Southern Illinois Wonders

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Southern Illinois Wonders is an original new series by WSIU Radio and the Illinois Humanities Council.  It features humanities-themed programs focusing on the history, art, culture, and other wonders of southern Illinois.

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www.foxtaleint.com

Welcome to this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders!  More than 200 years ago French-American naturalist and painter John James Audubon traveled through our region and left us a detailed journal of his journey through the wilds that once were the wonders of southern Illinois.  

Audubon was the first to draw every bird in North America in life size.   He painted the now extinct Carolina Parrot near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers at Grafton and painted the elusive Ivory Billed Woodpecker in the Cache River Bottoms.

SIU

Welcome to this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders!   150 years ago the United States remained embroiled in the civil war.  To mark the sesquicentennial, the special Collections Research Center at Southern Illinois University's Morris Library is showcasing a collection of letters; correspondence between a union soldier from southern Illinois and his wife.  

The library’s Aaron Lisec  and Judy Simpson provide an insightful peek into our past through the "Letters from Liberty."

laurabenedict.com

Welcome to this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders!  Acclaimed novelist Laura Benedict is a southern Illinois based writer. Her latest novel, Bliss House, will be in bookstores next month. 

As well as an author of dark suspense novels, she's also a mom, a wife, and charmingly paranoid...

EIU

Welcome to this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders.   The Southern Baptist Convention is a widely represented church body in southern Illinois.  In 1993 a theological controversy occurred at its flag ship seminary.  

Ryan Burge is a political scientist and a Baptist pastor.  He examines the intellectual and social contexts of that event for this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders.

Illinois Humanities Council

Welcome to this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders!   Gary DeNeal is a publisher,  author, historian, and poet.    He’s known for his history of Charlie Birger as well as his magazine Springhouse

His son, songwriter  and musician Hugh DeNeal of The Woodbox Gang,  reflects on some of the favorites of his father’s poetry.

Kentucky Historical Society

Welcome to Southern Illinois Wonders!  Today we look at the history moonshining in southern Illinois with a visit to a local distillery.  

From prohibition to backyard-brewing our region is steeped in the tradition.  Karen Binder is a journalist, historian, and founder of Grand River Spirits in Carbondale. 

She takes us through the history of 'Red eye' in this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders.

Welcome to this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders.   Today we look at the development of an African American Catholic community in southern Illinois in the mid 20th Century, when segregation still affected many facets of life.

Father Joseph Brown is a priest, educator, scholar and artist.  He reflects on his family's early encounters with the Church in two different locations within the region  for this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders.

Cairo Public Library

Welcome to Southern Illinois Wonders.   Today we explore the history of steamboats on the Ohio River in Massac County.

Jane Adams

Welcome to Southern Illinois Wonders. Today, we look at the origin of farm cooperatives and the role they played in the years following the Civil War in southern Illinois.

Illinois Humanities Council

Hometown Teams is a Smithsonian exhibit currently on display at the Union County Museum in Cobden.  It chronicles the history and influence of sports on our lives. In this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders, historian Judy Travelstead explores the pathway to integration of high school basketball  in southern Illinois between the 1920's and the 1950's.

WSIU

Welcome to Southern Illinois Wonders.  Today we learn more about the underground railroad and its influence on life in southern Illinois during the early 1840's and beyond. 

Historian Carol Pirtle is the author of Escape Betwixt Two Sons: A True Tale of the Underground Railroad in Illinois.   She tells the unlikely story of a Randolph County farmer in this edition of Southern Illinois Wonders.

"Egypt": Mike Jones

Mar 12, 2014
WSIU

Welcome to the inaugural edition of  Southern Illinois Wonders!  WSIU Radio and the Illinois Humanities Council have joined together to explore the nooks and crannies of our region's cultural landscape.   This new series features a diverse collection of artists, authors, and scholars from southern Illinois and  beyond.