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March 29, 2015 @ 4:47 pm

Ep. 217 “Call for the Third Marianas History Conference”

Ep. 217 “Call for the Third Marianas History Conference” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with producer Alan Grossman) was recorded 3/20/15 and airs 3/27/15. 

This episode features an interview with Don Farrell, Shannon Murphy and Rosanna Perez Barcinas, three members of the planning committee for the 3rd Marianas History Conference “One Archipelego, Many Stories:  Milestones in Marianas History” to be held in Saipan, CNMI, September 4-6, 2015.  This conference is co-organized  by the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, Guampedia, Guam Preservation Trust, and the University of Guam.  

Don Farrell, a long-time resident of Tinian, is a member of the Northern Marianas Humanities Council and an historian, teacher and author of nine books on the history of the Marianas. Shannon Murphy, a former journalist with more than 35 years experience in Guam and the region, is managing editor of Guampedia, an online resource which highlights the  unique Chamorro heritage and the history of Guam and the Mariana Islands.  Rosanna Perez Barcinas was the senior program officer for the Guam Preservation Trust for 18 years, until 2013.  In 2011, the Guam Preservation Trust, together with the National Preservation Trust and We Are Guahan, filed a successful lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Navy arguing that the DON did not comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) by not considering all potential sites for the Live Fire Training Range Complex when it selected Pågat as the preferred alternative.    

In the first half, they talk about the genesis of the Marianas History Conference, the significance of this gathering of scholars, activists, cultural preservationists, policy makers, students and the general public, and the overarching theme for the third conference. 

Over the next few months, several Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) on plans for increased military activities in the Marianas will be released. Next week, we anticipate the release of the U.S. Pacific Commands’s CNMI Joint Military Training EIS, which will lay out the plans for live fire and other training in Tinian and Pagan. This will be followed by the release of the U.S. Navy’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) on the U.S. Marine Relocation to Guam and the CNMI.  A  revised record of decision on this is expected in late June 2015.  Around that time, the release of the US Air Force CNMI Divert Activities EIS is expected. 

In the second half, these guests discuss their concerns related to these inter-related plans for increased military activity, the importance of overcoming the historical and political divide between Guam and the Northern Marianas in response to these plans, and lessons from Marianas history. 

Music selection:  “Homeland” from the album Breathless, by Kenny G. 

Guampedia has handled the conference’s organization since its inception - pre-registration, accepting presentation applications, pre-conference publicity, as well as helping run the conference and then e-publishing the conference papers and posters after the conference. These are available at for reading online or downloading. Organizers are calling for abstracts for presentation to be submitted by April 30, 2015 to:

For selected Beyond the Fence coverage of the 2nd Marianas History Conference, download: Ep. 162 (9/16/13) “Historicizing Chamorro Resistance, Subversion and Activism” and Ep. 163 (9/13/13) “Political Futures for the Marianas.” 

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