Humanities Symposia focuses on Remant Trust books

ANGOLA, Ind. – Trine University's Humanities Symposia, sponsored by the Department of Humanities & Communication, is underway with the next talk scheduled Tuesday as part of the series that continues through Nov. 19.

Each Tuesday session is from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Wells Theater in Taylor Hall, with each talk lasting 20 to 30 minutes and followed by a question-and-answer session. Many of the talks will relate to some of the early and first-edition books, documents and manuscripts on loan to Trine from The Remnant Trust. The collection, in Wells Gallery in Taylor Hall, focuses on human dignity and individual liberty, and is open after each symposia session.

On Tuesday, Tim Hopp, Ph.D., will present, "Isn't Wendy Wasserstein Romantic? An Actor's Story." Hopp, chair of the Department of Humanities & Communication, will discuss his leading role in Wasserstein's play "Isn't it Romantic" as a way to explore the value of literature.

On Oct. 8, Andrea Mitofsky, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Computer & Electrical Engineering, will present, "Mechanically Speaking: From Galileo to Your Lunch."  The talk will look at how the simple machines in Galileo's work "Mechanics" are still in use today.

On Oct. 22, the Rev. Tom Smith, an adjunct professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, Psychology & Social Sciences, will discuss a different side of Galileo with his talk, "When an Irresistible Force Collides with an Immovable Object: Galileo's Ego vs. the Church."  Though Galileo knew astronomy, Smith will argue that Galileo's temperament contributed to and worsened his conflict with church authorities.

On Oct. 29, Amy Nicholls, professor of English in the Department of Humanities & Communication, will present "In the Beginning of Was the Word: The Biblical Texts of the Remnant Trust."  Nicholls will discuss the significance of each of the biblical texts that are part of the Remnant Trust exhibit, including a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible.

On Nov. 5, Justin Young, an instructor in the Department of Humanities & Communication, will present "Fatalities, Nighties & Tom Hanks: Crossing the Uncanny Valley in Modern Media."  Young will discuss the concept known as the "Uncanny Valley," which causes computer-generated images of human faces to seem "off" or "uncanny." He will explore the history and theory of the concept, relating it to a Japanese scientist, Sigmund Freud and a turning point in the history of video games.

On Nov. 12, Mike Biegas, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, Psychology & Social Sciences, will present "Beyond 'The Origin': Darwin's 'Other' Science." Many consider "The Origin of Species" and "The Descent of Man" as two of Charles Darwin's most important works, but there is more to Darwin's legacy. Biegas will round out the popular view of Darwin with a discussion of his background and a broader look at the inner workings of science.

Finally, on Nov. 19, Mark Helmke, an instructor in the Department of Business & Finance, will present "The Speech that Redefined America: Remembering the Gettysburg Address."  The date of his talk marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and Helmke will explore the speech's lasting significance.

More than 60 community members, students and faculty attended the Sept. 24 presentation "Things Fall Apart: Sparta at the Close of the Peloponnesian War,"  presented by Michael Blaz, Ph.D., professor of psychology in the Department of Criminal Justice, Psychology & Social Sciences.

"I was pleased to see so many community members at the first event. I think series like these can do a lot to strengthen the relationship between the university and the Angola community," said Sarah Young, event organizer and instructor in the Department of Humanities & Communication.

For details on The Remnant Trust collection on loan to Trine, visit For more information about The Remnant Trust, with headquarters at Winona Lake, visit