Mississippi Cultural Crossroads will co-sponsor a conference, “Telling the People’s Story: From Tape and Transcript to Public Programs,” in Port Gibson, Mississippi, on Friday, Sept. 17 through Sunday, Sept. 19, 2004.
The three-day event, also co-sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council, will feature a schedule of speakers, exhibits, demonstrations, theater performances, and hands-on workshops designed to show how oral histories can provide the basis for public programs in the humanities at the community level.
Among the key national figures who will participate in the conference are:
Paul Hendrickson, author of Sons of Mississippi, the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning book about seven Mississippi sheriffs and their descendants, and how they have coped with changing attitudes toward race since the 1960s;
Alan Trachtenberg, professor emeritus at Yale University, whose pioneering book Reading Photographs: Images as History, Mathew Brady to Walker Evans, has become a classic in the field, will speak on “Stories Pictures Tell: Photographs and Cultural Memory;
Marsha MacDowell, professor of art and art history as well as curator of folk arts at Michigan State University Museums, will demonstrate “Quilt Treasures,” a web-based collection of videotaped oral histories of quilters and quilt preservationists;
Alison Carey, co- founder of Cornerstone Theater Company and a prolific playwright and adapter of classic plays, will talk about producing theater in small rural communities, drawing in part on her experience adapting and producing a bi-racial production of Romeo and Juliet in Port Gibson in 1988-89;
Roland Freeman, a photographer and author of A Communion of the Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers, and their Stories, has extensive experience creating exhibits that have traveled the world; one of them, the Mississippi Panel Exhibit, is on permanent display at Mississippi Cultural Crossroads.
The conference will feature sessions on using oral history to create community theater, exhibits for touring and permanent installation, informational and educational websites, radio and television documentaries, and publications from newspaper and magazine articles to full length books and CDs.
The conference is directed to persons and groups who have collected or are thinking of collecting oral histories and want to explore how the stories of the people interviewed can be incorporated in public programs that will educate, delight, and celebrate the communities that generate them. We hope to stimulate the public use of oral history stories at the grass roots community level, and to encourage teachers of language arts and social studies to incorporate oral history material in their classrooms. Continuing education units can be arranged.
For further information contact Patricia Crosby at Mississippi Cultural Crossroads, 601-437-8905, or Barbara Carpenter at the Mississippi Humanities Council, 601-432-6752.
This conference is financially assisted by the Mississippi Legislature through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and by the Mississippi Humanities Council.
To access a flyer, registration form, and schedule of events, click on the following link and follow the links to “Telling the People’s Story.”
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