Indiana University-Columbus invites the public to celebrate Constitution Day with live music, a discussion of “This Land is Your Land,” at 3 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Columbus Learning Center, Room 1205, 4555 Central Ave.
This year’s annual event features a panel lead by Aimee Zoeller, an IU Columbus sociology professor and Woody Guthrie scholar. She will discuss the origins of Guthrie’s iconic ballad “This Land is Your Land” and present contemporary indigenous perspectives on the song.
“Woody was considered a ‘radical patriot’ because of his music and political engagements,” Zoeller said. “He believed in the power of people organizing, in political processes, and freedom as a political and individual destiny.”
She added that Guthrie famously said, “Right wing. Left wing. Chicken wing,” but was deeply invested in the power of participatory democracy.
Zoeller will be joined remotely by two additional members of the Woody Guthrie Teaching Collective: Court Carney, history professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, and Gustavus Stadler, English professor at Haverford College.
The event features local musician Dan Fleming who will perform Guthrie’s music, as well as traditional folk and bluegrass songs.
Voter registration will be available at the Landing in the Columbus Learning Center from noon until 3 p.m. on Sept. 19.
Constitution Day is an American federal observance recognizing the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It’s been celebrated annually at the Columbus campus for nearly 20 years.