Expert to Discuss Farm Life and Children at Conference

Date: Feb. 13, 2006
CONTACT: John Davis,

LUBBOCK -- Despite nostalgic ideas about farm life at the beginning of the 20th century, country living wasn’t always great for children, and the hardships endured could cause them to leave the lifestyle.

That’s what keynote speaker Pamela Riney-Kehrberg will discuss at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 during the Natural History & The Art & Literature of Place. Her speech will serve as the 22nd Annual Charles L. Wood Agricultural History Lecture.

Natural History & The Art & Literature of Place is a two-day event that begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 at the Lubbock Science Spectrum, 2579 S. Loop 289. It features international speakers, a music concert with Andy Wilkinson, an American Indian powwow, films and the Wood Agricultural History Lecture.

The event is sponsored by Texas Tech Center for the Southwest, the Crossroads Music Archive of the Southwest Collection, the Provost’s Office, TTU Office of the President and TTU Cross-Cultural Academic Advancement Center.

Riney-Kehrberg, director of Agricultural History and Rural Studies at Iowa State University, recently wrote “Childhood on the Farm: Work, Play and Coming of Age in the Midwest,” which discusses ways in which the rural environment shaped the lives of farm children at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

“While everyone seems to have believed that farms were the best possible place to raise children, no one acknowledged that the kind of harsh experiences with nature that many children had may have influenced them to choose life in urban areas as an adult,” she said.

Also during the event, speakers from Spain, England, Zimbabwe and the United States will discuss such topics as playa lakes, dust bowl music, Southwestern architecture, Native American music, nature writing, archaeology of the Llano Estacado, and natural resource management.

The presentations include major revisions of long-popular assumptions about Spain’s northern frontier and show how difficult it is to revise Texas and Southwestern history. Scholars from Tech’s Junction Center will review its research and educational programs.

There is no registration fee.

CONTACT: Mark Stoll, Texas Tech University History Department, 742-1004 ext. 250,