Between Fences

Lecture series offers fun and facts at Smithsonian's exhibit at historical museum

From press reports

The Blount County Historical Museum is continuing the lecture series in conjunction with the "Between Fences" Smithsonian Exhibit presented by Humanities Tennessee and hosted by the Blount County Historical Museum (BCHM). The series relates in some way to fences — either the physical fences that separate one person’s (or a nation’s) property from another’s or the abstract fences and barriers we create to prevent our intermingling with neighbors different in some way from ourselves.

The next four lectures of the series will be held either at the museum itself at Preservation Plaza, 200 E. Broadway Avenue or at Broadway United Methodist Church at 11a.m. each Saturday morning. All lectures and admission to the exhibit are free of charge.

The topic for Saturday, Oct. 7, is "Negotiating the Color Line," presented by Dr. Dwonna Goldstone, Professor of Literature at Austin Peay State University. The lecture will take place in the classroom in the museum space itself. Dr. Goldstone’s talk is a brief but serious study of the laws and attitudes that kept a centuries-old, people-from-people "fence" erected all across America.

The topic of interest on Oct. 14, during the Foothills Fall Festival, to anyone who truly loves American sports is "Separate but Amazing: Negro League Baseball" delivered by one of the last to join the league — Blount County’s own Cato Clowney.

With Clowney’s museum’s worth of memorabilia and a four-score-and-then-some lifetime of baseball expertise to share, the experience would be a great one. Throw in the fact that he’ll be presenting the first hundred people who arrive with an expensive collector’s edition of a rare baseball-hero comic book, and your trip to Broadway Methodist Church will be very worthwhile.

On Oct. 21, Dr. Gerald Smith, Professor of Religion at Sewanee’s University of the South, will tell us about some of the "final fences" of life in his lecture: "Sacred Suburbs: the Cemetery at the Edge of Town."

The class begins in the museum classroom, but weather permitting, it will end with a walk from the museum to the New Providence Cemetery beside St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church to discuss its unique and traditional features.

The panel discussion on Oct. 28 looks at agriculture. The panel will be led by Dan Strasser from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. The topic, "Diversified Agriculture: New Approaches to Land Use" will discuss the many new ways of making a living from the land.

He will touch on the practices of those who keep trying to save green space for the rest of the world to survive from and enjoy. Agri-Entertainment and other non-traditional diversifications will be among the topics discussed. That class will meet at Broadway Methodist Church.

Start time for all lectures is 11 a.m.

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