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Conference April 3-5 to explore 'The South'

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor
(217) 333-2177;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The fifth annual conference of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will explore "The South" as it is multifariously defined by seven special invited speakers and two dozen other scholars from Illinois and across the country. In some cases the South will mean the American South, in others, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, the South Side of Chicago and even the work of artist Diego Rivera.

The conference, which is free and open to the public, will be held April 3-5 (Thursday through Saturday) at multiple locations on the campus, primarily the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana, and the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana. No registration is necessary.
More than 20 papers will be given in 10 categories including writing the Southern woman, the South as fact and fiction, and the literatures of the South.

Keynote speakers are Saskia Sassen, sociology, University of Chicago, who will speak about "The Participation of States and Citizens in Global Governance" (7:30 p.m. April 3, Levis Center), and James L. Peacock, anthropology, University of North Carolina, who will talk about "Exploring Identity in the Global South" (7:30 p.m. April 4, Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign).

The other guests and their topics are Mary Coffey, museum studies, New York University, "Man’s Control of Nature Through Technology"; Jack P. Greene, history, Johns Hopkins University, "Creolean Despotism: The Humanitarian Critique of Slaveholders, and the Reassessment of Empire in Metropolitan Britain During the Late 18th Century";

Also, Rex Honey, geography, University of Iowa, "Human Rights Struggles in the Global South: The Case of Nigeria"; Dennis Preston, linguistics, Michigan State University, "What Would You Do Without the South?: Where Do the Norms of American English Come From?"; and David S. Shields, The Citadel, "Southward Ho! Cromwell and the Anglo Ambition for Southern Empire."

The 2002 IPRH Faculty, Graduate Student and Illinois Humanities Postdoctoral Fellows, who recently concluded a year in interdisciplinary activity considering the topic of "The South," also will present their research at the conference.

IPRH Postdoctoral Fellows Elizabeth Duquette, English, and Sophia Mihic, political science, will speak about Henry James and Southern politics, respectively.

IPRH Faculty Fellows who will talk about their research are Nancy Castro, English; S. Max Edelson, history; Zsuzsanna Fagyal, French; Lauren M.E. Goodlad, English; Eva-Lynn Jagoe, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese; and Shannon O’Lear, geography.

IPRH Graduate Student Fellows scheduled to give presentations are Jonathan Coit, history; Sherita Johnson, English; Samuel J. Martland, history; Giovanna Micarelli, anthropology; and Phoebe Wolfskill, art history.

Additional presentations will be made by Illinois history professors Orville Vernon Burton, a noted authority on the American South, and Edelson, an authority on colonial British America, and Illinois history graduate student Ian Binnington.

For more information, visit the IPRH Web site, which has a full program schedule, or contact Christine Catanzarite, IPRH associate director, at (217) 244-7913.