“The Once and Future River”: a Discussion You Won’t Want to Miss

Reblogged from Patrick Nunnally at the University of Minnesota's River Life.

Hold the dates of April 8-10, 2015 for the symposium “The Once and Future River: Imagining the Mississippi in an Era of Climate Change,” to be held at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.  A preliminary program is on the symposium web page, where updates and registration information will be posted in the coming weeks.

The program begins Wednesday April 8 at 7:00 with a talk by Jim Rock, well-known Dakota scientist and educator.  Discussions continue all day Thursday and conclude Friday morning April 10.

We all know that there are many ways people make the Mississippi River part of their lives, whether through their work, as a subject of study, a place for recreation, or as that bit of nature we go to for healing and rejuvenation.  We rarely question what the Mississippi River really is, what it means (especially to people whose background is very different), or what its future will be.  Our imaginings of the Mississippi are often dormant, unquestioned, just “there,” like the river itself.

Climate change is changing the Mississippi, though, and, some think, changing the ways we ought to be thinking about it.  These are the conversations that will begin in April.  Sessions all feature speakers from academic disciplines as well as realms of practice not located in the academy.  We will hear from Dakota people, for whom the river has always been central to their concept of “home.”  We’ll see some innovative short films that are suggestive of the river’s future.  And we’ll have a chance to talk and learn with other passionate river people from across the region.

So–save those dates!