Western Iowa Tech Community College

Phone: (712) 274-8733, ext. 1423
Email: helen2000hum@yahoo.com

Helen Lewis, an Eastern transplant to the Midwest, teaches at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City. She has taught English and Humanities courses since 1971, and her special interests include Westerns, women artists, Medieval mysteries, and square dancing. Ms. Lewis portrays Jane Addams for the Great Plains Chautauqua Society, Inc.

Voicing a Cause, Voicing a Self: Jane Addams at the Hull House
Throughout her long career advocating the needs of impoverished immigrants, exploited laborers, youth criminals, and war victims, Jane Addams valued Hull House, her settlement house in Chicago, as the center from which she and her colleagues could assist others, improve society, and benefit themselves. She trusted social democracy to restore dignity to the marginal. Her many publications reveal a person finding identity and purpose through her causes. The presentation, done in costume of the period, helps the audience to understand the path chosen by this Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

Women of Warmth, Wisdom and War: Images of Native American Women in Westerns
Although film critics and viewers frequently dismiss Native American women in Westerns as stereotypes providing background for the action, a reexamination of Westerns reveals that Native American women characters often have more than a mere setting or sexual purpose. Despite the lack of Native American actresses in the films, the Westerns have depicted the Native American cultures with women as healers, counselors, and even warriors. This presentation considers those Westerns readily available on video in order to offer the audience a new way to view old Westerns. (Includes film clips.)