Joe Starita holds an endowed chair at the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Previously, he spent 14 years at The Miami Herald — four years as the newspaper’s New York Bureau Chief and four years on its Investigations Team, where he specialized in investigating the questionable practices of doctors, lawyers and judges. One of his stories was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting.
Interested since his youth in Native American history and culture, Starita returned to his native Nebraska in 1992 and began work on a three-year writing project examining five generations of a Lakota-Northern Cheyenne family. The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge — A Lakota Odyssey, published in 1995 by G.P. Putnam Sons (New York), won the Mountain and Plains Booksellers Award, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in history, has been translated into six languages and is the subject of an upcoming BBC documentary.
Joe Starita’s talk focuses on why we need stories. Using the historic example of Chief Standing Bear, Starita tells how one man fought a battle in the US legal system instead of the front line. Stories inspire us to look deeper into ourselves.