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Author series to explore culture, history of Arizona

Arizona Research Library’s Zoom sessions start in January

Posted 12/15/23

The state of Arizona Research Library’s 2024 Arizona Author Series will take place monthly on Zoom from January through May.

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Author series to explore culture, history of Arizona

Arizona Research Library’s Zoom sessions start in January


The state of Arizona Research Library’s 2024 Arizona Author Series will take place monthly on Zoom from January through May.

All talks start at noon.

Below is a schedule of events, and attendees are encouraged to register at https://azsos.libcal.com/calendar/starl to receive links to the presentations. After the talk, there will be time for questions from the audience.

These presentations will be recorded and made available on the State of Arizona Research Library’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@stateofarizonaresearchlibr2662). Registered attendees will receive a link to the recording once it is available.

“The Arizona Author Series is an exciting program that showcases some of the latest research conducted about our beautiful state,” Secretary of State Adrian Fontes shared in a press release. “No matter how much you may know about Arizona history and culture, there is always something new to learn during this program and by visiting the State of Arizona Research Library.”

Thursday, Jan. 18

Clottee Hammons will speak about her book “Indiscernibles in Arizona: On the Hope and Reality of Being Black in Arizona.” About “Indiscernibles in Arizona”:

During the Great Migration of the 20th century, more than 6 million African Americans left the Southeast and settled in other parts of the United States. While this migration significantly impacted the makeup of states such as Arizona, this history is often forgotten. “Indiscernibles in Arizona” is a collection of personal narratives that expand our understanding of what it means to live in Arizona.

Thursday, Feb. 15

Ken Mochizuki will speak about his book “Michi Challenges History: From Farm Girl to Costume Designer to Relentless Seeker of the Truth: The Life of Michi Nishiura Weglyn.”

About “Michi Challenges History”: When she was only a teenager, Weglyn was interred at the Arizona Gila River concentration camp during World War II. Yet it wasn’t until 1968 when she was already a renowned costume designer for Broadway shows that she embarked on a quest to uncover the truth about these concentration camps. Her research was a profound catalyst for the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which led the government to admit its mistreatment of Japanese Americans during WWII.

Thursday, March 14

Dr. Natalie Koch will speak about her book “Arid Empire: The Entangled Fates of Arizona and Arabia.”

About “Arid Empire”: What is the connection between the Arabian Peninsula and the United States? It may surprise some to learn that the two deserts are inextricably connected. From camel corps during 1850s to farming date palms to science fiction classics such as Dune, Dr. Koch uncovers how these “arid empires” are sites of political, economic, and cultural exchange between countries on opposite sides of the globe.

Thursday, April 18

Professor emeritus Robert H. Webb will speak about his book “Requiem for the Santa Cruz: An Environmental History of an Arizona River.”

About “Requiem for the Santa Cruz”: The Santa Cruz River has ebbed, flowed, and flooded its banks for centuries. Yet as the landscape of southern Arizona changed, so did the river and our understanding of its currents. Dr. Webb and his co-authors take readers on a journey along the history of the Santa Cruz River as it evolves from a flowing river into a resource for groundwater, mining, and the growth of Tucson. These changes have forever altered the unique habitat along the river, making its history a warning of what may happen to other precious rivers if we are not careful to protect them.

Thursday, May 16

Dr. Yolonda Youngs will speak about her book “Framing Nature: The Creation of an American Icon at the Grand Canyon.”

About “Framing Nature”: Since the mid-19th century, the Grand Canyon has evolved into an exceptionally popular culture icon. By interpreting and analyzing more than 1,400 visual artifacts of the Grand Canyon, Dr. Youngs shows readers how these visuals have impacted the way humans understand and interact with nature, as well as how our national parks and the American West became and continue to be symbols of American culture.


You can read and listen to books about the history and culture of Arizona for free on Reading Arizona.

This is a virtual presentation. For more information, contact the State of Arizona Research Library at 602-926-3870 or visit https://azsos.libcal.com/.

This program is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.