Dare to Dream:
Building Bridges ~ Paving Pathways
February 14-16, 2019


2019 Conference

Walking in Memphis...

You will be ten feet off of Beale on February 14-16, 2019, when you attend the 54th annual TYCA-SE conference at the historic Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. The 2019 conference theme is Dare to Dream: Building Bridges ~ Paving Pathways, providing TYCA-SE members and conference participants the opportunity to share innovative ideas to challenge and encourage us as we lead students to realize their own dreams. 

2019 Conference Speakers


Midtown Memphian film documentarian and author Robert Gordon’s most recent book, an essay collection entitled Memphis Rent Party, profiles “the outlaws, rebels, and tragic figures who provided the spark for the city’s entertainment industry.” As Keith Richards has put it, “Blues, being the wellspring of all American music for over a century, is always worth studying.  Robert does it right.”  

Gordon has produced, directed, or written films broadcast on PBS, A&E, BBC, and Channel Four.  Many have been screened at prominent world museums.  These documentaries include four Grammy-nominated works:  Johnny Cash’s America; Respect Yourself:  The Stax Records Story; Muddy Waters:  Can’t Be Satisfied, part of PBS’s American Masters Seriesand The Road to Memphis, part of Martin Scorsese’s documentary series The Blues. Other documentaries include Shakespeare Was a Big George Jones Fan, about Memphis singer, songwriter, and music producer Jack Clement; and Stranded in Canton, produced and directed by Gordon, filmed by acclaimed photographer William Eggleston, and featuring Sun Records 1950’s rocker Jerry McGill.  Big Star:  Live in Memphis, a film documenting Memphis band Big Star’s October 1994 concert at the New Daisy Theatre, preceded Keep an Eye on the Sky, the band’s CD retrospective for which Gordon’s liner notes won a 2011 Grammy Award.  A recent film, one of Gordon’s rare forays into filmmaking not focusing the American South, is Best of Enemies, a documentary exploring the 1968 television debates between conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr. and liberal novelist Gore Vidal.  This recounting of Buckley and Vidal’s erudite, unfeigned rancor premiered at Sundance, was sold to Magnolia Pictures, was shortlisted for the 2016 Academy Awards, and won the International Documentary Association’s Best Documentary Award.  

 Gordon’s books are indispensable, often rollicking explorations of the music and musicians of Memphis and the South – music that gave us rock and roll, and music without which it is impossible to imagine the nation or even the world as we know it.  Besides Memphis Rent Party, Gordon’s books include his first, It Came from Memphis,which “careens through the 1950’s, ‘60’s, and ‘70’s, riding shotgun with the weirdoes, winos, and midget wrestlers” who provided the fertile culture that allowed rock to be born.  The King on the Roadand The Elvis Treasures, both contracted by Graceland, had unprecedented access to original archival material.  Can’t Be Satisfied:  The Life and Times of Muddy Waters, is the definitive biography of the great bluesman who, arguably more than anybody, shaped rock as we know it.  And Respect Yourself, going far beyond simply telling the story of the legendary Memphis recording studio Stax, provides a fascinating social history illuminating much about the civil rights movement.  

A recent Kirkus Reviewsaid, of Memphis Rent Party, Gordon makes a convincing case that “if music can’t exactly save us, it can tell us who we are,” an apt comment encompassing much of his life’s work.    


Alan Huffman, an author, journalist, photographer, editor, investigative political researcher, and professor living in Bolton, Mississippi, has far-flung interests that are often, but by no means always, connected to his state or region.  His books with specifically Southern subject matter include, from 2009, Sultana:  Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History, which chronicles the wartime experiences of three soldiers aboard the Sultana, a stemboat that exploded on the Mississippi river near Memphis on April 27, 1863, killing 1700, mostly recently released Union Army prisoners of war.  His first book, Ten Point:  Deer Camp in the Mississippi Delta, features photos, taken by the author’s grandmother, of Issaquena County, setting of William Faulkner’s “The Bear.” And Mississippi in Africa:  The Saga of the Slaves of Prospect Hill Plantation and their Legacy in Liberia recounts the story of 200 Mississippi slaves, freed by their owner, who became part of a new American-African colony in Liberia.  A century of resentment between these former slaves and indigenous tribes sparked the civil war that ended in 2003 and is remembered as a particularly brutal conflict marked by the extensive use of child soldiers.   

Two more recent books by Huffman are less connected to the region.  We’re With NobodyTwo Insiders Revel the Dark Side of American Politics, co-authored with Michael Rejebian, is a behind-the-scenes and often hilarious look at political opposition research, which the authors themselves conduct, that explores dirt-digging on seekers of political offices high and low.  The authors discover “what makes the nation’s would-be leaders tick, from the back streets of Jersey City to the high rises of L.A., from Carolina trailer parks, to the cornfields of Iowa.”  The book was lauded by Jon Stewart, and and the authors were featured on a 2012 segment of The Daily Show. Huffman’s most recent book is Here I Am:  The Story of Tim Hetherington, War Photographer. It tells the story of Hetherington’s life, which ended tragically during his reporting of the Libyan civil war in 2011.   The admiring portrait of Hetherington also explores the complexities of the craft of war-photography, a profession that can take terrible psychological and physical tolls on the lives of its practitioners.  

