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Delta Symposium on 'Labor History and Laborlore' Starts March 30


JONESBORO – The annual Delta Symposium at Arkansas State University features the theme “Labor History and Contemporary Laborlore” during the three-day event, Thursday through Saturday, March 30–April 1.

The 28th edition of the symposium will be held in the Carl R. Reng Student Union, Mockingbird Room, where in-person sessions are open to everyone. In addition, some sessions will be online.

To access the online presentations, one must preregister in advance by contacting Dr. Gregory Hansen, symposium co-chair, ghansen@AState.edu. All Delta Symposium sessions in the Student Union are admission-free; preregistration is needed only for the online sessions.

Participants will present research on a range of topics, and specific focus will be provided to the history of labor as well as the contemporary lives of workers in the region. Presentations will cover a range of topics through inquiries into the literary, artistic and historical heritage of the Delta.

"The Delta Symposium committee is coordinating a variety of presentations. The twin theme of labor history and laborlore will be explored from a range of disciplines,” Hansen explained. “Labor history includes a wide range of topics relevant to the lives and legacy of diverse groups of people. Laborlore consists of the culture of contemporary workers, and includes a variety of creative expression, including music, storytelling, art and craft.”

The full schedule is available at the symposium website, AState.edu/Delta-Symposium. The event begins with a plenary talk on legends and labor by Professor Alan Brown that opens the event at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, March 30. Throughout the day, presenters will explore a wide range of topics through multimedia sessions and documentary film.

The keynote event is a screening of the award-winning film “Descendant,” a documentary that chronicles the discovery of the Clotilda. This slave ship was sunk in Mobile Bay, Ala., in 1860 and recovered 158 years later.

The film depicts how descendants of the Clotilda were integral to the recovery of the slave ship’s history. Dr. Kern Jackson of the University of South Alabama has been a major contributor to this research, and he co-wrote the film’s script. He will give an online presentation about the film and the history of the Clotilda during a Friday session that begins with the film’s screening at 10:45.

Friday’s event concludes with an evening reading by the highly acclaimed poet Dr. Ed Madden, poet laureate of Columbia, S.C.

The Delta Symposium concludes with the Arkansas Roots Music Festival. KASU’s Marty Scarbrough will serve as master of ceremonies for the festival, to be held this year at the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home at Dyess, from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 1. Admission is $30 for the music festival. For tickets and more details, one may visit DyessCash.AState.edu.

For further information on the Delta Symposium, one may contact the Department of English, Philosophy and World Languages at (870) 972-3043 or visit the symposium website, AState.edu/Delta-Symposium.