Free lectures explore range of topics

ANGOLA, Ind. -- Trine University's annual Humanities Symposia will explore diverse topics with some talks focusing on pieces in The Remnant Trust collection on loan to Trine.

The Humanities Symposia features Trine faculty members presenting talks in their respective areas of expertise. Trine's 50-piece collection from The Remnant Trust highlights books and documents that trace our nation's path to democracy, including a 1776 copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Each symposium is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday from Feb. 11 to April 8 in room 112 of Taylor Hall. Visitors may see, hold and read from The Remnant Trust exhibit both before and after talks as the exhibit is open from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and reopens after the symposia ends. The exhibit is also in Taylor Hall in Wells Gallery.

Admission is free for the Humanities Symposia and The Remnant Trust exhibit.

The first talk in the series, Freedom's Just Another Word: Perspectives on "On Liberty," is scheduled for Feb. 11. Professor Mike Blaz, Ph.D., professor of psychology, will examine ideas about liberty in speech, art and politics through the lens of John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty," one of the books on loan to Trine. Audience members will have an opportunity to hold and read from a first edition of Mill's book.

Here are the other scheduled talks:

  • Feb.18, Living Forward: "Democracy in America" Today by the Rev. Thomas Smith. 
    In "Democracy in America," Alexis de Tocqueville saw democracy as the wave of the future and wanted to compare America's democratic experiment to the failed democracy in his native France. The Rev. Smith, adjunct faculty member, will reflect on the continuing relevance of the book, which is on exhibit at Trine.
  • Feb. 25, I Didn't Like History Until It Was My Own: The 3 T's of Genealogy by Delores Tichenor, Ph.D.
    Determining the veracity of lore passed down (or not mentioned) by previous generations can lead one to many unexpected people, places and sources. Tichenor, professor emeritus, will share how studying her family's genealogy has led to many such surprises and fueled her newfound love of history.
  • March 11, A Country Girl Revealed?: Edna O'Brien's Memoir by Sarah Nestor, Ph.D.
    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, Nestor, an assistant professor, will explore how O'Brien both conceals and reveals herself through the memoir genre.
  • March 18, Who Invented Calculus?: The Leibniz/Newton Debate by Steven Schonefeld, Ph.D.
    Schonefeld, an assistant professor, will discuss the lives of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the mathematician Germans credit with inventing calculus, and Sir Isaac Newton, credited by the British for developing calculus. He will also discuss their inventions and claims on calculus.
  • March 25, The Woman in Braintree: The Little-Known Life of Abigail Adams
    Abigail Adams is known 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 her husband's best friend. Professional storyteller Lou Ann Homan, an adjunct faculty member, will take a look at Abigail's life in Braintree, Mass., while our country was being formed. After the presentation, take a moment to examine 1787 and 1788 editions of John Adams' writings in The Remnant Trust collection at Trine.
  • April 1, On the Origin of Separation: A History of Evolution in the Public Schools by Amy Alexander
    From the Scopes trial in the 1920s 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. Alexander, an assistant professor, will explore whether generations of students will get left behind if educators avoid instruction in evolutionary science. After the presentation, tour The Remnant Trust exhibit and examine an early edition of Charles Darwin's "Origin of the Species."
  • April 8, The Play's the Thing: Another Look at Shakespeare's "Hamlet" by Julie Howenstine, Ph.D.
    How does a young prince defend his father's legacy while safeguarding his mother from his new stepfather/uncle? And what does a ghost have to do with it? Come find out how William Shakespeare made this saga unfold when Howenstine, an associate professor, reveals the intricacies of one of the Bard's most famous tragedies. After the talk, view and touch an 18th-century edition of the play on display in the Remnant Trust collection.