Meriwether Lewis
Mar
25
7:30 PM19:30

Meriwether Lewis

Clay Jenkinson as Meriwether Lewis
Monday March 25, 7:30 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn, Kitty Hawk

Tickets

Lewis was my first Chautauqua character. He’s fascinating on so many fronts. When he was keeping his journal, he was easily the most interesting writer of the expedition, by magnitudes. He regarded himself as the Enlightenment’s personal emissary in the American West. His relationship with Clark is complex, nuanced, and ultimately tragic. His attitude towards American Indians is essential for any understanding of that vexed subject in American history. Sometimes I fantasize about having been a member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, to have seen Montana in 1804 when hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of bison grazed the plains in a tense equilibrium with elk, grizzly bears, coyotes, wolves, pronghorn antelope, and prairie dogs. (Of course, I would almost certainly have been a copy clerk back in Philadelphia, and probably could not have held up for more than a few days given the physical demands of the journey). Lewis had a rich, somewhat odd, sense of humor, which I try to explore in my dramatic interpretations.

View Event →
Sir Walter Raleigh
Mar
26
7:30 PM19:30

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh
Tuesday March 26, 7:30 p.m.
Sound Stage at the Lost Colony, Manteo

Tickets

Raleigh (1554-1618) was only one of my characters who was beheaded! He was the very definition of a “Renaissance man.” He was a dashing soldier, an Elizabethan privateer, a colonizer of Virginia, a friend of Sir Philip Sidney and the patron of Edmund Spenser, one of Queen Elizabeth’s four principal courtiers, a writer of admirable poetry and prose, an explorer of South America, and one of the most important state prisoners in the history of England.

My Raleigh speaks from the Tower of London, where he was imprisoned from 1603-1616 for treason by King James I. It’s difficult to discern just what his crimes were from our perspective, but he was a great favorite of Queen Elizabeth and he made it clear when she died on March 24, 1603, that he would prefer the thrown not be cast away on a Scotsman who was the son of the late Mary Queen of Scotts.

Raleigh was the mastermind of England’s intended colonization at Roanoke in today’s North Carolina. He gave the name of his new world discoveries “Virginia” after his patron, the Virgin Queen. In 1595 he attempted to find El Dorado, the fabled city of gold somewhere along the Orinoco River in South America. He found no gold, but the account he wrote of his adventure, The Discovery of Guiana (1596) was a classic of exploration literature.

Raleigh is a larger-than-life figure around whom much legendary material has accumulated. He may—or may not—have thrown down his cloak (the most expensive thing he owned) to enable Queen Elizabeth to walk safely over a puddle. He probably was not doused with a bucket of water when his servant failed to realize that the smoke coming out of his mouth was from tobacco not a clothing fire. He may or may not have scratched love verses to Elizabeth on a windowpane at Windsor Castle.

View Event →
Shakespeare: The Magic of the Word
Mar
27
7:30 PM19:30

Shakespeare: The Magic of the Word

Wednesday March 27, 7:30 p.m
First Flight High School, Kill Devil Hills

Tickets

Learn more about the Magic of the Word.

This 90-minute performance features recitation of great moments in Shakespeare, commentary, biographical details, discussions of the great Shakespeare themes, and a practical guide to overcoming “Shakespeare intimidation.” Witty, probing, and funny, Clay provides an evening of insight and laughter in his one-man program, an unforgettable tribute to the life and work of the greatest writer in the English language.

Reading Hamlet for the first time as a freshman in college changed the whole trajectory of my life. During my time at Oxford I saw 34 of the 37 Shakespeare plays, including Hamlet nine times. Although I somehow slipped through the back door and became an amateur historian, my great love has always been Elizabethan and Jacobean literature. This program gives me the opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s genius at the prime of my life as a public humanities scholar.

View Event →
An Evening with Edward S. Curtis
Apr
10
7:30 PM19:30

An Evening with Edward S. Curtis

The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is excited to invite you to their spring fundraiser, An Evening with Edward S. Curtis. Clay Jenkinson, will lecture on Edward Sheriff Curtis (February 16, 1868 – October 19, 1952) the American photographer and ethnologist from Washington State whose work focused on the American West and Native American peoples. He will discuss Curtis’s life and work, slipping into character of Curtis now and then, including his work with JP Morgan, his many visits to the heart of Indian America, his relationship with Theodore Roosevelt, and the compilation of Curtis‘ 20 volumes of his book North American Indian. Clay will also talk about some of the more controversial issues around Curtis' work: cultural appropriation, his treatment of his wife and family, the ways in which he cajoled Native Americans into showing him sacred objects or dressing in a sacred way, and divulging cultural secrets.

Tickets

View Event →
Theodore Roosevelt in Retrospect: An American Legacy
Sep
12
12:00 PM12:00

Theodore Roosevelt in Retrospect: An American Legacy

Save the date now for the fourteenth annual Theodore Roosevelt Symposium at Dickinson State University! One hundred years after his remarkable life ended, Theodore Roosevelt continues to influence our life as a nation and as individuals. Plan to visit his second home in the Dakota Badlands and join in this public humanities event, reflecting on his legacy.

More information to be announced.

View Event →

Shakespeare in the Wilderness: Winter 2018 Humanities Retreat
Jan
17
to Jan 22

Shakespeare in the Wilderness: Winter 2018 Humanities Retreat

January 17-22 • Lochsa Lodge, ID

Some of the best writing in the English language comes from the pen of poet, playwright, and actor William Shakespeare. Many people feel intimidated by Shakespeare, perhaps because of their high school encounters with Julius Caesar or Romeo and Juliet. Clay’s approach is to demystify Shakespeare, to teach participants how to read Shakespeare with joy, confidence, and discernment. Although Clay is often regarded as a historian, his actual training, at the University of Minnesota and Oxford, was in English Literature, the Renaissance, Shakespeare, John Donne, and John Milton. All of his degrees are in English. With the help of the best film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, Clay will guide us through two plays per day, plus some sonnets, and related poetry by his personal favorite John Donne. You will be amazed by the level of joy, laughter, and unpretentious literary satisfaction you experience in this humanities retreat. Clay has taught Shakespeare at Pomona College, the law school of the University of North Dakota, the University of Vermont, and Bismarck State College.

