Welcome to Doig Country: Imagining Montana and the West!
Over 300 people joined us September 13-16, 2017 at Montana State University for a free symposium on the work of acclaimed Montana writer Ivan Doig.
Beginning in 1978 with the publication of his memoir This House of Sky, Ivan Doig went on to write over a dozen more books of memoir and fiction, most set in the Montana he knew so well. His work is beloved by readers of western literature and in 2007 earned him the Wallace Stegner Award, which recognizes individuals who have “made a sustained contribution to the cultural identity of the West.”
Featured speakers for the symposium included Patty Limerick, director of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado; Nancy Cook, professor of literature at the University of Montana; Alan Weltzien, professor of literature at the University of Montana Western; Rebecca Saletan, Doig’s editor; and Christine Bold, professor of literature at the University of Guelph.
In addition to symposium speakers, Carol Doig debuted a new film about Ivan’s life and work.
Tours of the Ivan Doig Archive in the MSU Library's Archives and Special Collections and several programs on the creation of this rich documentary source and the ways in which scholars and students are already using it were be presented throughout the symposium.
While most of the symposium was devoted to Doig’s work—including a public book discussion of This House of Sky—the event included related art exhibitions, a poetry reading, and sessions that Imagine Montana—the task that Ivan accomplished so brilliantly. See the full program schedule here.
On Saturday, we took a field trip to White Sulphur Springs—a chance to visit Doig Country.
Ivan Doig walks in a field with the Rocky Mountains behind him at sunrise. Photo by Carol Doig. Source: Ivan Doig Archive