Past Speakers

Fall 2016
The Ethics of Organ Donation
Dr. Mike Blaz
Tuesday, September 27 // 3:30 PM

Would you trade an organ for money? Should you? Is an act of kindness like a transplant diminished by a transfer of money? In this talk, Dr. Blaz will explore these and other philosophical questions raised by Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel (and this year’s freshman read pick) Never Let Me Go. The talk will be accessible to all — come if you’ve read the book, come if you haven’t!
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Superstition: Objects and Instances of Luck and Misfortune
Sarah Zimmer
Tuesday, October 4 // 3:30 PM

Dr. Seuss reminds us, “You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you’re lucky you’re not.” But long before Seuss, some of the earliest civilizations cherished objects they believed would bring them good luck, or, more often, stave off misfortune. From the goddess Fortune to the rabbit’s foot, Professor Zimmer will look at how luck has been portrayed in art and culture through the ages.
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Mad Scientists and Science Fiction
Dr. Cassandra Bausman
Tuesday, October 11 // 3:30 PM

In many science fiction texts, the scientist is the bad guy. In keeping with the sci-fi freshman read theme, Dr. Bausman will examine the ever-popular ‘mad scientist’ story. She will focus on the intriguing thematic resonances between the classic and contemporary favorites Frankenstein and Jurassic Park. She will discuss the generative and yet problematic relationship between scientific progress and imaginative vision that science fiction, as a critical and creative genre, persistently explores.
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Portraiture in the Age of “Selfies”
Roxanne Kaufman, Spring Arbor University
Tuesday, October 25 // 3:30 PM

In this presentation, Kaufman, a photographer and professor at Spring Arbor University, will explore our culture’s basic understanding of photographic portraiture through stories from her own experience. She’ll discuss ideas about beauty, ethics, spirituality, immediateness, and tangibility as she takes us on a journey through the good, the bad, and the ugly of photographic portraiture today.
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Slaves to the Bottle: Alcohol and Race in the 19th-century U.S.
Dr. Sarah Young
Tuesday, November 1 // 3:30 PM

Americans have always liked a beer. In the early 1800s they liked two or three…or eight, with some whiskey on the side. The result of this national binge was an equally extensive anti-alcohol crusade. In this talk, Dr. Young will explore how the temperance movement became entwined with U.S. popular culture and its ideas about race, slavery and Andrew Jackson’s policy of Indian Removal.
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Simulations and Social Inequality: Portrayals of Class in Video Game Narratives
Alexis DeLancey-Christiansen, English and communication major
Tuesday, November 8 // 3:30 PM

As video games become a subject of scholarship, the ways in which they affect our understanding of the world around us has become interesting to aficionados and academics alike. DeLancey-Christiansen, a Trine senior dual majoring in English and communication, will explore how video games are uniquely suited to tackle issues of social and economic class.
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Spring 2016
Touchdown Jesus: Do Sports and Religious Metaphors Really Mix?
Rev. Keith Witte
Tuesday, March 1 // 3:30 PM

Rev. Witte will look at the background and development of the football terms “Hail Mary” and the “Immaculate Reception.” Then, he will explore how these uses compare to the actual definition and use of the Hail Mary prayer and the doctrine of the “Immaculate Conception of Our Lord.” Do they fit well together? Or are they more like mixed metaphors?
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Hoosier Writers at the Bicentennial: Literary Tourism in Indiana
Heather Howard
Tuesday, March 15 // 3:30 PM

Trine’s information services librarian Heather Howard will explain how to explore the rich history of Indiana authorship by visiting author homes and book sites in your own backyard. She will focus on such Hoosier authors as Gene Stratton Porter, John Green, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Howard’s talk is a small part of a statewide celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial.
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We’ve Come A Long Way, “Baby”: Women’s Rights Organizing Past, Present & Future
Lillian Stoner
Tuesday, March 22 // 3:30 PM

In honor of Women’s History month, Lillian Stoner, a former union organizer and current National Organization for Women (NOW) and peace activist, will discuss some of her experiences in the women’s movement in the 1960s and 70s.
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What Do Dragons, Witches and Church Members Have in Common?
Lou Ann Homan & Trine Creative Writing Class
Tuesday, March 29 // 3:30 PM