Learn more and view the full itinerary.

This retreat is hosted by Odyssey Tours with Clay Jenkinson.
Odyssey Tours is a division of Bek, Inc.

Becky Cawley • telephone: (208) 791-8721 • bek@odytours.net

View Event →
To Live Deliberately: Winter 2018 Humanities Retreat
Jan
10
to Jan 15

To Live Deliberately: Winter 2018 Humanities Retreat

January 10-15 • Lochsa Lodge, ID

The purpose of these retreats is to explore Henry David Thoreau’s great challenge that the purpose of life is “to live deliberately.” We learn together the art of true conversation about books, ideas, books, history, current events, and the wayward progress of the American experiment. You do not have to be a scholar to participate. These are not academic discussions, much less lectures. Clay’s purpose is to provide a playful, safe, relaxed, and congenial atmosphere at one of the most beautiful resorts in the Rocky Mountain West for several days of satisfactions, including conversation.

Learn more and view the full itinerary.

This retreat is hosted by Odyssey Tours with Clay Jenkinson.
Odyssey Tours is a division of Bek, Inc.

Becky Cawley • telephone: (208) 791-8721 • bek@odytours.net

View Event →
Clay Jenkinson’s Shakespeare the Magic of the Word
Sep
22
8:00 PM20:00

Clay Jenkinson’s Shakespeare the Magic of the Word

Tidewater Community College
Roper Performing Arts Center
Norfolk, VA
Friday, September 22 at 8 PM

In this world premiere of "Clay Jenkinson's Shakespeare the Magic of the Word," Clay kicks off a nationwide tour to celebrate the magical web of words and meaning in the Bard's plays and sonnets.

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

View Event →
Theodore Roosevelt Center Symposium: The Naturalist in the Arena
Sep
14
to Sep 16

Theodore Roosevelt Center Symposium: The Naturalist in the Arena

  • Dickinson State College (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
When seven-year-old "Teedie" Roosevelt came upon a dead seal in front of a New York City shop, he measured it, gazed on it in wonder, and eventually obtained the skull for what would become the Roosevelt Museum of Natural History. His scientific curiosity, boyish enthusiasm, and love of the outdoors persisted through his hectic life as a public servant.

Visit www.theodorerooseveltcenter.org for more information.

View Event →
Lewis & Clark Summer 2017 Cultural Tour
Jul
18
to Jul 27

Lewis & Clark Summer 2017 Cultural Tour

July 18-27 • Great Falls & Missoula, MT

This is the trip that never gets old. It will be Clay's 12th time up the Wendover Death March (which proves that anyone can do it). We'll spend three days on the White Cliffs section of the Missouri River, then a night in a wonderful historic hotel in Fort Benton, then four days on the Lolo Trail in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark on the most pristine portion of the entire national Lewis & Clark Trail. The “camping” is courtesy of our excellent outfitter (they set up your tent, feed you at tables with cloths and napkins, strike the camp, and provide excellent wine and unlimited quantities of beer). We hike, canoe, stroll, sing, tell stories, gaze at historic sites, sit around bonfires, and learn just the right amount about the most important exploration in American history.

Learn more and view the full itinerary.

This retreat is hosted by Odyssey Tours with Clay Jenkinson.

Becky Cawley • telephone: (208) 791-8721 • bek@odytours.net

View Event →
Steinbeck’s California: Spring 2017 Book Retreat & Tour
Mar
4
to Mar 10

Steinbeck’s California: Spring 2017 Book Retreat & Tour

March 4-10 • Pacific Grove, CA

This week-long journey is a lovely mix of talk about Steinbeck’s books and exploration of the California that inspired some of his best work. Spirit of place mattered to Steinbeck. The Gabilan and St. Lucia Mountains, the Salinas River Valley, Salinas itself, Pacific Grove, Carmel, and Monterey are as important as the characters in his fiction. He often pauses to describe the landscape of his youth. And he had a love affair with the great row of canneries in Monterey that gave him his closest friendship in life—with Ed Ricketts—and the setting for some of his most enchanting fiction.

Learn more and view the full itinerary.

This retreat is hosted by Odyssey Tours with Clay Jenkinson.

Becky Cawley • telephone: (208) 791-8721 • bek@odytours.net

View Event →
”The American West; A New Lens: Exploring Native American Culture” Lochsa Lodge Winter Retreat with Clay Jenkinson
Jan
14
to Jan 20

”The American West; A New Lens: Exploring Native American Culture” Lochsa Lodge Winter Retreat with Clay Jenkinson

Some of the best writing of our time is about American Indian history and culture. This retreat will give you a chance to read really remarkable books by and about American Indian history, spirituality, sovereignty, and a view of life distinct from the mainstream of American civilization. In view of the renewal of the “Indian Wars” in the American West, most recently on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, conversations will be rich, nuanced, rigorous, civil, potentially life-changing, and at times troubling. Clay will help you explore how your understanding of the American West was shaped by such mythologizers as Theodore Roosevelt, Frederic Remington, Owen Wister, and of course Buffalo Bill Cody. Warm up by reading Wooden Leg’s outstanding autobiography.

For more information, visit Odyssey Tours online or contact Becky Cawley: (208) 791-8721 or bek@odytours.net

View Event →