NARA to Host Conference on the Future of the South, October 5
Press Release · Monday, September 27, 2010

Washington, DC

On Tuesday, October 5, the National Archives, in partnership with the Oxford American magazine, presents a free, one-day conference on the future of the American South in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Registration is not required. Admission is first-come, first-served.

Opening remarks will be made by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero at 9:30 a.m. Keynote remarks will be made by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell at 9:45 a.m. The conference features three panel discussions covering the trends, forces, personalities, and issues that will impact and define the South during the next 40 years. This all-day event is based on The Oxford American's new Future issue, which was released nationwide on September 1, 2010.

The National Archives Building is located on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC. Use the Special Events entrance on the corner of 7th Street and Constitution Avenue. For information on National Archives Public Programs, call (202) 357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online.

Land and Environment, 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Southern history and culture is rooted in relationships with the land and regional ecology. How will that change over the next 40 years? This panel, moderated by NPR’s National Environment Correspondent Elizabeth Shogren, includes: Bill Belleville, a writer who contributed an article about suburban sprawl in rural Florida; Andrew Furman, a professor at Florida Atlantic University who explores the future of the live oak across the South; and Philip Sasser, a North Carolina lawyer who offers a philosophical meditation on land surveying.

The Future of the Gulf Coast, 2:15–3:45 p.m.

The gulf coasts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have been hit with man-made and natural disasters. Does the region have an infinite capacity to rebound or will it reach its limit? This panel, moderated by Andy Brack, who is the President of the Center for a Better South, includes: Casi Callaway, the executive director of Mobile Baykeeper; Amy Liu, a leading expert on the recovery of New Orleans through her work as senior fellow and deputy director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution; and Matthew Pitt, a writer who questions the success of a coastal art museum in post-Katrina Mississippi.

The Future of Southern Culture and Identity, 4–5:30 p.m.

A consideration of the future of Southern food, the Southern accent, and other indicators of regional identity. This panel, moderated by Dr. Jay Barth, who is the Chair of Politics & International Relations at Hendrix College, includes: Wendy Brenner, associate professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Connie May Fowler, an award-winning novelist, memoirist, and screenwriter who lives in Florida; and Diane Roberts, a professor of English at Florida State University, author, and NPR commentator.

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