Humanities Symposia

Presented by the Department of Humanities and Communication
3:30 Taylor Hall 112 – Wells Theater
See our past speakers for the Humanities Symposia

Spring 2018 Speakers

Bloodfeud and Miracles: Creating and Killing a Saint
Dr. Melissa Mayus
Tuesday, February 13 // 3:30 PM

Hrafn Sveinbjarnarson was a physician and chieftain in Iceland who was drawn into a bloodfeud that ultimately resulted in his death. This late medieval saga gives us a fascinating look into the life of a medieval surgeon and shows how even an admirable person at the time could be unwillingly drawn into a feud in medieval Iceland.
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Fascism, Feminism, and Frames: The F Word in Video Game Narratives
Prof. Justin Young
Tuesday, February 20 // 3:30 PM

2017 was a watershed moment for video game narratives. From Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus to Night in the Woods to Doki Doki Literature Club to NeiR: Automata, game narratives tackled tough subjects like existentialism, complicity in fascism, and objectification of women. Professor Justin Young will use media theory to examine how developers frame these subjects. WARNING: major plot spoilers.
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The Science and the Fiction in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Dr. Monique R. Morgan (Indiana University – Bloomington)
Thursday, February 22 // 3:30 PM

This talk discusses two important influences on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: early-nineteenth-century science and previous works of literature. The novel was grounded in the biology, chemistry, and physics of its time, but it also incorporated and transformed philosophical questions and imagined scenarios from myths, novels, and poems. By thinking about these contexts, we’ll better understand why Frankenstein continues to raise important and complex questions about science and society.

Becoming Mary
Prof. Lou Ann Homan
Tuesday, February 27 // 3:30 PM

Storyteller Lou Ann Homan is known for her diverse one-woman shows. The curtain comes up and the audience begins the dance with her. From the concept of the show to the title to the final production on stage, what actually goes into a show? Join Lou Ann as she takes you behind the scenes as she prepares for her newest role as Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.
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Frankenstein vs Spiderman? Classic Horror’s Influence on Modern Comics
Patrick Ridout, MLIS
Tuesday, March 13 // 3:30 PM

Monsters have always been a staple of comics, but the way comics are shaped and written, the traditions of the original stories from the classical and Gothic eras have been changed. From Frankenstein the mercenary to Cthulu’s stories reborn internationally, how has the influence of classic horror added to the myths and stories of the medium of comics?
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Not-Just-for-Children Literature
Michelle Blank, M.A. & MLIS
Tuesday, April 3 // 3:30 PM

Think back to you favorite children’s book. Maybe it was about monsters or adventures or sharks (if you were a 2nd grade boy) or even pigeons. Professor Blank’s Children’s Literature class has been exploring ways students, teachers, and others can share great books. Come to hear (and maybe participate in) some of these wonderful book experiences. Remember, children’s literature isn’t just for children.


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.