Library To Host Series Of Scholar Speakers

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Edward Williams

Scholarly speakers will arrive from across the state each month for the rest of the year (except July) to speak at the Library Friends of Payson’s monthly lectures, which are open to the community, free of charge.

During the ensuing months, subjects ranging from the dynamics of our border areas to diaries of the women crossing the plains; an author’s take on stories behind Arizona place names to the history of a cattle trail through the Mescal Mountains in the form of a cowboy tune to a professor/journalist talk on nature writing and authors will be part of the lecture series.

The programs are possible through a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council and its Road Scholars Speakers Bureau program, which is designed to foster lively, humanities-based discussions and civil dialogue among diverse audiences throughout the state.

Recipients of the AHC assistance must be nonprofit entities, such as libraries, museums, historical sites, community colleges and other cultural and educational organizations.

The first Payson program will be at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, June 25 at the Payson Public Library meeting room. Edward Williams will discuss “A Third Country? Cultural and Economic Melding on the Arizona/Sonora Border.” As professor emeritus of comparative politics and Latin American studies at the University of Arizona, he teaches, lectures and writes on Mexican and borderlands public policy and politics.

He maintains that cultural, economic and political interaction pervades the U.S.-Mexican border, where two peoples influence one another and a new synthesis emerges from the blending. A discussion period will follow his presentation.

Now from Prescott, Williams has extensive credentials, including being on the National Advisory Board of the NAFTA Agreement on Labor and a board member of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

Future speakers

The Thursday, Aug. 27 gathering features Reba Wells Grandrud of Phoenix. She will speak on “In Their Own Words: Diaries of 19th Century Women.” She is retired as National Register coordinator for the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office.

Greg Scott of Nogales, an educator, historian and musician, will tell of “The Crooked Trail to Holbrook” on Sept. 24.

The program Oct. 22 is with Gregory McNamee of Tucson. He will relate “Names on the Land,” which examines the history of Arizona place names using anecdotes to discuss the little-known stories.

Karyn Riedell, now of Pine, a former English instructor at Arizona State University and journalist covering environmental issues, explores the meanings of certain nature writings and their authors on Nov. 19.

All lectures are on the fourth Tuesday of each month (except July) during the year at 10:30 a.m. in the Payson Public Library meeting room.

The Arizona Humanities Council supports public programming in the humanities that promotes understanding of human thoughts, actions, creations and values. It was founded in 1973 and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Library Friends of Payson is a volunteer group dedicated to supporting the library by volunteering and raising funds, needed during today’s tight budget restraints.

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