(Originally posted to Virtual Blue Ridge’s Blue Ridge Parkway Blog, June 12, 2009)
The nonprofit organization planning the celebration of the Parkway’s 75th Anniversary in 2010 has released the call for proposals for Part I of our two-part 75th Anniversary Symposium, “Imagining the Blue Ridge Parkway for the 21st Century.”
Part I of the symposium, which will be held April 22-24, 2010 on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, is designed to bring together researchers and professionals from all fields who have done new research about the Blue Ridge Parkway in the last 15 years or so. The title of the symposium is “History, Scenery, Conservation, and Community.”
The hope is to bring together everyone who has research findings to share, with the aim of laying a new foundation of knowledge that will undergird decision-making for the Parkway’s next 75 years.
The idea, too, is to begin to create a community among those who have done or are presently engaged in serious research about the Parkway. In my more than 15 years of work, I have repeatedly found out — usually by accident — about someone who was doing interesting and relevant Parkway-related work. Often these professionals were working on some kind of contract for the Park Service, but other times, they were freelance writers or people in fields very different from my own realm of history. It is clear to me that all of us who are doing this work should know each other, share insights, share information about resources, and work together where possible for the good of the Parkway.
The symposium will bring people together across disciplinary boundaries: history, engineering, landscape architecture, anthropology, environmental studies, cultural resource management, and on and on. Managing the Parkway is clearly a task that cannot be done by drawing on the expertise of only one or two areas.
If you have done an interesting research paper, contract project, popular article, master’s thesis, dissertation, journal article, digital project, documentary film, podcast, mapping project, or other undertaking that has incorporated new, original Parkway-related research, please consider submitting a proposal for the symposium. Excellent student work done at the advanced undergraduate or especially at the graduate level will be particularly welcome.
If you know someone who is researching or writing about the Parkway, please forward the link to the call for proposals to them.
Full information about the symposium, including complete details on how to submit a proposal, may be found at the Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary website.
Please join me in Boone in April 2010!