Literary conference assists teachers with continuing education

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 31, 2011

Teachers, here is some great news for you. You are eligible to earn up to three continuing education units in four days during February at a very prestigious Natchez event.

This special offer is made by the 22nd annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration. The conference, which will use the theme of “Fields of Dreams: Sports in the South,” will take place Feb. 24-27.

Among more than two dozen program participants at this year’s celebration are:

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– Robert J. Higgs, East Tennessee State University, author of “The Sporting Spirit: Athletes in Literature and Life,” on “Success Versus Excellence in the World of Sport”

– James F. Barnett Jr., Mississippi Department of Archives and History, author of “The Natchez Indians: A History to 1735,” on “Sports in the Native American Indian Tribes”

– Kathleen McClain Jenkins, Natchez National Historical Park, on “William Johnson and the Sporting Life of Horse Racing, Hunting, Fisticuffs, and Other Games of Chance in Antebellum Natchez”

– Scott E. Giltner, Culver-Stockton College, author of “Hunting and Fishing in the New South: Black Labor and White Leisure after the Civil War,” on “Hunting, Fishing and Race after the Civil War”

– Ted Ownby, University of Mississippi, author of “American Dreams in Mississippi: Consumers, Poverty, and Culture, 1830-1998,” on “William Faulkner, ‘The Bear’ and the Mysteries of Football: Sports and Identity in the Southern Renaissance”

– Marcia Mount Shoop, theologian-in-residence, University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill, N.C., and John Shoop, offensive coordinator, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, on “Of Piety and Pigskins: A Theology of Sports”

– Robert Hamblin, Southeast Missouri State University, author of “Keeping Score: Sports Poems for Every Season,” on “Keeping Score: Sports Poems”

– Tom Thurman, Kentucky Educational Television, creator of the documentary film, “Basketball in Kentucky: Great Balls of Fire,” with a screening of the film

– Dave “Boo” Ferriss, Cleveland, member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame and Rick Cleveland, sports writer, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson and author of “Boo: A Life in Baseball, Well-Lived,” discussing the book about Boo Ferriss

– Debbie Moose, Raleigh, N.C., author of “Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home,” on “So There’s a Game, Too? Tailgating, Food and Fans”

– Clay Travis, Nashville, Tenn., radio commentator and author of “Dixieland Delight: A Football Season on the Road in the Southeastern Conference,” on “Bama Bangs, Redshirting Miss Americas, and Pom-Pons: The Humorous Absurdities of SEC Football”

– Minor Ferris Buchanan, Jackson author of “Holt Collier: His Life, His Roosevelt Hunts, and the Origin of the Teddy Bear,” on findings in his book

– Mark LaFrancis, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, premiering a documentary film, “Behind the Whistle: A Coach’s Story,” featuring Natchez-area high school coaches Craig Beesley, Dee Faircloth, Melanie Hall, Henry Harris, Johnny Lee Hoffpauir and Lance Reed

– E Charles K. Ross, University of Mississippi, author of “Outside the Lines: African Americans and the Integration of the National Football League,” on “Black Players and the American Football League”

– Karin Korb, Divability director, Atlanta, Ga., on “The ‘Stairs’ and ‘Stares’ That Lead to Our Field of Dreams: Disability, Sport, Integration, and Inclusion — an Historical Perspective”

– David M. Gardner, Natchez city engineer, on “The Natchez Trails Project — A Museum of Streets”

– Clark Burkett, Historic Jefferson College historian, on “Vintage Baseball in Mississippi”

– Mark LaFrancis, creator of numerous documentary films, presenting a workshop, “The ABCs of Making a Documentary Film: From Concept to Creation”

– Sarah McLaurin Vahlkamp, Danville, Ky., retired librarian, presenting a workshop, “Between the Lines in Literature: Book Club 101”

– James H. “Jim” Brown Jr., Baton Rouge, owner of The Lisburn Press and author of several books, presenting a workshop, “How to Get Your Book in Print”

This award-winning, mostly free conference is sponsored by Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Natchez National Historical Park, Mississippi Department of Archives and History and Mississippi Public Broadcasting. It is partially funded by the Mississippi Humanities Council.

A CEU registration fee of $95 covers cost of CEU verification as well as cost of three (of four) ticketed NLCC events, including a reception at NAPAC Museum, a luncheon at the Carriage House with program afterward and an Alcorn Concert Band concert.

In order to obtain CEUs, a teacher should send name, address, phone number and check (made out to Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration for $95) to me, Sturleen Morris, Natchez-Adams School System, P.O. Box 1188, Natchez, MS 39121. For more information, please call me at 601-445-2963 or e-mail me at

At the conference, teachers must sign in and sign out. The record of attendance will determine the number of CEUs to be granted.

I am pleased to serve once again as the celebration’s CEU committee chairman. What a wonderful opportunity for area teachers! It goes without saying that the celebration has to meet high standards to be able to offer CEUs again this year.

So, get out your checkbook and sign up for what official evaluators call Mississippi’s most significant annual conference devoted to literature, history, film and culture.

It’s the 22nd annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration. See you there!

Sturleen Morris works at the Natchez-Adams School District.