Walters State Community College will honor the legacy of one of East Tennessee’s most acclaimed authors during the seventh annual Mildred Haun Conference.
Conference dates are Feb. 3-4 on the college’s Morristown campus. The conference is free and open to everyone.
This year’s theme is “Foodways: the Intersection of Food in Appalachian Literature, Culture, Traditions and History.”
This year’s special guests include Fred Sauceman, author of “Buttermilk and Bible Burgers” and well-known Appalachian food expert and New York Times bestselling author, Amy Greene.
Sauceman will deliver the conference’s keynote speech at 2:15 on Friday. He is a senior writer and associate professor of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University, where he also serves as news director for WETS-FM. He has written about virtually all forms of Appalachian food. His work includes six books and seven documentaries with red hot dogs, soup beans, ramps and sorghum as the focus. He also teaches a class entitled “The Foodways of Appalachia.”
Mildred Haun grew up in the Dover community of Hamblen County and is considered by many to be one of the original Appalachian authors. She published “The Hawk’s Done Gone” while a graduate student at Vanderbilt University during the 1930s. The book is considered one of the great works of the genre and is required reading in most Appalachian literature classes. While no other works were ever published, Haun’s family said she did write another novel tentatively titled “Diamond Hill.” Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the manuscript and she never attempted to rewrite it. Haun worked as a technical writer and information specialist in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and in Washington before dying at the age of 55. She is buried with her family in the cemetery of Dover Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Greene will read from her works at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday.
Dr. Chris Baker, a professor of sociology at Walters State, will share from his colorful research in a presentation entitled “Whiskey’s Ecological Wonderland and Social Change in Appalachia” at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Writing workshops are scheduled on Friday and scholarly presentations will be held on both days. Friday’s entertainment includes the ETSU Old Time Pride Band and High Lonesome Senate, Walters State’s bluegrass band. An Open Mic session will end the conference at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday.
While the conference is free, organizers request that those planning to attend send in a registration form. A box lunch will be available for $8 on Saturday for those who preorder.
A complete schedule and registration information are available at here
In the picture: Sherri Jacobs, associate professor of English poses with an issue of the “Mossy Creek Reader” dedicated to Mildred Haun. The late author, a Hamblen County native, is honored each year with a conference in her name at Walters State Community College. This year’s conference is Feb. 3-4.