Free lecture series set to begin Feb. 17

By Catherine E. Porter
communication major ’16

Area residents are invited to learn about a variety of topics during Trine University’s spring Humanities Symposia that begins this month and continues through March.

Listed are the planned lectures, each in Wells Theater in Taylor Hall at 3:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, Feb. 17 – “How Traveling Around the World Has Changed Mine,” Tony Kline, Ph.D., assistant professor.  As a sophomore in college, Kline took his first trip to a developing country with little idea of what to expect. During the next 10 years, he traveled to more than 20 countries, each trip challenging and shaping his worldview in an experience that changed the entire course of his life. He will discuss how his adventures influenced him and how he tries to live today in the United States.

Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. – “Poverty Law 101: Access to Justice,” Barbara Molargik-Fitch, J.D., and Desiree Koger-Gustafson. Molargik-Fitch, a Fort Wayne lawyer, and Koger-Gustafson, director of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, will present an overview of what poverty law is and how people without financial resources can access justice in their communities, with a focus on the services offered by the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic in Fort Wayne. Following the talk, both presenters will be available to provide free legal advice to interested audience members. This presentation is ideal for those interested in legal or criminal justice careers.

Tuesday, March 10 – “Restricted Section: Libraries and Librarians in the Harry Potter Series,” Sarah Wagner. Wagner, a librarian at Trine, will discuss the portrayal of the library and librarians in the popular Harry Potter series, in which several key plot points tie back to the Hogwarts library. Drawing on selections from all seven Potter books, Wagner will explore themes of librarian stereotypes, censorship and use of library materials for academic and extracurricular activities.

Tuesday, March 17 – “The Brise-Soleil: An Expanding Concept & A Too-Restrictive Term?” Tom Tierney, Ph.D., professor emeritus. The brise-soleil, an architectural feature that literally blocks the sun, has typically been more than that and done more than simply reduce heat gain. Tierney will explain how 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 aesthetic pleasure.

Tuesday, March 24 – “From Hieroglyphs to Hashtags: How Technologies of Literacy Change the Ways We Think,” Alison Witte, Ph.D., professor. There has been great recent debate about how digital technologies influence our lives. In reality though, familiar technologies such as pencils, the book, the printing press and the computer have shaped communication practices for thousands of years. Witte will discuss this history and how it applies to the digital technologies used today.

Humanities Symposia lectures are free and open to the public.