Quench your thirst for knowledge at Ideas on Tap, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History's monthly pub talk—now served online! You can join the conversations on Zoom or watch them live on our Facebook page
Weren't able to join us in real time? No worries. You can view the recordings anytime on our YouTube channel




Wednesday, September 1 | 6:00 p.m.

A steamboat ship

Brother Jonathan and Oregon's Black History

When the steamship Brother Jonathan wrecked near the Oregon-California border in 1865, it made headlines for being the deadliest maritime accident in American history. But few people know about this ship's significance in Oregon's Black history.

Join Zachary Stocks, executive director of Oregon Black Pioneers, for a look at how Brother Jonathan provided moments of freedom, opportunity, and heroism for people of African descent before it met its tragic fate.

Wednesday, October 6 | 6:00 p.m.

A medieval dragon drawing, red and blue, with the dragon looking backward over its tail

Medieval MagicThen and Now

What comes out of witch bottles? Where does Hallowe’en candy come from? Is that unicorn horn real?

Join University of Oregon folklorist Martha Bayless and explore the surprising history of medieval magic, along with some examples that are still with us today.

Wednesday, November 3 | 6:00 p.m.


The number 1620 stamped into Plimoth Rock

Demystifying Thanksgiving

The story of the Mayflower landing is part of the founding mythology of the USA and has been taught as the "birthplace of a country" since the 19th century. However, that story provides only one perspective on the history of colonization. Join Chris Newell, Passamaquoddy author of If you Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving  and director of education at the Akomawt Educational Initiative, for a more balanced retelling of the 1621 landing, the Plimoth Thanksgiving, and their aftermath. 

Register to participate on Zoom

Wednesday, December 1 | 6:00 p.m.


An illustration from a medieval French manuscript showing a woman flying on a broomstick

Gender, Power, and Magic in Medieval Europe

While the popular imagination connects witchcraft with women, learned magic was considered unsuitable for women in medieval Europe. Join UCLA scholar Kersti Francis for a look at magical women in medieval literature—and at magic's power to delineate and disrupt gender roles.  

Check back in November for the registration link. 



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