Humanities Symposia

Presented by the Department of Humanities and Communication
3:30 Taylor Hall 112 – Wells Theater
Apply to present at the next Humanities Symposia

Fall 2014 Speakers

Big Stuff with Big Data: Data Mining & Visualization in the Humanities

Dan Matthews // Tuesday, October 7
What kind of “mining” can a computer do? That may sound like the beginning of a joke, but in fact, data mining (analytics) is becoming a core skill for an unprecedented number of professions. Professor Matthews will discuss how this new tool can be applied to a number of fields, but most especially to the humanities. The talk will encourage the audience to think about the growing intersections of STEM-fields and the humanities.

Amaro Drom/Our Road: An Author's Encounter with Her Ancestors & Their History

Glenda Bailey-Mershon // Thursday, October 16
Glenda Bailey-Mershon, author of the novel, Eve’s Garden, will lead us on a visual journey through the Romani people’s ten centuries of diaspora from India and recount her experiences recovering her family’s history, which includes a passage to America through slavery and forced indenture. She will also discuss the influence of her heritage on her writing, and efforts by other Romani writer-activists to develop Romani literature, followed by a book signing.

Game Not Over: Preserving the History of Video Games

Justin Young // Tuesday, October 21
Video games have been around for over 40 years, and because they’re a digital medium, it’s easy to assume they’ll be preserved forever. But in fact we are seeing game history crumble before our very eyes. How have the industry, hackers, and others tried to give games an extra life, and what does the future hold? In this presentation, Professor Young will discuss the often strange world of video game preservation.

Evermore: Edgar Allan Poe, Carlos Fuentes, & Latin American Literature

Ana Boman // Tuesday, October 28
Every author has precursors or influences. Edgar Allan Poe has influenced many Latin American authors, particularly the contemporary Mexican writer, Carlos Fuentes. Professor Boman will offer a comparative analysis of representative texts from Poe and Fuentes. She reflects on Poe’s writing strategies and on the relationship between Poe’s use of the Gothic and the influence of Magical Realism in Fuentes’ works.

Resting Away Sanity: A Classic Short Story Meets Current Health Science

Allison Everetts, senior exercise science major // Tuesday, November 4
Neurasthenia was a commonly (mis)diagnosed, mental disorder of the nineteenth century. The accepted treatment was the “rest cure,” an exceptionally stifling and mentally taxing confinement. Despite being based on “the best science,” the rest cure resulted in women losing their sanity. In this presentation, Allison Everetts will discuss the history of the rest cure in the context of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” She will also explain what might happen if Gilman’s character were treated according to modern-day health science.

Past Speakers

History of Program

The Humanities Symposia is a series of presentations followed by discussions about a range of academic subjects related to the humanities. It was developed in response to many professors presenting at academic conferences but not having a university outlet for presenting this research. Since many professors’ research interests lie outside their normal course load, the Symposia allow them to share their research with both the university and local community.

Talks usually last about thirty minutes and are followed by a time for questions. The entire time is generally under one hour, and talks are open to the public If you are interested in presenting, please contact Professor Sarah Young.