Join HAC professor Lou Ann Homan’s creative writing class as they share some of their original writings to find out for yourself what connects dragons, witches, and church members. Students will present various genres and styles of writing. Come hear their work flow from their fountain pens into your imagination!
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The Sense of Stories or Why Should I Care about Genre?
Jeanette Goddard, Ph.D.
Tuesday, April 5 // 3:30 PM

For most of us, the best part of a book or film is what happens. It is usually only those who study the medium – literature teachers and film critics – that care passionately about how the story is told. In this talk, Dr. Goddard will argue that because the stories we hear give us a framework through which we understand our own lives, we should all pay attention to the structures of stories.
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Shakespeare and PR: Presenting the Self
Thomas Tierney, Ph.D
Tuesday, April 26 // 3:30 PM

As principal playwright and part owner of a theatrical group in a sharply competitive market, Shakespeare understood PR. Dr. Tierney will discuss how the Bard’s kingly characters Prince Hal, Henry IV, King Claudius & Richard III are endowed by their creator with similar powers in managing their images.
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Fall 2015
Being Stephen King/Becoming Richard Bachman
Alison Witte, Ph.D.
Tuesday, September 29 // 3:30 PM

Dr. Witte will explore the life and works of Stephen King, one of the most prolific and celebrated writers of our time. She will focus on the ways he incorporates his experiences and interests into his writing. She will also examine King’s reasons for inventing his alter-ego, Richard Bachman, and writing books, including this year’s Freshman reading pick, The Running Man, under that name.
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Wrestling with Reality: The Genesis and Lasting Appeal of The Running Man
Justin Young
Tuesday, October 13 // 3:30 PM

When Stephen King’s The Running Man was adapted into a film in 1987, it was not done so in a bubble. A swirl of reality television, movies, pro wrestling, and more would affect the final product and its legacy in the years to come. In this talk, Professor Young examines how those influences converged to create a film quite distinct from the novel it’s based upon.
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The Olympics in the Ancient World
Mike Blaz, Ph.D.
Tuesday, October 20 // 3:30 PM

To prepare for the Rio 2016 Olympic games next year, Dr. Blaz looks back at the origins of the Olympics in Ancient Greece. He will discuss what brought them about, how long they lasted, and what events were included in the competition. He will also review the Babe Ruths and Muhammed Alis of the ancient world, and discuss what made a great (ancient) Olympian.
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Poe: The Man Behind the Mustache
Lou Ann Homan
Tuesday, October 27 // 3:30 PM

Just in saying the name Edgar Allan Poe we conjure up shadows in moonlit cemeteries, beating hearts, and morbid lurking figures. But who was the man behind the mustache? From her firsthand experiences celebrating Poe’s birth in Baltimore and visiting his childhood home in Richmond, storyteller Lou Ann Homan will show you Poe as you have never seen him before. But don’t worry, you will still be looking over your shoulder as you leave.
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Liberal/Conservative Polarization: The Moral Dysfunction in America Today
William Argus, M.D.
Tuesday, November 3 // 3:30 PM

Economic ideas evolve over time. The economy is constantly changing and so are our notions about what constitutes a healthy economy. In this talk, Dr. Argus will argue that economic regulations are expressions of our deepest moral beliefs, including our attitudes about how societies should be organized. He will discuss how extreme polarization represents a failure of morality and of the human imagination.
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Queen Bess and the Bard: The Curious Relationship of Shakespeare and Elizabeth I
Amy Nicholls
Tuesday, November 10 // 3:30 PM

We know that Queen Elizabeth I was a patron of William Shakespeare and The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, but is there more to the story than that? For years, scholars have speculated about the pair’s relationship. Were they friends? Secret lovers? Was Shakespeare her illegitimate son? Did she write some of his plays? Drawing from the book, Shakespeare and Elizabeth by Helen Hackett, Professor Nicholls will discuss both the history and the myths of this powerful British duo.
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Spring 2015
How Traveling Around the World has Changed Mine
Dr. Tony Kline
Tuesday, February 17 // 3:30 PM

As a sophomore in college, Tony Kline took his first trip to a developing country, not quite knowing what to expect. That experience changed the course of his life. Over the next ten years he traveled to more than 20 countries, each trip challenging and shaping his worldview. In this presentation, he will discuss how these adventures influenced who he is and how he tries to live in the US today.
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Poverty Law 101: Access to Justice
Barbara Molargik-Fitch & Desiree Koger-Gustafson
Tuesday, February 24 // 7:00 PM

