LMU'S THACKER IS APPOINTED TO KENTUCKY SPEAKERS BUREAU
July 9, 2009 - Harrogate, Tenn. — Lincoln Memorial University Director of Student Success, Retention and Career Services Larry Thacker was recently appointed to the Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc., Speakers Bureau for 2009-2010. Thacker, a Middlesboro, Ky., native, is the author of Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia.
The Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C. The Council is supported by the National Endowment and by private contributions. Though the Council is not a state agency, it regularly partners with Kentucky’s cultural, heritage, arts and tourism agencies. Consisting of noted historians, scholars, writers and poets from across Kentucky, the speakers bureau offers organizations and events a statewide listing of speakers ranging from state history to literature. Thacker’s speaking topics include “Cumberland Gap: Civil War Target” and “Mountain Mysteries.”
Long assumed as a Civil War site for "the battle that never happened," the Cumberland Gap was politically, strategically and tactically so much more. Thacker's presentation examines the great reputation the Gap commanded in the minds of both sides of the conflict, building up to and during the struggle. From presidents to generals, from journalists to the everyday citizenry, assumptions and hopes concerning this once "Gateway to the West" ultimately set the stage for endless excitement and disappointment surrounding this natural fortress.
Thacker’s Mountain Mysteries presentation approaches history from a different angle. Just as folkloric legends and mountain myths of today are the uniquely evolved cultural products of earlier Appalachian generations, what we experience in today's world makes up what will eventually become the folklore of coming generations. Thacker, a seventh generation Cumberland Gap, examines the folklives and fringe paranormal topics of the past in order to better understand how to search out, preserve and interpret mystery topics in today's busy world. The presentation includes several stories of personal ghost encounters and other brushes with the paranormal -- a constant in the presenter's life.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to travel the region and the state to talk about two of my loves – the Cumberland Gap and folklore,” Thacker said. “Though millions of people have visited our famed Cumberland Gap through the years we can’t promote its importance in the Civil War and to the nation’s history enough. And when it comes to folklore, we have an endless well of unique beliefs in our region of Appalachia that are quickly fading. Anything we can do to preserve and promote those is vital to understanding our mountain culture.”
Mountain Mysteries the book is now in its second printing. A second volume in the series from Overmountain Press is due out in late 2009. Since the book’s publication Thacker has been making presentations and attending signings in southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and in east Tennessee from Knoxville to Johnson City. He has also been blogging on the topic of “Mystic Musings” for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and started the Mountain Mysteries Radio Show on WLMU 91.3 last spring.
Organizations and event coordinators are invited to visit http://www.kyhumanities.org/speakersroster.html for booking information.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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