In addition to the featured speakers described above, the forum will offer a series of opportunities to participate in public programming made available through Humanities Texas, A&M-Commerce, and the National Conversation on Writing (NCoW). Much of the public programming selected draws attention to the people, history, and diversity of experiences embedded in this local context (Commerce and surrounding areas) while featuring the recurring themes that foreground the translocal dimensions of this particular context and, by extension, most any local context.

Ongoing exhibitions, based on participants’ interest, selected from among Humanities Texas Traveling Exhibits, addresses the forum theme by drawing attention to the diversity embedded in the lived experiences of writers, soldiers, and rural and urban communities in this area of our vast state. Exhibitions include “Literary East Texas: An Exhibition of Photographs Honoring 25 East Texas Writers,” “Jasper, Texas: The Healing of a Community in Crisis,” “Behold the People: R. C. Hickman’s Photographs of Black Dallas, 1949-1961,” and “Images of Valor: US Latinos and Latinas in World War II.”

In addition to these traveling exhibits featuring lived experiences among urban, rural, and diverse communities in Texas, A&M-Commerce’s Converging Literacies Center (CLiC) will work with Gee Library and campus television (KETV) and radio (KETR) stations to design multimedia-enhanced tours of the relevant sites across the area. For instance, we will provide a tour of the Norris Community, home to the vast majority of Commerce’s African American population for much of the 20th century, which has existed within Commerce city limits since the 1890s (for more details, see “Tours” in Other Documents, page 207).

Collaborative preservation efforts are modeled through a multimedia installation offering excerpts from key artifacts recently donated to NCoW:  The “Traditions in Rhetoric” (1999) series that brought nine major rhetoricians to Texas Woman’s University to discuss civility and democracy through public discourse from the ancients to modern times, including feminist rhetoric, African American rhetoric, Native American rhetoric, religion and rhetoric, and even the rhetoric of what was then called “hypertext fiction” (for additional details, see “Multimedia Installation” in Other Documents, page 210).