Barbara Molargik-Fitch and her colleague, Desiree Koger-Gustafson, will present an overview of what poverty law is and how people without financial resources can access justice in their communities. Specifically, they will discuss the services offered by the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic in Fort Wayne. After the talk, both presenters will be available to provide free legal advice to interested audience members. This is an excellent presentation for students considering law school or careers in criminal justice.
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Restricted Section: Libraries and Librarians in the Harry Potter series
Sarah Wagner
Tuesday, March 10 // 3:30 PM

Librarian Sarah Wagner will discuss the portrayal of the library and librarians in the popular Harry Potter series. Throughout the series, several key plot points begin or tie back to the Hogwarts library. Drawing on selections from all seven books, Wagner will explore themes of librarian stereotypes, censorship, and use of library materials for academic and extracurricular activities.
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The Brise-Soleil: An Expanding Concept & A Too-Restrictive Term?
Dr. Tom Tierney
Tuesday, March 17 // 3:30 PM

The brise-soleil, an architectural feature that literally blocks the sun, has always been more than that, and done more than simply reduce heat gain. Architectural ingenuity, aided and abetted by technologies in electrical and chemical engineering, seems to have enhanced the concept beyond its original utilitarian significance, while adding some aesthetic pleasures you may not have yet experienced, or even known you should.
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From Hieroglyphs to Hashtags: How Technologies of Literacy Change the Ways We Think
Dr. Alison Witte
Tuesday, March 24 // 3:30 PM

There has been great recent debate about how digital technologies influence our lives. But in reality, familiar technologies such as pencils, the book, the printing press, and the computer have shaped our communication practices for thousands of years. Dr. Witte will discuss this history and how we can apply it to the digital technologies that affect us today.
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Challenge Your Perspective
Dr. Tony Kline, facilitator
Tuesday, April 14 // 3:30 PM

Trine students will discuss challenges they faced prior to and during their college career that have given them a different perspective in life. Come and be encouraged by your peers who can relate to struggles you may have gone through or may be going through and see what actions they have taken!
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Fall 2014
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Spring 2014
Freedom’s Just Another Word: Perspectives on On Liberty
Dr. Mike Blaz
Tuesday, February 11

Ideas about “liberty” in speech, art, and politics differ greatly from country to country. In France, for example, it is illegal to deny the existence of the Holocaust. In the U.S. the ACLU vigorously defends Holocaust deniers’ constitutional right to free speech. In this presentation, Dr. Blaz will examine these different perspectives through the lens of John Stuart Mill’s seminal text, On Liberty. Audience members will have the opportunity to view and touch a first edition of Mill’s text both before and after the presentation.
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Living Forward: Democracy in America Today
Rev. Thomas Smith
Tuesday, February 18

The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once observed, “We must live life forward, but we only understand life backwards.” To live life forward well, we must pay attention to the past, which explains Alexis de Tocqueville’s tour of America in the early 1830’s. He saw democracy as the wave of the future and wanted to compare America’s democratic experiment to the republican democracy that had failed in his native France. His Democracy in America (on display in the Remnant Trust collection) has served as a prophetic guide ever since. In this lecture, Rev. Smith will reflect upon the book’s continuing relevance in our day.

A Country Girl Revealed?: Edna O’Brien’s Memoir
Dr. Sarah Nestor
Tuesday, March 11

At 82, Edna O’Brien published her long-awaited memoir, Country Girl, about her development from a young girl to a successful writer. As one of Ireland’s greatest 20th century authors and leading female writers, O’Brien has led a life of intrigue with a cadre of celebrity London friends and a carefully cultivated “diva” persona. In this talk, Dr. Nestor will explore how O’Brien both conceals and reveals herself through the memoir genre.
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Who Invented Calculus?: The Leibniz/Newton Debate
Dr. Steven Schonefeld
Tuesday, March 18

If you ask a German mathematician who invented calculus, the answer will certainly be Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. A British mathematician will puff up with pride and answer, “Definitely Sir Isaac Newton.” Mathematicians of other nationalities may simply shrug. In this talk, Dr. Schonefeld will discuss these two men’s lives, inventions, and claims on calculus. There will be no equations, no theorems, really no mathematics at all, in this lecture. It should add up to an understandable experience for all.

