It’s our 3rd birthday! Come and celebrate with Nerd Nite 33: Gathering, Gallantry, and Grinds. Join us on November 12 at Pachamama’s Alton Ballroom as we explore the history of coffee, masculinity and medieval armor, and foraging for wild eats! Doors will open this month at 7:30 and presentations will start at 8:00. $1 cover. There will be cake!

Presentations include:

Louis Wigen-Toccalino: “Dancing Goats to Double Gibraltars: the discovery and spread of the coffee bean”

Louis learned how to cook from his grandmother, drinks 205 quarts of coffee a year, and views tea with disdain. He is a pedant, an optimist, a risotto master; he can often be found waxing philosophic at a local watering hole. He opened Decade in LFK to share the gospel of caffeine, with anyone who will listen.

Chaz Kirchhoff “The Armored Imaginary: Meaning, Memory, and Masculinity in Late Medieval Armor”

My talk will explore two facets of the complex relationship between armor, masculinity, and memory during the period between 1480 and 1530, when the forms, functions, and meanings of plate armor were undergoing significant changes in response to new military technology (like gunpowder) and shifting models of political power. First, I will discuss how specific armors (that is, sets of plates now commonly called “suits of armor”) were memorable surfaces upon which identities, events, and political contexts could be impressed, recalled, and reimagined, illustrated through art. Second, I will describe how armor, which was specially-crafted to fit its intended wearer, could become an impression of the body that functioned as a surrogate presence of the person it once encased. Thus, the two parts of my Nerd Nite talk will share how both real armors and images of the armored body could help to construct 15th- and 16th-century ideals of knightly masculinity and could become repositories of memory where such powerful ideals and identities were preserved and recalled.

Chaz has managed to combine her artistic background in steel and non-ferrous metalwork with her passion for art historical research in her exploration of the creation, use, and meaning of plate armor in late medieval and renaissance Europe, particularly in the German-speaking lands of the Holy Roman Empire. Chaz received undergraduate degrees in Art History and Sculpture from Drury University and an MA in Art History from KU, where she is currently pursuing a PhD. She worked as a curatorial intern at the Spencer Museum of Art for three years in the departments of European and American Art and Works on Paper, and it was there that she discovered her interest in armor while conserving a breastplate in the gothic style. Chaz is currently working on a dissertation entitled “Constructing the Armored Body in the Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Holy Roman Empire,” and spent part of last summer analyzing armors, manuscripts, and related artworks in the Prague Museum of Decorative Art and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Robbie Wood: “Urban Foraging for Wild Edibles”

Talking about some local wild foods. Specifically Persimmons as they are in season right now. But also two of the most common weeds in the world plantain and dandelions and how we can incorporate them into our lives instead of just mowing them over.

Robbie Wood is a Senoir at Haskell Indian Nations University. He is from a rural area in Northeastern Oklahoma. His granparents were old timers and knew a lot about farming and gathering wild foods, something he was fascinated by and decided to make a goal to learn.