Late Port Angeles doctor inspiration for geography conference
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The efforts of the late Bill Hennessey of Port Angeles helped establish the fund that made possible the Critical Geographies Conference on Saturday.

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College will host the eighth annual Critical Geographies Conference on Saturday.

The public is invited to attend any or all of the sessions free of charge.

The all-day conference will be in Maier Hall on the Peninsula College campus, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., with the first sessions beginning at 9:15 am.

The conference was made possible through the efforts of Dr. W.F. Hennessey of Port Angeles before his death in August and with money donated to a memorial fund established in his name with the Peninsula College Foundation.

The Bill Hennessey Native Bridges Fund will continue to provide funding for activities such as this conference and programming in the area of Native arts, including poetry.

Hennessey, who died at the age of 59 on Aug. 28 of a malignant brain tumor, had worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a soils scientist/naturalist before practicing as a family physician for 25 years.

He had supported Indian Voices Poetry Workshops and other events, the college foundation noted.

After his death, mourners were invited to make donations to the Peninsula College Foundation for continued support of poetry and the arts in area native tribes.

Hennessey first became interested in helping host a conference at Peninsula College after attending the seventh annual Critical Geographies Mini-Conference at the University of British Columbia last fall where the theme was “Decolonizing Cascadia.”

Impetus for conference

When he returned from Canada, he began to explore the possibility of hosting the 2013 conference on the Peninsula College campus and immediately set about gathering together the people and agencies that could make it happen.

One of them was Kate Reavey, an English instructor at Peninsula College.

As Hennessey's health began to decline, Reavey asked Matt Teorey, a Peninsula College English faculty member, to assist.

Three sponsor organizations also joined them to ensure the conference would go forward.

Mike and Carol Gentry of Center for Community Design had attended “Decolonizing Cascadia” with Hennessey, and they worked to further his vision for this year's conference.

Arts Northwest and the Feiro Marine Life Center also contributed resources.

This year, the conference has attracted presenters from as close as Port Angeles and as far away as Boston, London, Toronto and even the People's Republic of China.

Conference sessions

The conference will feature more than 30 presenters talking on a variety of topics centering on spatially oriented critical scholarship on a variety of geographical topics.

Community members may attend both morning and afternoon sessions, with a choice of concurrent presentations.

Although all breakout sessions are open to the public free of charge, lunch and the opening welcome are available only to those who have pre-registered.

Paul Kingsbury will present “Listen . . . It's Alive! Soundscapes of Desire and Wellbeing” during his keynote address at 1 p.m. in the Longhouse.

Kingsbury is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of numerous journal articles and the co-editor of two forthcoming books: Psychoanalytic Geographies (with Steve Pile) and Soundscapes of Wellbeing in Popular Music (with Gavin Andrews and Robin Kearns).

The sessions are:

■ Session one from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

■ Session two from 10:45 a.m. to noon.

■ Session three from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

■ Session four will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Each of the sessions, with the exception of the final one, will include three presenters.

Session four will be a poetry reading by Tim Cresswell, who will read Soil from his debut collection of poetry, also called Soil.

For a full list of presentations and other information on the conference, visit

Last modified: October 31. 2013 5:53PM
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