Click here to return to Messiah College's homepage
Click here to return to the Center for Public Humanities homepage
2013 Humanities Symposium
bullet Past Humanities Symposia
Opportunities to support Humanities
Executive Committee
Contact Us

Related Links:

Spring 2007 Humanities Symposium
Sponsored by the Center for Public Humanities
February 19-23, 2007


Globalization is perhaps the most pervasive and epoch-shaping force in our world today, and so it merits careful consideration on our campus. Simply put, globalization is the movement toward "deterritorializing" all aspects of human existence: social, economic, political, cultural, religious, technological, and national boundaries become increasingly permeable and thus open to new combinations unimaginable in previous generations. Therefore Globalization, as its proponents and discontents have begun to articulate, confronts us with both profound opportunities and challenges. Will the end result be global integration or further disintegration? More uniformity or diversity? More equality or inequality, more freedom or oppression? And are any of these outcomes inevitable? How we respond to these trends and questions will no doubt shape the world of our students and their children for many years to come.

The 2007 Spring Humanities Symposium provides an opportunity for the Messiah College community to explore the many aspects of globalization as a driving force in human life. The Center for Public Humanities' Executive Committee has planned this Symposium with hopes that it will provide the campus with a public intellectual conversation that contributes to our common life together and to our understanding of the wider world.


Monday, February 19
3:45-4:30 p.m.

OPENING RECEPTION, Howe Atrium, Boyer Hall
Welcome and Opening Remarks, Dr. Bernardo A. Michael, Director, Center for Public Humanities (4:20)


4:30-6:00 p.m.

1. Adventures in Cultural Crossing, faculty/student panel led by Dr. David Dzaka, English,
Boyer Hall 131
Cross-cultural exchanges constitute an important marker that defines processes of globalization today. Keeping this theme in focus, students will share their experiences of travel to other parts of the world followed by a discussion of the benefits and risks of cross-cultural movements.

2. Economic Globalization of Free Trade: the Zapatista Response from Chiapas, Dr. Robin Lauermann, Politics, Boyer Hall 130
It has been argued that the rise of the Zapatista movement in the Mexican state of Chiapas has been intimately connected with the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, between the United States and Mexico’s ruling elite. A documentary titled A Place Called Chiapas will be screened and followed by discussion to provide another perspective on this movement and its place in an international context.


7:00-8:30 p.m.

Global Modernity and Its Discontents, Dr. Genzo Yamamoto, History, Wheaton College (IL)
The rise of European power from the 17th century onward led to the widespread diffusion of its ideas and institutions, transforming societies across the globe and contributing to the constitution of modernity. This has evoked complex responses to Western expansion and culture by societies in the Arab world, Japan, China, India, and Russia (as well as Europe itself). An examination of such thoughtfully articulated and influential critiques of Enlightenment modernity is instructive. It reveals that Western scholarship critical of the Enlightenment in the late 20th century and current debates over globalization is a mere addition to a long line of criticisms already made in various parts of the world. Considering such historic worldwide (and particularly non-Western) reactions to Enlightenment ideals and social transformations associated with them therefore casts new light on the complex tensions and prospects of current globalizations.


9:00 p.m.

FILM, Parmer Cinema
Nalini By Day, Nancy by Night
A film by Sonali Gulati (Hierald Osorto)

In this insightful documentary, filmmaker Sonali Gulati explores complex issues of globalization, capitalism and identity through a witty and personal account of her journey into India’s call centers. Gulati, herself an Indian immigrant living in the US, explores the fascinating ramifications of outsourcing telephone service jobs to India-including how native telemarketers take on Western names and accents to take calls from the US, UK and Australia.
A fresh juxtaposition of animation, archival footage, live action shots and narrative work highlight the filmmakers presence and reveal the performative aspects of her subjects. With fascinating observations on how call centers affect the Indian culture and economy, NALINI BY DAY, NANCY BY NIGHT raises important questions about the complicated consequences of globalization.

Tuesday, February 20
4:00-5:30 p.m.

1. Global languages: Chinese and Arabic as languages of the 21st century, Boyer 131
Panel discussion: Dr. Kim Yunez, Dr. Gordon Brubacher, Dr. Larry Lake, Dr. Bernardo Michael, Dr. Ron Webb, Dr. Iman Roushdy Hammady.

Globalization provides new ways of thinking about language instruction in the United States. New technologies provide electronic resources that facilitate the teaching and learning of languages that used to seem distant and inconsequent to life in the Americas. The demographic changes of the past 50 years, and the shift to a knowledge and services economy have resulted in the growing importance of non-Western languages. This panel hopes to assess the implications of these developments in terms of the possibility of expanding the course offerings of the Department of Modern Languages at Messiah College to include languages such as Arabic and Chinese.

