Rhodes Discussing ‘Art as Cultural Revolution’ in April 8 After Hours Series Lecture


Dr. Joel Rhodes, Southeast Missouri State University professor of history, will present the April 8 “After Hours: Conversations on Art and Culture” lecture at Southeast’s Catapult Creative House.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Face coverings will be required, and social distancing guidelines will be in place. The event will also be available via Zoom at semo.zoom.us/j/99865801267.

In his presentation, “Art as Cultural Revolution: American and British Artists in the Sixties,” Rhodes will explore the “art explosion” of the 1960s led by American and British artists.

The Vietnam era was a period of accelerated artistic innovation with unprecedented cross-pollination shaping expression on both sides of the Atlantic. Rhodes will explore a number of groovy artistic happenings ranging from the experimental Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, and New York City’s Bread and Puppet Theatre to fashion trendsetter Mary Quant’s “Chelsea set” style of Swinging London, Andy Warhol’s Factory and the rock and roll invasion launched from Britain’s working-class pubs and dance halls. Together these cultural revolutionaries questioned nearly all forms of convention, mocked consumerism, challenged American foreign policy and shook the Western world out of its uptight post-war conformity.

Rhodes is a social historian of Cold War-era America. His published works include “Growing Up in a Land Called Honalee: The Sixties in the Lives of American Children” and  “A Missouri Railroad Pioneer: The Life of Louis Houck,” both from the University of Missouri Press; “The Voice of Violence: Performative Violence as Protest in the Vietnam Era” from Praeger; “Haunted Cape Girardeau: Where the River Turns a Thousand Chilling Tales” from Aracadia Publishing; and Historical Publishing Network’s “Historic Cape Girardeau: An Illustrated History,” coauthored with Tom Neumeyer and Dr. Frank Nickell. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees, both in history, from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

This semester’s After Hours topic is “Artist/Activist.” Artists have often served as the conscience of culture. Whether through documentation or interpretation, they are often the catalyst by which political and social issues are perpetuated. This series will feature creatives who have made work such as visual art, film, poetry, or prose about issues affecting their communities.

“After Hours: Conversations on Art and Culture” lectures take place at Catapult Creative House and are free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to tour the entire Catapult facilities, including the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Art and Design students’ studios, as well as the Catapult Creative Shoppe, which features student work and local business products.

Catapult Creative House is located at 612 Broadway in downtown Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. All gallery exhibitions, events and talks are free and open to the public.