news releases

2005.04.07 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO to Lead Video Conference on My Antonia on April 8

Omaha - A satellite video conference set for Friday, April 8, will use the latest technology to discuss a classic work of Nebraska literature, Willa Cather's My Antonia.  The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will be home base for the discussion, which will include several Cather scholars, and will link to locations in Chadron, Hastings and Wayne, Neb.  The event is part of this year's "One Book/One State" initiative to encourage the reading of My Antonia this spring.

While the technology is innovative, the discussion among high school and college students, professors and scholars remains the primary focus, said Susan Maher, UNO English professor and chair of the "One Book/One State" steering committee.  About 20 advanced placement English students from Millard West are planning to attend the session in one of UNO's high technology classrooms.

"We're going to be able to have people see and hear each other and ask questions in real time, no matter the distance," Maher said.  "Technology has essentially made a larger classroom for us."

The scholars involved with the conference include Bruce Baker, a professor emeritus of English at UNO and longtime member of the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial Board of Directors; Charles Johanningsmeier, an associate professor of English at UNO; Andrew Jewell, from the Electronic Text Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL); Guy Reynolds, a professor of English at UNL; and Steve Shively, an assistant professor of English at Northwest Missouri State University. Shively co-founded and co-edits Teaching Cather with Virgil Albertini.

"I'd like to think that Willa Cather would enjoy the idea of a discussion of her novel taking place literally across the length of Nebraska," Maher said. 

The locations and participants outside of Omaha include:

• Chadron State College students. Many students taking English at Chadron State this spring read My Antonia during their classes;

• Hastings College students and interested members of the public in Hastings; and

• Wayne State College students.

The video conference, being held on the Neb*Sat3 system, will start at 11 a.m. in 308 Allwine Hall.  The video system allows for real-time question and answers and interactivity.

Please For more information, call (402) 554-3502.

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