2. Writing Across Cultures in an Age of Globalization. Boyer 130, Dr. David Dzaka and Dr. Jean Corey, English.
As Globalization continues to blur national, political economic, cultural boundaries, boundaries between disciplines, genres, oral and print texts are also in flux. What does this mean for the future of “academic writing” and writing instruction in the university? As we make room for different Englishes in our classrooms, or as we move learning out of the traditional classroom, we will need to rethink our pedagogy, particularly in regard to writing and writing instruction. Drawing on the experiences and research of students and teachers, this panel will explore the challenges and possibilities Globalization brings for revising our understanding of writing and writing instruction in the academy.


7:00-8:30 p.m.

Sheer and Opaque Screens: Arabic Television and the War Against Iraq, a phenomenological quandary of communal memory, suffering and resistance,

Dr. Iman Roushdy Hammady, independent scholar

U.S. reactions to the events since September 2001 were interpreted as threats in the Arab media which also echoed protests against the Iraq war spreading through the Arab world. To fully understand these reactions they must be situated within the complex political web of Arab/Israeli relations, local democracy issues, oil, economic dependency, and US politico-economic hegemony.

9:00 p.m.

LECTURE- FILM, Parmer Cinema
Imaginary Other: Muslims and Christians in the Global Film World,

Dr. Reid Perkins-Buzo, Communication

Respondent:  Dr. Joseph P. Huffman

Film as narrative continually represents the Other in many of the familiar schemas as retailed through literature and photography. However, there are significant differences, due to the nature of both technological necessity and human desire. The cinematic construct, «moving image plus sound», allows for the development of an imaginary that constructs sturdy representations of our world -- past, present and future -- yielding a globalization of the imaginary or an “imaginary globalization.” As an examination of the practice of “imaginary globalization,” this presentation will look at how the Other has been constructed in acclaimed Christian and Muslim films: The Crusades (De Mille, 1935), El Naser Salah el Dine (a.k.a. Saladin, Youseff Chahine, 1963), Hamoun (a.k.a. The Desert, Dariush Mehrjui, 1990) and Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (Albert Brooks, 2005). The gestures of pastiche, spectacle, and projection found in these films provide some insight into how film represents the Other and what it means for building relationships of peace.

Wednesday, February 21
4:00-5:30 p.m.


1. Bowling Together: the Effects of Globalization on Immigrant Social Capital, Boyer 130, Megan Wolf, Politics
Has globalization acted as a catalyst, spurring immigrants to deeper political involvement within their adopted societies? Given that the world is becoming increasingly globalized, the shift towards more intensified deterritorialization will inevitably impact both how immigration (and migration) patterns occur and how immigrants view political structures. In investigating the nature of these relationships, this honors presentation will briefly recount the history of globalization and immigration, examine the current connections between each sphere, and will explore issues arising from immigration integration and participation in a globalized world.

2. The T-shirt: Rebellion and Reaction on a Global Scale, Boyer 134, Nathan Taylor, Communication
Persuasive messages which have a profound impact on our cultural identity are everywhere in our image-saturated, global culture. How do messages on clothing mark individuals' identities in particular ways? Based on interviews with college students and drawing on the works of Roland Barthes, Stuart Hall, W.J.T. Mitchell and Salvoj Zizek, this honors presentation will seek answers to the following questions: what meta-narratives (if any) are present in the shirts? What do the shirts tell us about college/youth culture in general? How do the shirts effect the perceived identity of the wearer? What specific, culturally defined codes are present in the shirts? What do the shirts say about cultural power struggles in America?

3. Global Leaf: A short history of Tea as Commodity, Boyer 131, Lauren Smith, history, and Dr. John Fea, History
Few goods in human history can boast a 5,000 year history, social and culture meanings behind consumption, and a global appeal than tea. Tea traces a path from eastern Asia to Europe, and further spread through the lines of colonialism. This presentation will focus on the spread of commodities and the social, political, cultural terrains they negotiated. Tea has served both as a sign for social class, as well as a class-less good. Tea has been both a nationalist symbol, as well as a symbol for revolution. Throughout human history, tea can be seen crossing barriers of national boundaries, politics, gender, race, and class; a truly global good.

7:00-7:45 p.m. (1.)