The Woman in Braintree: The Little-Known Life of Abigail Adams
Lou Ann Homan
Tuesday, March 25

Abigail Adams is known politically as the wife of second President, John Adams, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President. She was also a writer, a quilter, a tender of sheep, the writer of letters for women’s rights, and John’s best friend. Professional storyteller Lou Ann Homan will take a look at Abigail’s life in Braintree, Massachusetts while our country was being formed. After the presentation, take a moment to examine 1787 and 1788 editions of John Adams’ writings.
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On the Origin of Separation: A History of Evolution in the Public Schools
Dr. Amy Alexander
Tuesday, April 1

From the Scopes trial in the 1920’s to textbook selection nearly 100 years later, the debate over the teaching of evolution in the public schools continues to present political, religious, and personal conflict. If educators avoid instruction in evolutionary science, will generations of students get left behind? After the presentation, tour the Remnant Trust and examine an early edition of Darwin’s Origin of the Species.
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The Play’s the Thing: Another Look at Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Dr. Julie Howenstine
Tuesday, April 8

How does a young Prince defend his father’s legacy while safeguarding his mother from his new step-father/uncle? And what does a ghost have to do with it? Come find out how William Shakespeare made this saga unfold when Dr. Julie Howenstine reveals the intricacies of one of the Bard’s most famous tragedies. If you’ve never read Hamlet, or if it’s just been a while, this is the presentation for you. After the talk, view and touch an eighteenth-century edition of the play on display in the Remnant Trust collection.

I Didn’t Like History Until It Was My Own: The 3 T’s Of Genealogy
Dr. Dolores Tichenor
Tuesday, April 15

History becomes real because our ancestors lived in “interesting times.” Determining the veracity of lore passed down (or not mentioned) by previous generations can lead one to many unexpected people, places, and sources. Dr. Tichenor will share how studying her family’s genealogy has led to many such surprises and fueled her newfound love of history.
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Fall 2013
Things Fall Apart: Sparta at the Close of the Peloponnesian War
Dr. Mike Blaz
Tuesday, September 24

Eventually, even the strongest warriors fall. That was certainly the case with ancient Sparta, whose power over Greece gradually (but very definitely) diminished over time. In this talk, Dr. Blaz will discuss how flaws inherent in Spartan society caused this decline and examine what lessons the ancient Spartans might have for modern society.
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Isn’t Wendy Wasserstein Romantic? An Actor’s Story
Dr. Tim Hopp
Tuesday, October 1

Why would someone read literature, let alone Wendy Wasserstein’s little-known play Isn’t it Romantic? In this presentation, Dr. Tim Hopp answers those questions and more by looking to the play itself and his own experience as an actor in his first leading role.
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Mechanically Speaking: From Galileo to Your Lunch
Dr. Andrea Mitofsky
Tuesday, October 1

In his work Mechanics, Galileo discusses the physics behind six simple machines that can help move heavy weights: the lever, wheel, pulley, inclined plane, wedge, and screw. Four hundred years later and thousands of miles from Italy, the techniques Galileo described are in widespread use today, right here on Trine’s campus. In this talk, Dr. Mitofsky will explain how we got from Galileo to, well, lunch.
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When an Irresistible Force Collides with an Immovable Object: Galileo’s Ego vs. the Church
Rev. Tom Smith
Tuesday, October 22

Everyone knows that the Galileo was right and the church was wrong — right? If you’re talking about astronomy, the answer is definitely, “Yes.” But when it comes to diplomacy, it’s a bit more complicated. In this second talk on Galileo, the Reverend Tom Smith will examine how Galileo’s own stubborn temperament contributed to (and worsened) his conflict with church authorities.
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In the Beginning Was the Word: The Biblical Texts of the Remnant Trust
Amy Nicholls
Tuesday, October 29

Only forty-eight copies of the Gutenberg bible, printed in the 1450s, exist today. This year, a leaf from one of them is right here at Trine University as part of the Remnant Trust exhibit. In this presentation, professor Amy Nicholls will discuss the significance of each of the biblical texts that are part of the exhibit. Afterwards, the audience will be invited to tour the exhibit, and perhaps even hold a piece of history in their hands.
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Fatalities, Nighties, & Tom Hanks: Crossing the Uncanny Valley in Modern Media
Justin Young
Tuesday, November 5

We’ve all seen visual effects in movies that felt “off” somehow, even when we couldn’t quite put our finger on why. This phenomenon can be broadly tied to a concept known as the “Uncanny Valley.” But what does any of this have to do with a Japanese scientist, Sigmund Freud, and a turning point in the history of video games? Quite a lot, actually. In this presentation, professor Justin Young will explain.
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Beyond The Origin: Charles Darwin’s “Other” Science
Mike Biegas
Tuesday, November 12

