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Saturday University — the University of Wyoming's one-day lecture program — returns to Cody on March 30th with three diverse topics ranging from the popularity of three ancient structures, the discovery of an ancient civilization in the Andes Mountains, and the intersection of criminal law and museums.

The topics will be discussed during the program, which takes place at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Presentations begin at 9 a.m.; doors open at 8:30 a.m. for coffee and doughnuts. The three lectures by four UW personnel are followed by a roundtable discussion with the speakers. A free lunch will be provided.

Attendees may attend any or all three lectures. Listed below are program times, topic descriptions, and professors lecturing:

9 a.m.: “The Three Most Important Buildings in the World: The Parthenon, the Dome of the Rock, and Hagia Sophia,” by Naomi Pitamber, UW Department of Visual and Literary Arts visiting assistant professor.

“The Parthenon in Athens, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the church/mosque of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul are three of the most highly visited buildings in the world,” Pitamber says. She will share the intriguing and often contentious histories of the three works of architecture, including little-known stories about the structures’ “darker” periods of history, roles in wartime and peacetime, and why they are important today.

Pitamber has conducted field work in each of the three buildings in connection to her research as part of her new book project “Conquering the Sacred East.”

10:15 a.m.: “Ritual and Political Structure in the Andes of Ancient Peru,” by Jason Toohey, UW Department of Anthropology associate professor, and director of UW’s George C. Frison Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Archaeological excavations by UW scientists in the Andes Mountains of Peru have unveiled a civilization older than the Incas — the Cajamarca Culture.

“The recent discovery of a monumental circular plaza at the 600-acre site of Callacpuma is not only the first feature of its kind in northern Peru, but may constitute the earliest ritual and political architecture in the region,” Toohey says. He will discuss the discovery, and the public and political organization of the Cajamarca Culture.

11:30 a.m.: “Stealing Culture: The Intersection of Criminal Law and Museums,” by Darrell Jackson, UW College of Law professor and Nicole Crawford, UW Art Museum, chief curator.

“When we visit a museum, we rarely think about the role of the law with regard to the objects and art works we view,” Jackson and Crawford say. “But, perhaps we should. What happens when a museum finds artifacts in their collection that may result from theft or looting?”

The speakers approach that question from a legal angle: Who from the acquiring museum, if anyone, should be held accountable and, potentially, criminally charged? And also from a cultural angle: How does society place a value on these cultural objects, and how does that value change when the object is placed with a museum?

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In their discussion, Jackson and Crawford focus on questions of law, ethics, and culture relevant to museum collections.

For more information about UW’s Saturday University program in Cody, call Flesher at 307-766-2616 or e-mail pflesher@uwyo.edu. For more information about Saturday University, visit the website at www.uwyo.edu/saturdayu.

“During the fall and spring semesters, Saturday University visits locations throughout Wyoming discussing today’s most captivating topics,” said Saturday University faculty director Paul Flesher, a UW religious studies professor. 

In its 11th year, Saturday University is a collaborative program that connects popular UW and Wyoming community college professors with lifelong learners. Offered 10 times this year — twice each in Jackson, Gillette, and Sheridan, and once in Cody, Green River, Pinedale, and Rock Springs — Saturday University is sponsored by the university, Wyoming community colleges, and local communities.

The Cody program is sponsored by the UW Office of Engagement and Outreach, and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

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