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State Historians Gathering at Susquehanna University

Published on October 5, 2010

SELINSGROVE, Pa.—The Susquehanna University department of history will host the 79th annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Historical Association (PHA) October 14–16. The theme of this year’s program is “New Perspectives on Pennsylvania’s Past.”

Over three days, more than 60 scholars, teachers, preservationists and public history professionals will present research on the history of Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region. Conference highlights include a historical tour of Selinsgrove by SU emeritus professor Donald Housley; a presentation on the Centralia mine fire by David DeKok, author of “Fire Underground”; and an exploration of regional land and culture by geographer Ben Marsh.

An awards banquet is scheduled for Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m., with a performance of Pennsylvania folk songs by multi-instrumentalist Matt Brown. Brown has played at the Kennedy Center, the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Appalachian String Band Music Festival and the New England Folk Festival.

All conference events will take place on Susquehanna’s campus.

“The PHA meetings are usually in the state’s larger cities and university campuses, so this is a rare opportunity to bring historians and preservationists to the central part of the state,” said Edward Slavishak, associate professor of history at Susquehanna and an organizer of the conference. “This region has been the center of such significant historical developments as the colonial frontier exchange, the canal and railroad revolution, the extractive industries of timber and coal, and so much more.”

The PHA promotes interest in Pennsylvania and mid-Atlantic history for scholars, museum, and historical society and site professionals, and members of the public. Since 1933, the annual meeting has brought together historians, educators and history buffs to participate in a wide variety of panel discussions, to hear speakers, and to enjoy meeting others interested in Pennsylvania history.

Karen M. Jones

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