Virtual literary celebration this year
By guest columnist R. Shaw Furlow
Surprise! Co-Lin's 32nd Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration (NLCC) is virtual this year. Many social events have been canceled, but NLCC producers have decided to go virtual with presentations. On a positive note, it should open the conference to people who cannot always make it to Natchez to attend in person.
“In order to combat the growing virtual burnout felt by so many, we are spreading the presentations out over the entire last week of February," reports Emily Williams, Co-Lin Natchez Learning Resource Coordinator and NLCC co-chair with Lance Harris from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. " I am very excited about the schedule and the caliber of talent that will be showcased .
"Most presentations will be live at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. each day. They will be streamed on Facebook Live. Speakers plan to participate in Q&A's, and we will monitor the comment sections on computer, collecting questions for the speakers there. We will also take questions sent in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org from those who will not be able to participate live.
"Of course, we hope most people can watch live, but all sessions will be available for viewing on Facebook, YouTube, and our website for a couple of weeks following."
The theme this year is “Southern Environments,” which will encompass sessions in "Ecocriticisms in Southern Studies," "Southern Social Environments" and "Nature as a Character" categories. The Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration has won numerous awards for its outstanding programming. They include a Cultural Olympiad Award, Best Event of the Year Award at the Governor's Conference on Tourism, the Mississippi Tourism Award, the Mississippi Historical Society's Award of Merit, the Mississippi Humanities Council Humanities Achievement Award, the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi Award, and the 2011 Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. NLCC has been called "Mississippi's most significant annual conference devoted to literature, history, film, and culture." Begun in 1990 by Co-Lin, Mississippi Department of Archives and History is a now a co-sponsor and Natchez National Historical Park supports the event. Each year, a theme is selected around which the presentations revolve.
Because it is virtual, classrooms around the state can incorporate this year's event into instruction, and those who have never before attended NLCC can get a taste of what the celebration is all about.
Following is the schedule. Until next time, support the arts and this event is definitely worth supporting.
Monday, February 22
9:30 a.m. Film tribute to the late Governor William Winter
10:30 a.m. Ralph Didlake. "The Mississippi State Asylum: A Realm of its Own"
1 p.m. Jay Watson. "Energy & Modernity in the U.S. South"
Tuesday, February 23
10:30 a.m. W. Ralph Eubanks. "How to Use Place as an Archive: Studying Mississippi Literature Through Its Landscape"
1 p.m. G Mark LaFrancis, Melanie Addington, Keith Beauchamp & James Williams. "Crafting a Documentary: Experts Share Their Knowledge"
Wednesday, February 24
10:30 a.m. Carter Burns. "Thomas Affleck: Steward of the Land"
1 p.m. Tammy Greer. "Yakni Achukma, Okla Achukma (Healthy Land, Healthy People)"
2:30 p.m. Clifton L. Taulbert. "Tulsa's Black Wall Street: Triumph, Tragedy & Tenacity 100 Years Ago"
Thursday, February 25
10:30 a.m. Natasha Trethewey. "A Morning with Natasha Trethewey"
1 p.m. Aimee Nezhukumatathil. "World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whales and Other Astonishments"
Friday, February 26
10:30 a.m. Zaire Love. "Space in the South"
12 noon. Award Ceremonies. Presentation of Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award to Dr. Alferdteen Harrison. Presentation of the Thad Cochran Humanities Achievement Award to Dr. Billy Thames.
1 p.m. J. Drew Lanham. "Writing Beauty through Plagues -- Creating When Everything is Falling Down Around Us"
5:30 p.m. Spirits & Prose. A Cocktail and Book Pairing Hour with Mark Brockway
Saturday, February 27
10:30 a.m. R.J. Lee. "Bringing More of Natchez into Rosaline"
1 p.m.Richard Grant."Writing about Place"
EDITOR'S NOTE: Shaw Furlow is a local composer, musician and arts promoter. He produces an internet-based video show -- From the Shadyside -- that spotlights area musical talent and is a consultant to school bands in the region.