Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer visits Messiah College
|Author and historian David McCullough graciously greets students and community members at a book-signing.
American life has often been characterized by a pronounced duality of opinion on many subjects— politics, ethics, daily life. This was the basis for the 2005 Spring Humanities Symposium
“E Pluribus Unum or the Two Americas?” Sponsored by the Center for Public Humanities
, the symposium featured a week-long series of events designed to help students, educators, and community members engage with cultural events and civic issues.
, who is a celebrated historian and author of such bestselling books as John Adams and Truman, gave the keynote address at the symposium. “McCullough has brought humanities-based scholarly learning to the wider public,” says Joseph Huffman, dean of the School of the Humanities
. McCullough encouraged the audience to view the present and future through the important lens of the past, keeping in mind that our identity is shaped by those who have come before us. He reminded his listeners that the divisions in America are nothing new, and that unity is attainable.
“There’s always been division. It was worse than it is now,” said McCullough. “But we are
problem-solving creatures. It’s in our nature. We come together in times when we need each other.”
In addition to McCullough’s address, other symposium events included round-table discussions to identify areas of unity and discord in America; a screening and discussion of My American Girls
, a film that illustrates the dual life of those who live in America but are surrounded by people from their native culture; and a student colloquium organized by the Messiah College Democrat and Republican clubs.