The Heritage of Industry, Community and Diversity in the Calumet Region

2010 Calumet Heritage Conference
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Program 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Bus Tour 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Valparaiso University-Harre Student Union
1700 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso Indiana

Conference Brochure and Registration Form (pdf)

To pre-register for the conference print the conference brochure (above) and send your completed registration form with payment to the address provided.

To pre-register online send an e-mail to Mike Siola [email protected] with the subject “Calumet Heritage Conference” and include the information requested on the registration form (name address, phone, whether you want to take the bus tour, and if applicable if your organization would like exhibit space).  Finally indicate whether you are making payment via PayPal or will make payment at the conference. To make payment via PayPal click the button below (while the description reads “Help Save ACME steel, payment will be applied to the conference.) You may also renew your membership this way. 

About the Conference

The human heritage of the Calumet region is front and center at this year’s eleventh annual Calumet Heritage Conference, to be held Saturday, October 23 at the Harre Union at Valparaiso University. Past conferences have made the case that the region contains heritage of national significance, and that its contributions to the national understanding of regionalism, transportation, steel, and planning prove the point. What could better put the case for the national significance of the nature of the diverse human community at the southern end of Lake Michigan than the title of keynote speaker Stephen Paul O’Hara’s forthcoming book, Gary: The Most American of All American Cities (Indiana University Press, 2011). O’Hara, Associate Professor of History at Xavier University in Ohio, will speak at the conference on “The Intersections of Industrial Heritage, Folklore, and History”.

The 1998 National Park Service National Heritage Area feasibility study inventoried cultural resources and asked, are they of national significance? Two housing developments on the far South Side of Chicago warranted a big “YES”: Altgeld Gardens and Trumbull Park. These places tell a story of the vexed interactions between industrialization, public policy, and community response that characterized American industrial regions. In Chicago State University historian Lionel Trimble’s hands, they also tell a sometimes neglected story of human courage and initiative in the face of ugly realities. Rev. Gregory Jones, adjunct professor of theology at Valparaiso University, has been deeply involved in community relations in the region of today, and is very well-positioned to speak on “The Social Impact of Migrations of Cultural Communities in the Calumet Region.” And all migrants to the area since the late eighteenth century are following in the path of Native American communities. Geographer Ronald Janke of Valparaiso, an expert in Native American history and geography, will speak at the conference and lead an afternoon field trip to significant prehistoric sites in the Calumet region.

CHP is thrilled to return to the campus of Valparaiso University. The University’s Brauer Museum of Art contains a number of works of direct relevance to regional history. Gregg Hertzlieb, Director and Curator (and editor of The Calumet Region: An American Place) will display selections from the collection at the conference. The Harre Union, home to this year’s conference, opened in January, 2009 and has quickly become a central point not only for the University but also for the region.