The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man are two of Charles Darwin’s (and science’s) most important works. But there is much more to Darwin’s legacy. In this presentation, professor Mike Biegas will round out our view of Darwin with a discussion of his background and a broader look at the inner workings of science.
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The Speech that Redefined America: Remembering the Gettysburg Address
Mark Helmke
Tuesday, November 19

Seven score and ten years ago, on this very day – November 19 – Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history. In this 150th- anniversary presentation, professor Mark Helmke will explore the lasting significance of the Gettysburg Address.
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Spring 2013
Viewing and Discussion of “Seeds of Freedom”
Tammy Alvord, Holistic Nutritionist

This short film challenges the mantra—promoted by the pro-GMO lobby— that large-scale industrial agriculture is the only means by which we can feed the world. As this movie tracks the story of seed, it becomes clear how corporate agenda has driven the takeover of seed in order to make vast profit and control of the global food system.

A Chalk Talk: Stories of Abraham Lincoln
Lee Sauer

Angola cartoonist and caricature artist Lee P. Sauer presents a chalk-talk on Abraham Lincoln. While illustrating on a dry-erase board, Sauer talks about Lincoln’s Indiana boyhood, his struggles as a young man afraid of women, and his ultimate accomplishments: keeping the union together through Civil War and freeing the slaves.

Scientists Use Rhetoric and Metaphors Too: The Metaphoric Roots of Molecular Biology
Dr. Don Jones

For centuries two metaphors competed in Western thought about the nature of “life.” In three 1943 lectures, Erwin Schrodinger rhetorically transformed these competing metaphors into one coherent metaphor system. This system generated the conceptual and rhetorical basis for molecular biology’s rapid development through the 1970s, including Watson & Crick’s work and recombinant DNA. In this way, Schrodinger illustrated the importance of rhetoric and metaphor in science.

The Woman in the White Dress
Lou Ann Homan

Emily Dickinson was once described as being “odd…too delicate—not strong enough to publish” by Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Following her death she became, and remains to this day, one of America’s most beloved poets. From her childhood in Amherst to her life hidden away, let’s take a look at the woman, the poet…Emily Dickinson.

Humanities Snapshot
Brandy DePriest

This presentation will offer a glimpse of the humanities of the American Modern world. The presentation will provide an overview of the era’s history, focusing on artistic and philosophical developments. It will discuss how a careful examination of music, literature, and film produced during the period can provide valuable insights into people and society. Enjoy a brief look into the human experience.

Cuervo Canyon Petroglyphs: A “Book of Stone”
Tammeron Jonesfrancis

Within northwest New Mexico’s “Crow Canyon” are a series images incised into stone. Extending about a quarter mile along the northern face of the canyon, the images participate within the sculpture of the canyon’s face and its adjacent topography to, like a medieval cathedral’s “book of stone,” tell an important Navajo origin story.

Fall 2012
Culture, Food and Health: Where Do We Go From Here?
Tammy Alvord, Holistic Nutritionist

About 150 years ago we began canning food to extend shelf life, end hunger across the globe, and make life more convenient. Many families learned how to preserve their precious harvests. Today, giant factory farms use thousands of chemicals to grow and process our food supply. Shelf life is longer, but there is still global hunger, and health – of our soil and ourselves — has been severely damaged. Why are we still doing the same things expecting a different outcome?

Physician Murders
Ruth Kohlmeier, M.D.

Dr. Kohlmeier will discuss a brief sample of investigations in historical and modern cases that involve homicidal physicians. The presentation will include a discussion of killer physicians who were involved in the deaths of the famous, such as the physicians of Elvis and Michael Jackson, and the doctors made famous for the murders they committed, such as “Dr. Poison.” Rating: 5 (out of 5) Postmortems

The Ancient Olympic Games
Dr. Mike Blaz

This presentation addresses the origins of the ancient Olympic Games, paying particular attention to the role of sport in Greek society, as well as the political and religious aspects of the ancient games. We will examine athletic events at Olympia, including how the ancient games and the modern games contrast.

Introduction to Learning Styles
Dr. Will Lindquist

Do you learn best by doing something with new information or do you prefer to reflect on it first? Your preference is one learning style dimension that defines the way you process information. There are many learning styles, and it is important to understand them so we can be better students and educators. We will discuss one prominent model (Felder-Silverman) of learning styles, and attendees will identify their own preferences for processing information.

