Oklahoma History Conference to feature keynote U.S. Poet Laureate Harjo

Joy Harjo

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society has scheduled the virtual 2021 Oklahoma History Conference for April 22–23. This year’s theme, “Perspectives in History,” was designed to encourage presentations sharing the stories of underrepresented groups, lesser-known topics and new points of view.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage with 11 live sessions, 11 on-demand sessions, and two special programs. Included in the live sessions is a keynote address by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo.

The conference is free to the public, but preregistration is required. Visit www.okhistory.org/conference for a full schedule and to register.

The OHS will welcome Harjo on Thursday, April 22, at noon. In 2019 Harjo, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, was appointed the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold the position. She has written nine books of poetry and a memoir, “Crazy Brave.” Harjo has won numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation for Lifetime Achievement. In 2014, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame.

During the conference historians, scholars, genealogists and museum professionals will speak on a broad range of Oklahoma topics and professional development subjects. Author and attorney Hannibal Johnson will discuss the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre and the current commission’s plans to memorialize the event. Author and attorney Susan Work, who was on the legal team for the Murphy and McGirt cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court last year, will present on the historical considerations in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation cases.

In his opening remarks, new OHS Executive Director Trait Thompson will share his vision of the future of the OHS. Also included in the conference will be the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, as well as a special musical performance by the Red Dirt Rangers in honor of the late Steve Ripley, a renowned musician and 2020 inductee into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame.

For more information and to register, visit www.okhistory.org/conference or contact Larry O’Dell at 405-522-6676 or lodell@okhistory.org, or Angela Spindle at 405-522-0317 or aspindle@okhistory.org.

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