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History Department

Humanities Symposium


Since 2004, the Center for Public Humanities at Messiah College has sponsored an annual School of Humanities Symposium devoted to the discussion of a common theme.  Past symposium themes have included community and belonging, the two Americas, the human imagination, globalization, technology and humanity, faith in the public square, and memory.  Keynote speakers have included Drs. Jean Kilbourne, David McCullough, Wendy Wright, Kent Hill, Edward Tenner, Anthony Grafton, James Leach, Alan Wolfe, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 


This year's symposium in February 2013 will focus on "Wealth: The Promises and Perils of Abundance."  


History faculty and students have regularly contributed to the annual School of Humanities Symposium.  Our department's involvement at previous Humanities Symposia have included:


2010 - Memory

  • "Memory, History, and Ancestry in the Formation of Family Identity."  Faculty Lectures by Professors Bernardo Michael and Joseph Huffman.
  • "Grantham's Prehistoric Landscapes":  Archaeological exhibit at the Oakes Museum of Natural History. History student Andrew Henry (Advisor: Dr. David Pettegrew).
  • “Remembering our Beginnings: The Brethren In Christ Church and Messiah College.”  Faculty Lecture by Professor Emeritus E. Morris Sider.
  • “Remembering Tragedy: A Comparison of Columbine and Nickel Mines.”  Student Colloquium by history student Benjamin Voran (Advisor: Dr. James LaGrand).
  • “The Forgotten Presidents.”  Student Colloquium by history students Melinda Maslin, Tommy DeShong, Rachel Skotnicki (Advisor Dr. James LaGrand).
  • “Remembering Messiah College, 1940–1990—An Oral History."  Student colloquium by history students Elizabeth Kay and Miriam Fiorentino (Advisor: Dr. James LaGrand).
  • “Memories Entrenched: Reflections on Archaeological Fieldwork in Cyprus, June 2009.”  Student colloquium by history students Caitlin Babcock, Rebecca Savaria, Rachel Skotnicki, Courtney Weller (Advisor: Dr. David Pettegrew)


2009 - Faith in the Public Square

  • "Seek the Welfare of the City: Historical Perspectives on Faith in the Public Square.”  Faculty Lectures by Professors Joseph Huffman, Jim LaGrand, and David Pettegrew.


2008 - Eyes Wide Open: Engaging Technology with our Humanity

  • “Mapping our Pasts. Archaeology, GIS Technology, and Public Knowledge.” Faculty-Student Colloquium with Professors David Pettegrew (History) & Jeff Erikson (Biological Sciences), and students Mary Lee Shade, Dillon Keeks, Jennifer Howell, and Daniel Richards.
  • "Writing Social Histories of Technology: Rethinking the History of Cartography."  Lecture by Professor Bernardo Michael.
  • "History & Technology:  How Historians Teach the Public through Electronic Tours."  Student lecture by history major Mary Shade (Advisor: Dr. James LaGrand).
  • "Afro@Digital."  Film, with discussion by Professors Anne Marie Stoner-Eby (History) and David Dzaka (English).


2007 - Globalization

  • "Global Leaf: A Short History of Tea as Commodity."  Lecture by History student Lauren Smith.  Response from Dr. John Fea. 


2006 - The Power of Human Imagination

  • "Imagining the Unimaginable: Genocide in Germany and Rwanda."  Faculty-Student Colloquium.
  • "Violent Imaginations: Strategic Peacemaking in El Salvador and Nepal." Studnet Colloquium with Hierald Osorto, History.
  • "Imagining Peace."  Faculty lectures by Professors Eric Seibert (Biblical Studies) & Anne Marie Stoner-Eby (History).


2005 - E Pluribus Unum or the Two Americas?

  • "Pluralism and Nationalism in the Civil Rights Movement."  Faculty Lecture by Dr. James LaGrand; respondent, Dr. John Fea.


2004 - Culture, Community and Belonging

  • "Border Crossings: Immigration, Globalization, and Belonging." History Club Colloquium.