Montana State University

MSU sets Doig Symposium for Sept. 13-16

August 31, 2017 -- MSU News Service

A symposium focusing on the life and literature of Ivan Doig, who frequently wrote about his native state, is scheduled Sept. 13-16 at MSU. “Doig Country: Imagining Montana and the West,” will feature family, friends and scholars discussing Doig’s work and its importance to the field of western American literature. Symposium events are free and open to the public. Photo by Carol Doig, courtesy of the Doig Archive at Montana State University.

A symposium focusing on the life and literature of Ivan Doig, who frequently wrote about his native state, is scheduled Sept. 13-16 at MSU. âDoig Country: Imagining Montana and the West,â will feature family, friends and scholars discussing Doigâs work and its importance to the field of western American literature. Symposium events are free and open to the public. Ivan Doig woodcut print circa 1988 by James Todd courtesy of the MSU Doig Archive.

A symposium focusing on the life and literature of Ivan Doig, who frequently wrote about his native state, is scheduled Sept. 13-16 at MSU. “Doig Country: Imagining Montana and the West,” will feature family, friends and scholars discussing Doig’s work and its importance to the field of western American literature. Symposium events are free and open to the public. Photo by Carol Doig, courtesy of the Doig Archive at Montana State University.

High-Res Available

Subscribe to MSU Newsletters


Bobcat Bulletin is a weekly e-newsletter designed to bring the most recent and relevant news about Montana State University directly to friends and neighbors via email. Visit Bobcat Bulletin.

MSU Today e-mail brings you news and events on campus thrice weekly during the academic year. Visit the MSU Today calendar.

MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
msunews@montana.edu

Family, friends and scholars who study the life and work of the late novelist Ivan Doig will be featured during a four-day symposium scheduled for Sept. 13-16 at Montana State University.

“Doig Country: Imagining Montana and the West,” is coordinated by the MSU College of Letters and Science, the Center for Western Lands and People and the MSU Library, which houses the Doig Archive. While all events, except a bus tour Saturday, are free, registration should be made in advance at http://ivandoig.montana.edu/symposium-2017/doig-symposium-registration.html.

Two years ago, MSU was selected to house Doig’s papers. The novelist, who died in 2015 at age 75, wrote more than a dozen books of fiction and memoir, nearly all based in his native Montana. He was often called “the dean of Western writers.”

“(The College of Letters and Science is) proud to sponsor and host this celebration of Ivan Doig's extraordinary contribution to the literature of Montana and the American West,” said Nic Rae, dean of the college. “All sessions are free and open to the public. We have a wonderful array of panels and speakers and this event should be a must for all Ivan Doig fans.”

Doig’s widow, Carol, will join in a panel discussion with Lois Welch, widow of the late novelist James Welch, to discuss their husbands’ work and friendship and roles in American literature. The session is set for 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, in the Procrastinator Theater. Mary Murphy, MSU history professor, will moderate. On Friday, Carol Doig will also debut a film about her husband, “Ivan Doig Among Friends: A Film and Discussion,” at 11:30 a.m. in the Strand Union Ballroom A.

Patricia Limerick, director of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, will speak about “Scouting for a Region: Ivan Doig’s Wisdom as a Guide to Resilience.” The lecture, which will be the symposium’s keynote address, is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Museum of the Rockies. Limerick’s lecture will be preceded by a public reception at the museum.

Rebecca Saletan, Doig’s long-time editor and now the editorial director at Riverhead Books, will lecture about “‘The Poetry Under the Prose’: Editing Ivan” at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. Saletan’s lecture is free, but those wishing to attend the lunch should register online by Thursday, Sept. 7.

In all, the symposium will feature presentations from more than 30 scholars, colleagues and friends of the noted author. MSU professors that will give presentations include Janet Ramaker Mackin, Bill Wyckoff, Linda Karell, Kate Ryan and Paul Stouffer. Elise Moon, an MSU undergraduate, will also give a presentation. Several librarians from the MSU Library will also present.

Other presenters come from Rutgers University; the University of Montana; the University of Montana Western; the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada; Augustana College; Montana Tech; Utah State University; and Brigham Young University-Idaho. Full details about the presentations may be found on the symposium’s webpage, ivandoig.montana.edu/symposium-2017.

A guided tour of White Sulphur Springs, where Doig was born and which featured prominently in his memoir, “This House of Sky,” is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16. It will leave the SUB at 9 a.m. and will return at 6 p.m. Reservations are required and may be made at: ivandoig.montana.edu/symposium-2017/field-trip-registration-doig-symposium-2017.html.

Jan Zauha, an MSU librarian and professor who has worked extensively on the archive and who will present at the symposium, said more than 2,000 people visited a Doig exhibit at the Big Sky Fair this summer in Bozeman, a sign of Doig’s importance to Montanans.

“How great for a state land-grant institution to get to promote the archive of a person who was so in tune with the common people of Montana,” Zauha said. “The events will be a combination of the academic and educational, and Doig — who himself had a Ph.D. in history and whose work was impeccably researched — is the perfect person to bring together this group of presenters.”

For more information about the symposium, go to ivandoig.montana.edu/symposium-2017 or contact the MSU Library at 406-994-3119.

Jan Zauha, 994-6554, jzauha@montana.edu