7:45-8:30 p.m. (2)

1. Globalization and Education in Sub Saharan Africa: Constructing Knowledge, Teaching and Learning, Drs. Obed Mfum-Mensah and Dr. Joseph Barnes, Education
The aim of this session is to consider the implications of globalization for educational practices in sub-Saharan Africa. Given its unique economic, political, and cultural location, sub-Saharan Africa faces unique challenges. Drawing on recent developments in globalization theory, campaign for “education for all” post Jomtien World Education Conference of 1990, and multiculturalism, the session will attempt to set out a new framework for understanding the implications of globalization for educational change, particularly how knowledge, teaching, and learning are constructed in sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time globalization poses a major challenge to indigenous ways of knowledge, teaching and learning, which are a particular feature of sub-Saharan African societies.

2. Global Conflict, Just War, and the Old Testament Vision of a New International Community, Dr. Gordon Brubacher, Biblical and Religious Studies
War is a common theme in the Old Testament, but for all its narrative treatment, the portrait of Israel as a light to the nations in a context of political conflict remains theologically complex, and, at least at first glance, ethically perplexing.  A natural question follows, at least for followers of Jesus Christ: How does this portrait given to us by the Old Testament witness shed light on how God’s chosen people may live out their vocation as Christian witnesses in situations of global conflict today?

9:00 p.m.

FILM, Parmer Cinema
Globalization in Paraguay--from Evangelical Youth to the Mennonite Colony Filadelphia: A Documentary Film, Julie Melendez, communication

Thursday, February 22
9:45-10:30 p.m.

ALTERNATE CHAPEL, Hostetter Chapel
Globalization and Christian Worship: The challenge of worshipping as Global Christians in a North American Context, Douglas Curry, College Ministries; School of the Arts; and Department of Biblical and Religious Studies
This alternate chapel will explore the nature of globalization and its impact – primarily on the North American Christian church (both Protestant and Catholic) by identifying forms, modes, and elements in the realm of Christian worship services that have become liturgical ‘norms.’ Through both discussion and performance, the presenters will explain and demonstrate in positive and meaningful ways how globalization and its impact on the North American church contributes to a healthier global Body of Christ.

ART EXHIBITION/ALTERNATE CHAPEL, Aughinbaugh Gallery, Climenhaga Fine Arts Center
Not for Profit: Design with a Conscience in a Global World, gallery lecture on exhibition, Not for Profit: Designing Across the Social Divide, Prof. Kathy Hettinga, Visual Arts, and Ms. Sherron Biddle, Aughinbaugh Gallery
The Globalization theme is very timely for the design/technology fields. Individual graphic designers and design collectives are increasingly questioning their role in the global community. Is design only about selling the consumer a bill of goods? Can design serve culture for the betterment of humanity? What about issues of global branding? This exhibition seeks to address such questions by responding to the growing social and economic inequities generated by the concentration of corporate wealth and power in the U.S. and the global economy. As designers work broadly across culture, these concerns will be of interest to a wide audience.

4:00-5:30 p.m.

1. Applying Humanities for Global Impact: Public Relations’ Role in CURE,
Boyer 131, Prof. Nance McCown, Communication, and Senior Public Relations Campaign Team: Carla Briggs, Kerry Brown, Karl Dinkler, Cassie Grose, Charity Kauffman, Laura Martin, Marissa McKeever.
To address the global problem of clubfoot CURE International, a non-profit organization committed to bringing healing and hope through first-class medical care and spiritual counseling, has identified a new initiative to eradicate this physical deformity worldwide. During Fall Semester 2006, seven senior students in the Senior Public Relations Campaign course (COMM 426) researched, planned, and implemented an awareness and fundraising campaign for CURE International’s clubfoot program. They will share their findings in this session, and suggest strategies aimed at assisting CURE International’s global program for eradicating clubfoot.

2. THIS SESSION HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO INSUFFICIENT COLLECTION OF DATA ON A RECENT VISIT TO ZAMBIA.   Birth Stories Across Cultures: The case of Zambia and the United States, Boyer 130, Prof. Christy Stark- Smith and Prof. Wanda Thuma-McDermond, Nursing, with panel of faculty and students
The experience of childbirth has many cultural differences. However there are many commonalities that are universal to all women. The opportunity for women to share their birth stories allows them to reflect on their personal history, connect with their family history and shared values. In listening to these stories healthcare professionals will learn to better appreciate and understand social, cultural and healthcare influences on childbirth. Through sharing and listening to birth stories the listener can enter the world of others. In this session, nursing students and faculty will use an ethnographic approach to undertake case studies of individual women in order to tease out these insights.

