-9495. WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave., east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205.