Huffman’s journalism is widely published in distinguished journals, newspapers, and magazines such as Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionThe Atlantic,Columbia Journalism ReviewForbesThe GuardianInternational Business TimesLos Angeles Times,Mother Jones, Newsweek, New York Times,OutsideOxford AmericanProPublica,SalonSky MagazineWashington Post Magazine, PreservationSmithsonian,VICE, andMeridian/Vox Media.  BesidesThe Daily Show, Huffman has appeared on CNN, Fox & FriendsThe War Room, RT, The Diane Rehm Show, C-Span, C-Span 2’s Book TV, NPR, and NPR affiliates like WNYC.  

From “The Tomes of Timbuktu” to “In Search of Jan-Michael Vincent,” from “Living Inside the MTV Music Awards” to “Gun, Under Glass,” a recently published article about the rifle used to kill Medgar Evers, the range of Huffman’s curiosity and the depth of his engagement are astonishing. In an era when journalism is often under siege, his work reminds us of the debt of gratitude we owe those who practice it with overwhelming passion and integrity.



Southwest Tennessee Community College invites you to join us February 13-16th for the TYCA SE 2019 conference at The Peabody Hotel, the South’s grand hotel and recent recipient of Best Historic Hotel by USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Awards. According to historian David Cohn, “The Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of The Peabody Hotel... If you stand near its fountain in the middle of the lobby... ultimately you will see everybody in the Delta...”Truly, to many The Peabody is Memphis, so we are so excited to share our historic treasure with you. The Peabody is world famous for its twice-daily march of the Peabody Ducks. Living in luxury atop of The Peabody in the Royal Duck Palace, these fine-feathered friends get the red-carpet treatment as they are ushered down the elevator with much fanfare to swim daily in the lobby fountain. 


The Peabody Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Memphis on Union between Second and South B.B. King Boulevard, where you will be steps from all that downtown Memphis has to offer: Beale, historic Main, FedEx Forum, Gibson Guitar Factory, Rock N Soul Museum, the Pyramid, St. Jude, the Mississippi River, and so much more.


To make reservations at the special TYCA-SE 2019 conference rate of $199.00 (single or double) plus local taxes per night, visit TYCA-SE 2019 Regional Conference.


To reserve by telephone, call 1-800-PEABODY and identify yourself as being with the TYCA-SE Regional Conference to receive the conference rate. Reservations must be made on or before Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Any reservations received after the cut-off date will be accepted on an available space and rate basis only. Check-in time is 4:00 p.m., and checkout time is 11:00 a.m.

Visit the hotel website for more information https://www.peabodymemphis.com/ducks-en.html.

For more information regarding Best Historic Hotel from USA Today, see this link.


David Huffman - Local Arrangements Chair: dhuffman@southwest.tn.edu

Doug Branch – Program Chair: dbranch@southwest.tn.edu

2019 TYCA-SE Conference Schedule

Wednesday, February 13

10:00 – 4:00  Regional Executive Committee (REC) Meeting
REC only
Hernando Desoto 

12:-00 – 1:00 REC Lunch
REC only
Ben Hollander 

5:00-7:00 Registration
Venetian Ballroom Foyer 

6:15 Transportation to Café Society
REC only
Meet in Peabody Lobby, Near Piano, 6:30 Sharp

6:30 – 8:15 REC Dinner
REC only
Café Society

9:00–11:00 Chairs’ Reception
All conference attendees who are in Memphis on Wednesday are encouraged to kick off the conference seeing old friends, making new ones, and relaxing with a drink or two. 

Thursday, February 14

7:30 – 5:00 Registration
Venetian Ballroom Foyer

9:30 – 12:30 Pre-Conference Excursion:  Stax Museum of American Soul Music. 
Meet in Peabody Lobby, Near Piano, 9:30 Sharp

10:00 – 5:00 Publishers’ Exhibits 

12:00 Alan Huffman available to sign books

1:00 – 2:45 Opening Plenary Session, with Guest Author Alan Huffman 
Venetian Ballroom

3:00 – 5:00 Voting for REC Candidates

3:00 – 3:45 Concurrent Session I

4:00 – 6:00 Presentations by Cowan and Doster Award Winners
Venetian Ballroom 

6:30 – 8:30 “The Heart of Memphis” party, featuring Jamie & Elee Baker, including  Memphis Bar-B-Q
Hernando DeSoto

Friday, February 15

7:00 – 8:00 Morning Coffee and Pastries 

7:30 – Noon Registration
Venetian Ballroom Foyer  

8:00 – 5:00 Publishers’ Exhibits 

8:00 – 11:00 Voting for REC Candidates

8:00 – 8:45 Concurrent Session II

9:00 – 9:45 Concurrent Session III

10:00 – 10:45 Concurrent Session IV

11:00 – 11:45 State Meetings

11:00 Robert Gordon Available to Sign Books

12:00 – 2:00 Luncheon, with Guest Author Robert Gordon
Venetian Ballroom 

2:15 – 3:00 Concurrent Session V

3:15 – 4:00 Concurrent Session VI

4:15 – 5:00 Concurrent Session VII

5:15 – 6:00 REC Meeting

8:00 – 10:00 Poetry Slam

Saturday, February 16

7:00 – 8:00 Morning Coffee and Pastries 

8:00 – 10:30 Publishers’ Exhibits

8:00 – 8:45 Concurrent Session VIII

9:00 – 9:45 Concurrent Session IX

10:00 – 10:45 Concurrent Session X

11:00 – 12:15 Closing Plenary Session
Venetian Ballroom

12:30 – 3:00 Post-Conference Excursion:  Sun Studio
Meet in Peabody Lobby, Near Piano, 12:30 Sharp