8:00-9:30 p.m.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS, Brubaker Auditorium
Advancing Global Health: Opportunities and Challenges (PDF)
Kent Hill, Assistant Administrator, Bureau of Global Health, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

As Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Global Health, Hill is responsible for a Bureau that in 2005 managed or comanaged health programs all over the world with funding of more than $1.6 billion.  The Bureau seeks to provide global leadership in the effort to improve the quality, availability, and use of essential health services.  USAID focuses its efforts on HIV/AIDS, other infectious diseases (such as tuberculosis and malaria), maternal and child health, family planning, environmental health, and nutrition. Hill is a noted expert on democracy, international development policy, human rights, and international religious freedom issues.  He has also been an active participant in dialogue between Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Orthodox, and other religious groups. 

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Contact the Messiah College Ticket Office at (717) 691-6036.

The International Rural Development Conference (IRDC): Finding our place in the two-thirds world is being held Thursday, February 22 through Saturday, February 24 on campus. Sponsored by the Agape Center for Service and Learning, this national student conference has some joint sessions with the Humanities Symposium, particularly the keynote address by Kent Hill. Conference workshops and speakers focus on the interrelation between faith, cultural issues, public policy, economic development, appropriate technology and international health. In addition to keynote speaker Kent Hill, other featured speakers include Dr. Terrance Jantzi and Dr. Dan Wessner of Eastern Mennonite University, Peter Greer of HOPE International, Ryan Keith of Forgotten Voices, and Dr. Robert Reese of World Mission Associates. This IRD conference requires registration. For more information, visit the IRDC web site at or by email at

Friday, February 23
8:30 a.m. Breakfast with Kent Hill, Conference on International Rural Development: finding our place in the two- thirds world. Contact Amanda McMillan (ext. 5319)
10:00-11:30 a.m. Morning session with Kent Hill: Conference on International Rural Development and School for Natural Sciences.
1:00 p.m. Globalization in the Rural Two Thirds World: A Panel Discussion, Organized by the Conference on International Rural Development. Participants: Kara Skardo, Politics; Jordan Brensinger, Math/Spanish; Nadia Schafer, Politics,; Seira Ikeuchi, Biology
4:00-5:30 p.m.

Talk-Back Session on the Keynote Address and the Symposium Theme, Panelists: Dr. David Foster, Biology; Prof. Lois Beck, Communication; Dr. Steve Cobb, Sociology; Prof. Wanda Thuma-McDermond, Nursing.
(Refreshments Provided)


7:00-8:30 p.m.

SEMINAR, Poorman Recital Hall, Climenhaga Fine Arts Center
Sing to the Lord All the Earth:  Global Worship Music,

Dr. Dwight Thomas, Music
American Christian worship music is having a profound and substantial effect on the musical life of other cultures. In this interactive presentation Professor Thomas will present and teach 10-12 Christian congregational songs from around the world. He will dialogue with the audience about the implications of songs moving from one culture to another, and address (at least briefly) questions of neo-colonialism in relationship to the transmission of American songs in non-American situations, and understand the obligations that weigh on Americans to identify with other cultures through participation in their musical expressions.


Monday, February 26
4:00-5:30 p.m.

1. Media and Cross-Cultural Representations in the United States,
Boyer 130, Marissa McKeever, Communication
This honor’s presentation investigates negative messages about African Americans on television, and more specifically the role played by African Americans in the construction of these messages, and their ultimate reception by audiences across the country. The only way out of this cycle of continual cross-cultural misrepresentation is through the pursuit of strategies of mutual understanding between African Americans and their White counterparts so as to promote greater reconciliation and cross-cultural understanding.

2. Understanding Globalization Theologically: The Empire and the Eucharist. Boyer 134, Benjamin Lamb, Theology and Social Theory
“Understanding Globalization Theologically” will survey contemporary theological interpretations of globalization, ranging from secular philosophers of religion to conservative, practicing theologians in the Radical Orthodoxy movement. What is the Good News in a world of cultural fragmentation and consumer homogeneity, and expansionist American corporatism? What ideologies are being promoted from such free-market capitalism and how might they be idolatrous? This presentation will elucidate a distinctive Christian theory of globalization, rooted in the Eucharist, which can become a resistance-ritual and a counter-liturgy to transform our minds. The Church must always embrace particularity, pluralism, praxis, and a spatial place in the world, and avoid temptations of disembodiment through hyper-reality and technology.

Visit the following pages for information from past Symposia:

2011 Spring Humanities Symposium

2010 Spring Humanities Symposium

2009 Spring Humanities Symposium

2008 Spring Humanities Symposium

2006 Spring Humanities Symposium
2005 Spring Humanities Symposium
2004 Spring Humanities Symposium

Messiah College | One College Avenue | Mechanicsburg PA 17055 | 717-766-2511
Comments or questions? Contact the WebMaster.
© 2006 Messiah College