Published: Sept. 14, 2020 By

A new lecture series from the Center of the American West delves into current issues


Turnaround artists, bipartisan issues, the history of pandemics, and the U.S. Post Office. 

These topics, while differing in scale and historical precedence, all have one thing in common: They will be part of the four-part Lunch with Limerick series.

This virtual interview series, organized by the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado Boulder, and hosted by Patty Limerick, the center’s director, will be held at noon via zoom throughout Sept. into the beginning of October. In these one-hour programs, Limerick will interview a range of guests on current issues and a variety of topics relevant to the West and beyond.

Back in mid-March, I thought the pandemic had shut the door on that dynamic aspect of the Center's work."

For the center, what started as a way to adjust to a pandemic world while continuing an ongoing effort by the center to embrace dialogue around divisive key issues has blossomed into the opportunity to spread information beyond the traditional limits of in-person meetings.

“Back in mid-March, I thought the pandemic had shut the door on that dynamic aspect of the Center's work,” said Limerick, who is also a professor of history. “But then I caught on to the amazing opportunities offered by Zoom! When it comes to the privilege of introducing people I admire to a wide audience, a Zoom interview can put my guests and me into the ‘presence’ of a lot more people, living in many different places, than could ever fit into a lecture hall or auditorium.”

Later this semester, the center will also host a two-part program on immigration, titled “The Party of Practicality.”

Interviews as part of the Lunch with Limerick series include:

“Rescuing a Nation: Advice from a ‘Turnaround Artist’”

Gus Halas

Topic: Halas will discuss leadership during tumultuous times and how his history as a turnaround artist—or a person who repairs broken organizations—applies to our current world.

Date: Sept. 18

Time: 12 p.m.

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“‘Bipartisan Happens’: How Western Governors Set an Example for the Nation’s Leaders”

Jim Ogsbury

Topic: Ogsbury will bring his signature storytelling, utilizing humor and an engaging approach, to discuss remedies for bipartisan issues, with a focus on solutions and the goal of overcoming divisiveness.

Date: Sept. 25

Time: 12 p.m.

“Getting Sick and Getting Well: How American Have Understood Disease and Health”

Conevery Valencius

Topic: Valencius will discuss how 19th century Americans understood health and disease, focusing on how clues from our history can help people understand how diseases interact with a community with a focus on our new world in a pandemic.

Date: Oct. 1

Time: 12 p.m. 

“The Post Office’s Central Role in American Life: An Advocate for 21st Century Voting by Mail and a Historian of the 19th Century U.S. Post Get Acquainted”

Phil Keislings and Cameron Blevin

Topic: Keislings and Blevin will discuss the role of the post office as it impacts communities, specifically how they are a central hub of connection at a time when mail in ballots are anticipated to flood the system. 

Date: Oct. 2

Time: 12 p.m.