Why Bad Things Happen To Good Media: Or Why We Get the Media We (May) Deserve
Justin Young

Movies, television, and video games are an integral part of shared cultural identity in an increasingly detached, impersonal digital age. So why does it seem like everything creative and fun ends up cancelled or shelved? Why do shows like Firefly, games like Beyond Good and Evil, and films like The Fifth Element get lost and forgotten? Take a look at the method behind the madness of what stays on the air, hits the cinema, and spins in your home console.

Why You Should Read A Christmas Carol
Dr. Tim Tyler

This presentation is part of the Humanities Institute’s Steuben READ express events. As the campus and community wrap up a reading of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times, Dr. Tyler discusses Dickens’ holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, and how it has helped create the Christmas traditions many still practice today.

Spring 2012
Data Visualization: The New Tech Art Form
Dan Matthews

Data has been often referred to as the “new oil” because of its value and importance in the 21st century. It has also been referred to as the “new soil” as so many new ways exist to visually present information grown from this “new soil.” This session will demonstrate visualizations that are pleasant to the eye and yet convey interesting information that can be interpreted from the visualizations.

The Investigation of Object TH 1988.18: Rembrandt’s 100 Guilder Print
Sarah Zimmer

The 2008 discovery of a missing etching of Rembrandt Van Rijn is the focus of this session. What began as a task to locate several missing art works within an institution’s collection, ultimately generated controversy, secrecy, and threats. This investigation uses Rembrandt as a model to explore different systems of value.

The Rhetoric of Food: How Rhetoric Constitutes “Food” in America
Dr. Don Jones

Rhetoric (the persuasive use of symbols) constitutes or creates our understandings of reality, including what is “food.” How have rhetoric and public relations changed the way Americans perceive “food” and the way Americans eat?

The Holocaust: Before They Killed the Jews
Neil Shamberg

This session will describe some early antecedents of the mass murder of the Jews, before the war began in Germany. It will focus on the most defenseless segment of an already vulnerable group: the children. These early programs will be outlined in some detail.

Japanese Culture: How I Won the War
Sean Wagner

Navigating everyday life in Japan is the focus of this session: At home, work, school, in the community, getting around, and being a gaikokujin, etc. This session will offer a glimpse of some of the Japanese cultural norms that guide interaction.

Frida Kahlo: Painting her Reality
Ana Boman

Frida Kahlo is one of the most important twentieth-century women artists in the world. Although she had a controversial existence filled with passion and physical suffering, her legacy will live on forever. In this session, we will take a journey into the artwork and life of this famous Mexican artist and painter.

Fall 2011
Ancient Greece: A brief look at Sparta in the classical era
Dr. Mike Blaz

We’ll look at what factors made Spartan society, from the Persian Wars to the rise of Spartan hegemony in Greece, so admired by many in the ancient world. What made Spartan society so unique? And what lessons can modern society extract from the Spartan experience?

People to People: Meeting tribal peoples in S.E. Asia
Cheryl Skiba-Jones

A discussion of the presenter’s journey through South East Asia, including the tribes’ histories as well as their current living conditions and social and political positions. The presentation will also discuss eco-tourism as a positive response to natural disasters and other problems.

The Art of Spain: El Greco
Maryellen Wright

Though not a Spaniard by birth, El Greco (1541-1614) is one of Spain’s most famous and beloved artists. We’ll take a look at his unique style and discuss the religious mysticism in his work that so passionately reflects the spirituality of Renaissance art.

Super Mario da Vinci: The Art of Video Games
Justin Young

Video games have been a prominent medium for nearly forty years, and yet they’re just now being taken seriously as an art form. What games rise above their contemporaries as art, and what qualities should we use to evaluate them?

William, Conqueror of the English Language?
Dr. John Shannon

In 1066 AD the Duke of Normandy, William, conquered England and became its king, even though he could not speak English. As a result, England was governed in William’s dialect of French, which became the language of power in England for the next two hundred years. This presentation provides an overview of the long-term effects on the English language of the Anglo-Norman domination of England.

Spring 2011
Getting Grammar Wrong: Split infinitives
Dr. Tim Hopp

For decades, grammarians of all stripes have held this secret handshake to separate the smart and the dumb. “If you don’t know not to split an infinitive, you must be a special kind of idiot.” However, the rule is false. Where does this rule come from and why does it continue?

