Dr. Brian Dempsey presents Old Hickory August 20

"Old Hickory: A Memory and Identity Study of a Site in the Mississippi Delta."

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TUSCUMBIA-Colbert County Historical Landmarks Foundation will host its quarterly meeting on Sunday, August 20, 2023 at the Helen Keller Public Library. The meeting will begin at 2 pm. The public is invited to attend.

Dr. Brian Dempsey, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Public History Center at the University of North

Dr. Brian Dempsey

Alabama, will present “Old Hickory: A Memory and Identity Study of a Site in the Mississippi Delta.”

“Since 2019, I have been working on a memory and identity study of a site in the Mississippi Delta called “Old Hickory” — a cultural landscape embedded within a complex ecological and socio-cultural history,” Dempsey said. “The name, Old Hickory, is not written on regional maps, nor is it the subject of any previous official history. It refers to a tiny stand of trees on the outskirts of Cleveland, Mississippi, whose existence is largely taken for granted by locals living in direct proximity. However, the site retains a strong cultural resonance dating to the early days of Mississippi post-frontier development. This vestige possesses an intrinsic value separate from economic considerations alone, and the affective memories associated with rural sites like Old Hickory clarify and complicate questions regarding human-induced changes to, and interactions with, everyday landscapes.”
Dr. Dempsey completed his Ph.D. in Public History at Middle Tennessee State University and an M.A. in History at James Madison University. His dissertation considered the historical development and modern use of blues music tourism in Mississippi. Since then he’s combined a love of history and music as a university professor, a professional practitioner in the Nashville music industry, and as a strategic consultant on various development projects. Originally from the Mississippi Delta, his work focuses on the relationship between landscape and cultural identity, the connections between the arts and historical interpretation, and the process of helping communities tell fuller stories.
Media Release/ Dr. Lorie Johnson
President, Colbert County Historical Landmarks Foundation
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