Hoosier history, Finnish and local folklore the focus of November events in the Wabash Valley

October 30, 2009

Several area groups are combining resources throughout the month of November to host four presentations that will give listeners "A Sense of Place."

The Hoosier Folklore Society, Traditional Arts Indiana, The Indiana State University departments of English and of History, the ISU Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana University, and the Brown County Library are co-sponsoring a series of events designed to introduce Hoosiers to new locations and ideas.

On Nov. 6 - Utah folklorist William "Bert" Wilson, author of the book "The Marrow of Human Existence," will deliver a Joseph S. Schick lecture at the Indiana State University in Root Hall, room 264 at 3:30 p.m. Wilson will talk about the Finnish epic work, "The Kalevala," and its role in shaping Finnish nationalism.

On Nov. 7 - Wilson will speak again at the annual meeting of the Hoosier Folklore Society at the Brown County Public Library, 205 Locust Lane in Nashville. His talk, which draws on his interviews with an Idaho farmwoman, is titled "‘I had to wear that same dress all year': The Importance of Family Narratives in Community Studies." Throughout the day, other presenters will lead a variety of discussions in topics ranging from Superman and the American myth to the play-party in Indiana. The day of presentations is part of the event "Alternative Perspectives on Place: The Intersection of Folklore and History." Activities run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a reception at the Center for Folk Traditions in Nashville. Indiana musician Steve Dickey will provide music at the reception.

On Nov. 13 - Tom Roznowski and Scott Russell Sanders will speak to Wabash Valley residents, students, and faculty of ISU at Cunningham Memorial Library. Their topic will be "Writing about the Sense of Place." The event begins at 3:30 p.m. and light refreshments will follow. Later in the day, Roznowski and Sanders will present "Two Gentlemen from Indiana Consider the Meaning of Home," at the Clabber Girl Museum, 900 Wabash Ave. in downtown Terre Haute. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the event begins at 7:30. Terre Haute is using this occasion to celebrate the publication of Tom Roznowski's book "An American Hometown: Terre Haute, Indiana, 1927" published by Indiana University Press. Sanders, an internationally acclaimed essayist and novelist, will join Roznowski, drawing on his extensive writings about a sense of place. Copies of Roznowski's book and of Sanders' latest book, "A Conservationist Manifesto" published by Indiana University Press, will be available for purchase. A dessert and coffee reception, provided by Clabber Girl, will follow the presentation.

For more information, send an e-mail to hoosierfolklore@gmail.com or check the Hoosier Folklore Society website, easily accessed through the Department of English website at Indiana State University.

All of these events are free and open to the public.

Writer: Rachel Wedding McClelland, assistant director of media relations, Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University at 812-237-3790 or rachel.mcclelland@indstate.edu.