February 04, 2010

Conference will explore Delta region’s history

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will host an interdisciplinary, multi-faceted conference next month that focuses on the cultural and natural heritages of the lower Ohio and Mississippi river valleys.

The Center for Delta Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale hosts the three-day conference, “Roots and Branches: Migrations to the Lower Ohio and Mississippi Valley.” The conference is March 4-6.

Jane Adams, director of the center and a professor of anthropology, said invited panelists will discuss migrations of humans, plants, animals and disease organisms from pre-contact American Indian and the Colonial Era to the present day.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the conference. For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Jane Adams, director of SIUC’s Center for Delta Studies, at 618/453-5019 or by email at jadams@siu.edu.

The conference includes a tour Saturday, March 6, of the Cache River Wetlands and wineries in the Shawnee Hills, Adams said.

Vytis Ciubrinskas, professor of anthropology at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, is the keynote speaker at 12:30 p.m., Friday, March 5. His keynote address is, “Transplanted Heritages andLong Distance Nationalism of the Lithuanian-Americans of the Late1800-Early 1900.”

Ciubrinskas has been researching Lithuanian migrations to the United States for many years, Adams said. Ciubrinskas’ research has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship and numerous other grants and fellowships, she said.

The conference will give the public “a broad overview of the history of the region seen through the migrations that have come through so they can place their own particular interest in local natural history and genealogical history and be able to give it a larger context,” Adams said.

The Delta area corresponds to the Delta Regional Authority recognized by the federal government -- 252 counties and parishes in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

The conference’s preliminary flier, which includes the event schedule, topics, and panelists, is available athttp://news.siuc.edu/documents/DeltaConference.pdf.

For more information about the conference, go to http://www.siuc.edu/%7edelta/.

The registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 22. The conference fee is $50, which includes lunch on Thursday and Friday. For registration information or to register, go to the University’s Division of Continuing Education Web site at https://www.dce.siu.edu/, or link directly to the conference registration at https://www.dce.siu.edu/index.php/Conferences/Roots-Branches-Migrations-to-the-Lower-Ohio-and-Mississippi-Valley.