Tom Isern, University Distinguished Professor of history, is teaming up with balladeer Charlie Barber to stage a folksong event in conjunction with the Northern Great Plains History Conference.
“Old Folkies Never Die (However Much You Might Wish)” is set for Friday, Sept. 23, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Zandbroz Variety, 420 North Broadway. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.
The event is described as “Two singing historians of a certain age swap ballads, comment on their connections to history and declare the significance of folksong in history and life on the northern plains.”
Ken Smith, editor of the Dickey County Leader, is set to be the moderator.
Isern is a specialist in the history of the Great Plains. His most recent book is “Pacing Dakota,” published by North Dakota State University Press in 2018. He is the winner of gold medals for Midwestern Nonfiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards and for Western Nonfiction from the Independent Press Book Awards. He discusses Great Plains folklore weekly during his feature on Prairie Public radio, “Plains Folk,” and his Friday night livestream of Great Plains folksong, “Willow Creek Folk School.”
Barber is a professor emeritus of history at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago. He is a resident of Bismarck, North Dakota, where he is a well-known singer and raconteur.
The session is sponsored by NDSU Press and the Center for Heritage Renewal at NDSU.
The Northern Great Plains History Conference, hosted this year by NDSU, is being organized by Mark Harvey, retired NDSU faculty member.
The conference is a professional gathering of scholars, public historians, history students, graduate and undergraduate students and other practitioners of history, who live and work in the Northern Great Plains of the U.S. and on the Canadian prairies. They present papers and roundtables on historical subjects.
The conference is hosted by member institutions and moves to a new location each year.
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