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Indiana Studies symposium will showcase the state’s lost histories


The Indiana Research Studies symposium will have a welcome reception and opening panel from 6:30-10 p.m. on Nov. 21 in the Federal Room in the Indiana Memorial Union. The event was organized by Platform: An Arts and Humanities Research Laboratory. Alex Deryn Buy Photos

The Indiana Research Studies symposium, organized by Platform: An Arts and Humanities Research Laboratory, will have a welcome reception and opening panel from 6:30-10 p.m. on Nov. 21 in the Federal Room in the Indiana Memorial Union, and will continue with more events beginning at 9 a.m. at the Dimension Mill on the following Friday and Saturday. 

A reception with a performance from the UniGov 5 will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Bishop. There will be another reception featuring DJ Kyle Long, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at The Back Door. There is a complete schedule of events available online on the IU Bloomington Events Calendar.

The symposium will revolve around the theme “The Lost Histories of Indiana.” Program director Erin Kelley said the same stories about the state are usually told over and over again, and history tends to focus on a particular groups of people, so the goal of the symposium is to add new voices to the conversation.

Kelley said the presenters range from undergraduate students to professors, hailing from as close as IU and as far away as the University of Cambridge. They will be discussing various topics, from women’s prisons to agriculture, through any number of mediums, including panels and dance.

IU professors Carissa Carman and Arthur Liou will both present their work at the symposium.

Carman will be presenting “Lost Histories Tour,” which focuses on the 54 miles of Indiana State Road 46 between Bloomington and Columbus, Indiana. She uses a variety of mediums to share the stories of the locations and local communities along the route.

“I’m trying to really create a sensory experience that is portable, so no one has to go into a gallery setting,” Carman said. 

Liou will be presenting “House of the Singing Winds,” which is a three-screen installation in the Eskenazi Museum of Art. Projections of the T.C. Steele State Historic Site will form a panoramic view of the Brown County landscape. Liou said T.C. Steele was the most famous painter in Indiana’s history, and one of Liou’s goals for the piece was to reflect Steele’s legacy and retell parts of his history that are not widely known. 

Liou said interesting differences can be drawn from comparisons of his and T.C. Steele’s projects, reflecting the developments of the landscape from factors such as tourism. 

“With an artistic creation, we are always making new interpretations,” Liou said.

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