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Delta Symposium XVIII: Roots and Generations

Monday, February 27, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: John Laudun
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The 2012 Delta Symposium will take place on April 18-21, 2012. Most of the activities will be held in the Reng Student Center's "Mockingbird Room" on the ASU campus. There is no registration fee, and the event is open to the public. Maps are available at:

This interdisciplinary conference is sponsored by the Department of English and Philosophy, and the theme of "Roots and Generations" will be presented through a variety of presentations, including musical performances, panel sessions, poetry readings, concerts, keynote address, and the Roots Music Festival.

Highlights of the symposium include screenings of the new films "We Juke Up In Here: Mississippi's Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads" by Roger Stolle, Jeff Konkel, and Damien Blaylock, and a separate screening of "Americana Women:Roots Musicians/Women's Tales and Tunes" that will include a talk on this documentary by its creator Dyann Arthur. This year's event includes musical performances coupled with lectures. Alan Jabbour and Ken Perlman will perform fiddle and banjo tunes to show connections between roots music and contemporary forms of musical expression, and John Kimsey will perform his musical showcase "Twisted Roots: Delta Roots Music and Jazz Connections."

This year's symposium features two keynote addresses and a poetry reading. Jay Gitlin of Yale University will present a history of French heritage within Southern culture, and Alan and Karen Jabbour will make a multimedia presentation on the research they completed when writing their new book "Decoration Day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decorations in the Southern Appalachians."

The acclaimed poet, Tony Tost, will give an evening reading at 7:30 on Thursday night at the Cooper Alumni Center, 2600 Alumni Blvd. on the ASU campus.

The musical performances begin on Friday night at 7:30 in the ASU Reng Student Center's auditorium. Mississippi Delta bluesman L. C. Ulmer will perform his country blues to close out the events held on campus. On Saturday, April 21st, the symposium activities will move to downtown Jonesboro with the "Roots Music Festival" to be held at CWL Park at the intersection of Culberhouse and Cherry Streets. The event begins at noon with a musical showcase of local talent.Featured performers during the free music festival include Rising Stars Fife and Drum Band, David Lynn Jones and Friends, and blues rocker Jimbo Mathus & Tri-State Coalition. Blues, bluegrass, old-time, and other folk musicians are invited to come early for an informal jam session and song circle that begins at 11:00 am. Directioni to the park can be found using search engine directions by entering "City Water and Light Park Jonesboro."

For more information, contact Delta Symposium co-director, Gregory Hansen at

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