Evenings with History Series Discusses Dust Bowl April 5

Jess Porter, UALR history assistant professor of geography, will present “Public Perceptions of the Dust Bowl” as part of the Evenings with History series at 7:30 p.m. on April 5, at the Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. 3rd Street in Little Rock.

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s has been examined through the years by a diverse group of academics, literary authors, and popular cultural voices. At the same time the general public’s perception of this historic event has not been assessed, mapped, or analyzed.  This presentation details Porter’s own efforts to fill this void. Drawing on his interviews with Great Plains residents, he shows how analysis and application of geographic information system mapping methods reveals striking differences in how respondents of varying age and place of residence perceive this catastrophe and also suggests an erosion of spatial and historical understanding of the Dust Bowl among young people living in the Great Plains. The work raises concerns about how that diminished understanding of human-environment dynamics will affect the future of a region prone to recurrent drought.

The Evenings with History series is sponsored by the University History Institute, which is a non-profit organization of private citizens interested in history and supporting UALR.

An individual can subscribe to the series for $50 annually, which includes admission to all six lectures. A joint subscription to the series, at $90 annually, offers savings of $10 to couples and friends.

At $250 annually, a Fellow of the Institute receives the previous benefits, plus an invitation to special presentations for fellows exclusively, including private evenings with noted authors. The institute also offers a life membership at $1,000 that can be paid in installments. Subscriptions and donations to the institute are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribers to the series help support historical research. Presenters donate their time, and the University History Institute uses all proceeds from the series to encourage research at UALR. In recent years, annual institute grants, made possible by the Evenings with History series, have made major purchases of historical research materials for UALR.

For more information, contact the UALR History Department at 501-569-3225.

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