Erin Riggs - January 25, 1pm

Connecting Plants and People Through the Roots of Knowledge

Bingham Gallery

Erin explores the historically deep and often overlooked connections between plants and people as revealed in the exquisite beauty of the Roots of Knowledge panels. This lecture is a part of the Roots of Knowledge Speaker Series sponsored by the Fulton Library at Utah Valley University.


Curator, UVU Herbarium, School of Science

Erin Riggs recently moved to Utah from Portland, Oregon, to join UVU as the University Herbarium/Plant Museum Curator. She works with UVU to fulfill their mission as a teaching institution building lifelong learners and leaders. Erin’s favorite people are inquisitive students, volunteers and citizen scientists.  Passionate about natural history collections, Erin wants to highlight the value of our herbarium and its critical role in science to be discovered at UVU. Erin received both her bachelors and her masters degrees in biology, with a focus on systematics, at Portland State University. Her masters degree gave Erin advanced plant morphology training and work in evolutionary botany. She has been lucky in the Portland area to gain experience in multifaceted curatorial work from rare species seed banking, curating the herbarium at Hoyt Arboretum, and to the fun of being featured on TV’s Oregon Field Guide, in an episode that focused on a very rare fen ecosystem. Erin has found she has fallen in love with UVU and the wilds of Utah.


Jans Wager - February 15, 1pm

Ellington Plays Ogden: Social Activism, Jazz, and the Movies

Bingham Gallery

During the 1940s and 50s, Ogden, Utah, boasted a thriving African American population and a vibrant jazz scene; Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and others played here. The town also had its share of black activists, including jazz musician Joe McQueen who would not play in white-owned clubs that refused entrance to African American patrons. In addition, four movie houses screened Hollywood productions, competing for a limited number of customers, both white and black, including Ogden resident Betty Moore, avid moviegoer and granddaughter of slaves. Ogden provides a unique historical context for examining how jazz and movies were marketed to and received by audiences, a real-world sample of jazz clubs and musicians, movie theaters, businesses, activists, and moviegoers.


Professor, Coordinator: Cinema Studies, Department of English and Literature

Jans B. Wager is a Professor of English and Literature, and coordinates of Cinema Studies at Utah Valley University. She is the author of Jazz and Cocktails: Censorship and Representation in Film Noir and Dames in the Driver’s Seat: Rereading Noir (both Texas UP, 2017 and 2006) and Dangerous Dames: Women and Representation in the Weimar Street Film and Film Noir (Ohio UP, 1999). She teaches cinema and writing classes at UVU.

Benj Pasek & Justin Paul - February 26, 6:00pm - 7:15pm

Spend an evening with the Tony, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning songwriters of "The Greatest Showman," "La La Land," and "Dear Evan Hansen."

Presentation: Classroom Building, Meet and Greet: Bingham Gallery.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul will treat guests to a presentation of their career songwriting for stage, TV and film—which will also include performances from their catalog of award-winning music. Following their presentation, guests are invited for refreshments and a signing and photo opportunity with Pasek and Paul at the Bingham Gallery in the Fulton Library, located just a few steps away.


Courtney Davis - March 8, 1pm

Blazing Arch of Lucid Glass: The Crystal Palace as Roots of Knowledge

Bingham Gallery


Department Chair, Assistant Professor of Art History, School of the Arts - Art & Design Department

Courtney Davis is the chair of the Department of Art & Design at Utah Valley University, where she has been teaching art history for ten years. In addition to survey classes, her courses focus on art history from the nineteenth century to the contemporary age, as well as arts management. Courtney holds a master's degree in Art History & Curatorial Studies and a Juris Doctor (from Brigham Young University). As both a licensed attorney and an assistant professor, she enjoys engaging in research that draws from her twin passions -- art history and copyright law.

Jim Godfrey - March 29, 1pm

Heavy Metal: Moveable Type from 1450-1800

Bingham Gallery

Gutenberg overcame a number of hurdles to unleash moveable type, an invention that (pardon the pun) rocked the world. In the ensuing years, type design would move away from handwriting and culminate in a typeface that graces the cover of Vogue magazine, despite its 225-year age.


Associate Dean - School of the Arts, Professor - Art & Design Department

Jim has been at UVU since 2002 and has served as the area coordinator for graphic design, the Art & Design department chair and is currently the associate dean for the School of the Arts. Before coming to UVU, he worked as an art director in Salt lake city and then opened an advertising agency with two partners in Billings, Montana. Some of the clients Jim’s worked for include Easton, Yellowstone National Park, Marker, Sun Valley and Travel Montana. His work has received numerous Addy awards, Telly awards and has been recognized in the 2013 and 2016 Print Regional Design Annuals. Jim also teaches ARTH 3010 History of Graphic Design and Visual Communication in the Department of Art & Design.