England’s Migration History Focus Of Conference Sept. 23-24
By Erika Mantz, Media Relations
England’s immigration history and its connection to current
events is the topic of a free conference cosponsored by the Center
for the Study of Community at Portsmouth’s Strawbery Banke
Museum and Center for New England Culture at the University of New
Hampshire Sept. 23-24, 2005.
“Becoming American/Maintaining Identity: A Community Conference
on Immigration and Language in New England” builds on the
success of last year’s conference, which illuminated a general
understanding of immigration in the region. This year’s conference
will focus on issues related to language. The conference will be
at Strawbery Banke Museum Friday, Sept. 23, and at the Community
Campus in Portsmouth on Saturday.
The keynote speaker is Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and UNH professor
of English Charles Simic. He will give a talk titled “Language,
Identity and Immigration,” based on his memoir A Fly in the
Soup Friday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m. at St. John’s Church in
Activities on Friday include an immigration history tour of Strawbery
Banke Museum, a memoir writing workshop, and the chance to record
oral history interviews. Saturday will feature public lectures on
the history of immigration in Maine and New Hampshire, a panel discussion
about English as a Second Language in New Hampshire schools, and
short “crash courses” in various languages.
“The Center for New England Culture is pleased to continue
its partnership with the Center for the Study of Community at Strawbery
Banke Museum,” said David Watters, director of the Center
for New England Culture. “The two centers have worked together
over the past year with English as a Second Language teachers in
area high schools and with local students from Indonesia, China,
and other nations on an oral history project to document their experiences.
The work of these students will be featured at the conference, making
it truly a community project, and the keynote presentation by Charles
Simic will bring the insights of one of America's preeminent writers
to the theme of language and immigration.”
The conference is free and open to the public, but registration
is required at www.studyofcommunity.org,
by calling 603-422-7543, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.