The Cockefair Chair and members of the talented faculty at UMKC deliver short, engaging courses on national issues, Kansas City history and current events and literature and the arts. Join in to experience thoughtful analysis on a variety of subjects.

In Fall 2022, the Cockefair Chair presents three fascinating courses. The courses and the method of presentation for each (in-person, synchronous zoom or hybrid) are described below.

Fall 2022 Cockefair Chair Courses

Please note: In consideration of the health and safety of our guests, event and course accommodations will be in accordance with the latest local and CDC guidelines. Please check the UMKC health and safety website for current information-

From Minstrelsy to Beyoncé: Race in American Popular Music

S. Andrew Granade, Ph.D., Professor of Musicology
UMKC Conservatory
Tuesdays, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
September 20 and 27 and October 4
UMKC Administrative Center, Brookside Room
Zoom option also available
$40 ($55 with parking permit)

This summer’s blockbuster movie Elvis has reignited conversations around Elvis Presley’s connection to the Black artists who inspired him. His earliest hits were covers of artists like Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (“That’s Alright”) and Big Mama Thornton (“Hound Dog”). But was Elvis’s use of the Blues and Black gospel music cultural appropriation?  And what should we think of his legacy today? Join Prof. Andrew Granade to explore the ways in which popular music in the United States has mirrored and commented on the state of race relations and discover how, in spite of the physical barriers that were erected between white and black artists, cultural barriers were constantly torn down in the path towards today’s musical landscape.


20th Century Avant Garde Theatre from Dada and Futurism to Arrabal

Felicia Londre, Ph.D., Curators’ Distinguished Professor Emerita of Theatre
UMKC Conservatory
Thursdays, 10:30 – noon
October 13, 20, and 27
UMKC Administrative Center, Plaza Room
$40 ($55 with parking permit)

In this course Professor Londre will discuss elements of 20th century theatrical avant-gardes, including Surrealism and Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty.  She will then focus on the internationally-celebrated Spanish-French playwright Fernando Arrabal, whose work subsumes elements from all of those.  Probably the most produced living playwright in the world, Arrabal at 90 years old is still going strong.  His six decades of work in continental European theatre include over 100 plays translated into many languages, as well as novels, nonfiction, poetry, and paintings.  Prof. Londre will overview Arrabal’s life and work, including his concept of Panic Theatre (named for the Greek god Pan); his full-length plays; and his place on the world stage.


Triumph of the Rainbow:  LGBTQ Civil Rights since WWII

Stuart Hinds, Curator of Special Collections and Archives
UMKC Miller Nichols Library
Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
November 2, 9, and 16
UMKC Administrative Center, Plaza Room
Zoom option also available
$40 ($55 with parking permit)

Co-founder of the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America, Curator Hinds will trace the successes and setbacks in the struggle to secure civil rights for the American LGBTQ community since the end of the second World War.  The course will examine the national movement and well-known events like the Stonewall Uprising, as well as national figures like Harvey Milk and Rita Mae Brown.  In addition, we will shed light on stories from Kansas City’s queer community that had significant influence on the history of the city as well as the national narrative, drawn from the collections of the Gay and Lesbian Archive housed at UMKC’s Miller Nichols Library.


Register Here


PLEASE NOTE: If in the future you decide to purchase additional classes, you must use the edit button in your confirmation email to return to your form.

For questions, please contact Kim Rudolph at