Power to the People: Origins of democracy in Ancient Greece
Dr. Mike Blaz

An examination of the origins of democracy in Classical Greece, as well as major influences of 5th century B.C. Greece on Western Civilization. Also, a very brief look at the highlights of the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars and a comparison of Athenian and Spartan cultures.

Multiple Identities: The lenses through which we view the world
Kelly Stout

Within our one sense of self are multiple identities: race, gender, religion, etc. These identities intersect with one another to form lenses through which we critique and judge the world around us. This session will briefly introduce identity formation and discuss how our lenses influence the way we see our world.

BE: Black English or bad English?
Dr. John Shannon

Is Black English, or more specifically is African American Vernacular English (AAVE), a substandard form of English? This session will provide an overview of AAVE, suggest possible origins, explain certain features, and demonstrate that it is, in fact, a rule-governed dialect.

Ten Channels of Non-verbal Communication
Gail Lugo

“Actions speak louder than words.” We all know this saying, but most of us don’t realize we’re conveying thousands of messages every second, just through our “body language.” Come and explore ten channels of non-verbal communication that all humans–and most animals– utilize on a daily basis.

What’s with the Girls Telling Jokes? : A totally non-expert look at gender in TV comedies
Sarah Young

An exploration of how women and men have traditionally been represented in television comedy and the extent to which modern comedies like Family Guy and 30 Rock have diverged from tradition–or not. I’ll also make a case for asking questions and finding answers, even if you’re never, ever going to get a Ph.D.

The Battle of the Nations: Napoleon vs. Wellington and Castlereagh
Dr. Susan Lantz

From February 1793 until June 1815, France and England were at war except for a brief lull in 1802-03. Great Britain’s ability to defeat the mighty French Empire was largely due to the resolve of three men: William Pitt, Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, and Sir Arthur Wellesley. How did these three men vanquish the supposedly invincible Napoleon Bonaparte?

Fall 2010
God save Harry Potter: How the secular media never lost religion, but speaks in tongues
Justin Young

Common complaints about a vulgar popular media often ignore the still very real Christian messages in the media. While there was a time much of popular art was overtly Christian, today much of it remains covertly so. From The Twilight Zone to The X-Files to Harry Potter, God is alive and well in popular media—but probably wears a trench coat and hat.

Trust Nothing: How “fake news” is taking over, and what you can do about it
Lauren Magnuson

Using examples from traditional news media, the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and Internet news, this discussion will focus on how philosophy relates to media consumption and interpretation. I will cover strategies for how to decide which media sources are trustworthy, and how the ironic news of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert might be the answer.

English and German: First cousins at a language family reunion
Dr. Jeanine Samuelson

What it means for English to be a Germanic language, and a discussion of the etymology of many English words.

Lost in Translation: Expectations and pitfalls of adapting to another culture
Dr. John Shannon

A look at the issues of adapting to life in another country. In particular, some of the typical expectations people have prior to leaving for another country, how certain expectations are unrealistic (and why), and lastly the importance of understanding the new culture before judging it.

Movies and Military Heroes: What are we without John Wayne?
Brandy DePriest

As American experience and memory shift, so does her perception of the military hero. This is particularly true in relation to whom the general public considers to be a hero of the war in Iraq. Because of this, the film industry uniquely redefines the military hero we had known in the last half of the twentieth century.

How Bored Were You: I was so bored I uncovered fascination in the uninteresting
panel discussion featuring Dr. Tim Hopp, Dr. Susan Lantz, and Sarah Young

A panel discusses times in their life they were particularly overwhelmed by a lack of interest in a topic. Panel members will discuss how they overcame their lack of interest and eventually found deep, varied interests beyond their normal scope. In essence, how a fight against boredom made them Renaissance scholars.

Spring 2010
Cats Can’t Talk: A Personal Journey through Humor in Comics
Justin Young

An examination of the influences and creative decisions taken towards humor in a modern comic strip by the creator of Professor Hobo.

Media Wars and Military Heroes
Brandy DePriest

Focusing on World War II and the Vietnam War, this presentation examines the evolution of the military hero in combat movies.

Walking Away a Winner: Rejection of Traditional Constructions of Femininity in Country Music
Sarah Young

A look at how and why the women’s movement in country music ended after 9/11 and how artists like Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert continue to challenge traditional gender roles in some unconventional ways.