The 22nd annual Conference on Critical Geography was hosted at the University of Kentucky this past October. In between sessions, conference participants had the opportunity to participate in a video booth project, titled Love Is.... Here, participants were asked to share their thoughts and opinions on the nature of love.
Conference organizer and Director of the Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program, Dr. Ann Kingsolver, along with co-organizer and a postdoctoral scholar at the center, Sasikumar Balasundaram, have wrangled together a broad community of people interested in what mountain regions the world over have to contribute to each other and the global community at large.
With topics ranging from the perspective of children to the contribution of bees, each conference session pairs one member of the Appalachian community with that of others from places as wide ranging as Ecuador, Wales, Pakistan, and the People’s Republic of China. The conversations had in these sessions will not end there and the goal of the conference organizers is to preserve the conversations in the form of a book so that the lessons learned carry on.
At the end of May 2012, a delegation of faculty from the University of Kentucky went to Shanghai University to promote the American Studies Center, a partnership between UK and SHU. Michelle Sizemore facilitated a group discussion between UK and SHU students about cultural difference, identity, and storytelling across cultures. Four faculty members, Mary Anglin, Frank X Walker, Ron Pen, and Arturo Sandoval presented lectures on Appalachian culture, identity, history, and art. At the end of the three-day event, Cheyenne Hohman got a chance to interview students from Shanghai University about the event. Students reflected on what they learned, what the symposium meant to them, and shared thoughts on ways that the University of Kentucky and Shanghai University could continue to foster meaningful exchange between academic communities.
This podcast was produced by Cheyenne Hohman. Music in this podcast is a live recording of "Horse Race," performed on erhu by Can Xu and Jie Sun, music students at Shanghai University.