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​AZ SpeaksIllustration of a desert landscape in purple hues

AZ Speaks presenters represent a diverse range of expertise, from a variety of professional backgrounds including: history, cultural and gender studies, and more. Speakers are selected based on their expertise and ability to offer content and insight that inspires discussion with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Learn more about AZ Speaks events below or browse all events in our online calendar.


​The Diamond Jubilee of Cadet Nurses in Arizona: Stories of Service

Saturday, June 8 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Burton Barr Central Library

July 1, 2018 marked the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, an innovation for its time that addressed an acute healthcare delivery crisis during World War II. This presentation by Dr. Elsie Szecsy draws from the voices of those who participated in the program.

​Landscapes of Migration in the Arizona-Sonora Borderlands

Saturday, July 13 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Burton Barr Central Library

Saturday, September 21 from 2 to 3 p.m.
Saguaro Library

An in-depth look at historical and contemporary patterns of south-north migration through Arizona/Sonora borderland region, from ancient Hohokam trade routes to Spanish colonizers, to contemporary migrants—both documented and undocumented. While in some cases migration routes and patterns have changed over time, in other cases they have largely stayed the same. This talk is intended to increase awareness of Arizona's south-north connections and how they shape our cultural landscape.

Scott Warren is a cultural geographer and Lecturer in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University who lives in Ajo, Arizona. As an academic geographer, he researches and teaches about the intersection of people and place at the Mexico-U.S. border. He works to bring the experiences of the Arizona-Sonora borderlands into his classrooms, while at the same time getting his students out of the classroom and into the Arizona-Sonora borderlands.

Art of the Internment Camps: Culture Behind Barbed Wire

Saturday, September 14 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Burton Barr Central Library

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1942 WWII Executive Order 9066 forced the removal of nearly 125,000 Japanese-American citizens from the west coast, incarcerating them in ten remote internment camps in seven states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Government photographers Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and Ansel Adams documented the internment, and artists Toyo Miyatake, Chiura Obata, Henry Sugimoto, and Miné Okubo made powerful records of camp life. Arizona's two camps (Gila River, Poston) were among the largest, and this chronicle illuminates an important episode of state history, one grounded in national agendas driven by prejudice and fear.

Betsy Fahlman is Professor of Art History at Arizona State University, and is an authority on the art history of Arizona.

​AZ Speaks programming is provided by AZHumanities and the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library.


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