2002 -Gathering of Waters
2009 Humanities Symposium


The Viterbo University School of Letters and Sciences presents

Gathering of Waters: The Life of the River and Its People

Feb. 4–7, 2002

Poetic. Haunting. Beautiful. Scenic. Mere words can't describe the might and majesty of the Mississippi River. What begins as a tiny stream in the northern reaches of Minnesota that you can literally step across becomes one of the world's greatest rivers- stretching over 2,350 miles and eventually emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. A river of global importance, the Mississippi is a haven for songbirds, wetland birds, and other wildlife and natural vegetation. It also serves as a major source of recreation and commercial freight. As a result of its natural resources and vast uses, the river has strongly influenced the culture and lives of the people in the cities and towns nestled along its shores-so much so that it is sometimes taken for granted. Join us for a celebration of the history and cultural impact of the river, particularly that of the upper Mississippi River region.

Monday, Feb. 4
3 p.m. Mississippi Solo
Fine Arts Center Main Theatre
Eddy Harris – As a 30-year-old, Harris left his home in St. Louis and set off for Lake Itasca to canoe the Mississippi. Harris is the author of Mississippi Solo, Native Stranger, South of Haunted Dreams, and Still Life in Harlem.
7:30 p.m. The Mississippi River: a Humanities Perspective
Fine Arts Center Main Theatre
John Anfinson – The historian for the National Park Service's Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
Tuesday, Feb. 5
7:30 p.m. Views on the Mississippi: Images of a Changing River
Fine Arts Center Main Theatre
Mark Neuzil – Author of Views on the Mississippi: The Photographs of Henry Peter Bosse. Nuezil is the chair of the journalism and mass communication department at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities.
8:45 p.m. River Poems and Tunes
Fine Arts Center Lobby
William Stobb, Viterbo English professor, and Earl Madary, Viterbo religious studies professor
Wednesday, Feb. 6
7:30 p.m. Songs of the River
Fine Arts Center Main Theatre
Larry Long – Founder of the Mississippi River Revival, a campaign to clean up the river, Long organized communities from Lake Itasca to Dubuque, Iowa with his voice and guitar.
Thursday, Feb. 7
4:30 p.m.

Past, Present, Future–Action! Finding Common Ground for Wise Stewardship of the River
Fine Arts Center Main Lobby
Susan Fagrelius – An independent organization-effectiveness consultant who has done a wide range of environmental consulting.

6 p.m. River Community Dinner
Fine Arts Center Lobby
7:30 p.m. The Big 10 Conservation Issues for a New Century
Fine Arts Center Main Theatre
Michael Dombeck – Former chief of the United States Forest Service (1997-2001) and a current professor of global environmental management with the UW-Stevens Point.

This Humanities Symposium is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. It is also supported by Denzer Memorial Endowment Funds.