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U of M’s Delta Conference on June 8th Will Offer Taste of Everything Southern

For release: April 12, 2012
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

In its seventh year, “The Delta – Everything Southern!” Conference at the University of Memphis will offer a day of distinguished speakers, images, and music of the Mississippi Delta. The conference will be held Friday, June 8, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre on the U of M campus. It is presented by the Friends of the University Libraries in support of the University Libraries.

The event will feature speakers on topics as diverse as the cotton industry, the drawings and paintings of noted artist Dolph Smith, the friendship between Shelby Foote and Walker Percy, healthcare in the Delta, and the music of the region.

The afternoon will feature a new format this year:  participants may choose from two of the five breakout sessions to spend time with their favorite experts and guest panelists.

Early conference registration (by May 7) is $65 per person; registration after May 7 is $75. The fee includes breakfast, lunch, entertainment, break refreshments, and parking in the adjacent Zach Curlin garage.

Registration for “The Delta – Everything Southern!” is available online at

More information is available online at or from Inez Todd by phone at 901-678-8219 or via email to

Below is a list of conference sessions and presenters:

Morning Sessions

Conversations with a Cotton Man: Richard Leatherman

Richard Leatherman, interviewed by Willy Bearden

Healthcare in the Mississippi Delta: A Journey of Historical Significance

Dr. Michael Trotter, physician in Greenville, Miss.

Delta Drawn

Dolph Smith, veteran artist

The Friendship of Shelby Foote and Walker Percy

Willy Bearden, Delta native, filmmaker, producer, author, and storyteller

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Cotton is King

Richard Leatherman and Rudi E. Scheidt, former chairman of Hohenberg Brothers Cotton Company and philanthropist

Healthcare in Rural Mississippi

Dr. Michael Trotter; Dr. Katrina Poe, chief of staff at Kilmichael Hospital in Kilmichael, Miss.; and Dr. Scott Morris, founder and executive director of the Church Health Center in Memphis

Delta Art and Photography

Dolph Smith and Delta photographer Maude Schuyler Clay

Archeological History of the Delta

Sam Brookes, forest archeologist

Music of the Delta

Roger Stolle, owner and founder of Cat Head Blues & Folk Art in Clarksdale, Miss.; Preston Lauterbach, author of The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll; and Tom Graves, author of Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson.

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