The Northern Marianas Humanities Council is sponsoring the upcoming Marianas History Conference, the first of its kind to focus on local Marianas history. Those with an interest in the local history of the Mariana Islands will have the opportunity to hear noted scholars in the field present recent scholarship on a variety of topics including the archipelago’s ancient, colonial, and late colonial history, World War II history, oral history, and genealogical research. Council director Scott Russell noted in a recent interview with the Saipan Tribune that one goal of the conference is to encourage indigenous participation in the study of local history, something that had been lacking in previous scholarship. According to Russell, this conference will be the first of what hopefully will be an annual or biannual event conducted alternately between the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.
Other activities related to the conference include an art exhibit featuring traditional art works from the Northern Marianas and Guam and tours of archaeological and historic sites lead by local guides and experts, including an underwater tour of the WWII heritage trail guided by conference presenter Dr. Jennifer McKinnon.
The conference will be held at the Fiesta Resort and Spa in Garapan, Saipan from June 14 to 16. The keynote speakers are Father Francis X. Hezel, S.J. and Dr. Robert Underwood. More information on conference sessions can be found on the conference schedule.
This event is sponsored by the Guam Preservation Trust, Guampedia, Tan Siu Lin Foundation, Northern Marianas College, and the Northern Marianas Humanities Council. It is free of charge and open to the public.