POWELL, Wyoming — As Duane Fish was preparing to retire from nearly four decades of teaching at Northwest College, he dusted off his doctoral dissertation one more time to deliver a lecture at the 30th annual Casper College Humanities Festival Friday, Feb. 27.
The festival’s theme was revolution. Fish, a Cody native, brought a musical dimension to the discussion with his talk “The Sounds of Revolution: Song as Protest Against the Vietnam War.”
Keying off Todd Gitlin’s characterization of the 1960s as “Years of Hope, Days of Rage,” Fish examined the use of song as a rhetorical device used to spread the message of revolution by focusing on the songs of protest against the Vietnam War.
Fish said the use of song as a means of protest was not new, but the ’60s songs of protest made their way onto the radio, and the message of revolution found a wider audience as it gained popularity, a theme he explored in his 1994 doctoral dissertation.
Fish was one of 17 local and national scholars invited to present on the revolution theme. From the agricultural revolution to the digital revolution, festival presenters covered the human effort to enact change, probing a myriad of contexts from art installation to women’s suffrage.
Fish will retire in May as professor of speech communication and chair of the NWC Communication Division.