A healthy society spends most of its energies trained on the present and the future. But a healthy society also devotes some of its energies to remembering and understanding the past. The historian's job is to tell or remind people today about the lives of others in the past. That's it. Doing so goes a small way to fulfilling the obligation that people of the past are not forgotten. And it holds a promise and a threat to people of today, that they won't be forgotten either.
A highlight of the LMMI biennial conferences has always been the banquet, held on Saturday night. Along with the food, conversations, and entertainment is the anticipation of several announcements to be made. Perhaps of all the components of the “virtual conference,” posted on the 2020 Vision Forum, the banquet was the most challenging—virtually impossible—to replicate. Instead of virtual food, conversations, and entertainment, we made the decision to have a Finale instead, hosted on our YouTube platform with a live chat. To accommodate as many time zones as possible, we released our pre-recorded video and engaged the live chat on Sunday, 28 June, midday. This gave us the opportunity to make some important announcements.
Philip Smith, Chair of the LMMI Management Committee, had the pleasure of announcing two award recipients for 2020: the Francis Bolger Award, which was bestowed on the Anne of Green Gables Museum and Campbell family, and the L.M. Montgomery Institute Legacy Award, which was given to Mary Beth Cavert and Carolyn Strom Collins. Lesley Clement then announced the incoming (July 2021) Visiting Scholar, Alan MacEachern, Professor of History at the University of Western Ontario.
Traditionally, at the conference banquet, the incoming Visiting Scholar makes the final big reveal: the theme for the next conference. Dr. MacEachern announced and gave a few comments about the 2022 conference theme: Re-vision. His comments are the foundation of the call for papers, being published today on the LMMI website.
Citing Dr. MacEachern’s teaching philosophy, found on his department’s webpage and quoted above, Dr. Clement closed the Finale with the following comments:
“A promise and a threat to people of today, that they won’t be forgotten either.” Such important words. Looking to the past gives us so many opportunities for revising the direction that the future takes by examining how we’ve reached this present moment, as we are reminded so vividly by current events. [This observation was made in June but holds true for the whole of 2020.] I encourage you to look at the resources posted on the Forum today when you consider one way that we can re-vise—re-see and re-think—Montgomery’s legacy.
By the 22nd June 2022, I anticipate that we will have all broken out of our screen boxes, quite likely (and hopefully) with a new vision of how we would like our present and future to look.
We will converse in actual physical space: no more pulsing or yellow highlighted boxes to signal who is speaking. In the meantime, break out of your box and take the Virtual tour posted on today’s Forum.
So until we meet again—in real time and real space—continue to visit the Forum as we roll out new content over the next six to eight months. Bye for now.
Next Week: New Content on the Vision Forum & Come to the Island
Reminder: We are accepting content for the Forum until 31 December 2020.
Banner image of PEI waves. Anne Victoria Photography, 2018.