2021 Virtual Humanities Symposium Schedule

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2021 Humanities Symposium: A Conversation on Freedom

Week at a Glance

Monday, March 1

Opening Conversations

6:00-6:45 p.m.  


 “A Conversation on Freedom at the Crossroads”  

(Performance) Students from East and West Shore High Schools. Jointly sponsored by the Center for Public Humanities and Sankofa African American Theatre Co.   



 “Freedom, Liberation and Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love and Deliverance, a Conversation with Drew Hart”

Dr. Drew Hart, Theology professor, church anti-racism leader, social  change practitioner, and author of Who Will be a Witness: Igniting Activism for God's Justice, Love, and Deliverance

Jarrod McKenna, Australian pastor and justice activist, nonviolent social change trainer, co-founder of First Home Project and #LoveMakesAWay movement, and co-host “Inverse Podcast”    

Join us for a celebration and conversation about Dr. Drew Hart's latest publication, Who Will be a Witness: Igniting Activism for God's Justice, Love, and Deliverance.  Dr. Drew Hart will be joined by his  “Inverse Podcast” co-host, Jarrod McKenna.


Tuesday, March 2


3:30-4:30 p.m.   


Faculty-Student Panel

The Road to Freedom is Fraught with Struggle” 

Dr. Robin Lauermann, politics

Jill Cuervo (peace and conflict studies), Amani Monroe (politics), Daniel Smutek (English)

Students from Dr. Lauermann's "Gender and Politics " class will draw on the film Iron Jawed Angels as they discuss three distinct elements of the women's suffrage movement: the threat perceived by some members of society in granting the right to vote to women, the impact of the suffrage movement advancing white women's rights rather than those of all, and the relevance of political protests from the movement to the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement.




Faculty Lectures

“Kant's Notion of Freedom”

Dr. Timothy Schoettle, philosophy

This lecture will focus on Kant's notion of autonomy, i.e. freedom. 

5:20-5:50 p.m. 


"What Does it Mean to be Free? - Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, and John Milton in Conversation" 

Dr. Samuel Smith, English 

This lecture will identify the evolving meaning of the word/concept of "freedom" in the English language from Chaucer to Milton 

7:00 -8:30 p.m.      


Guest Panel

“Finding Liberation in Misha Green’s Lovecraft Country: An Interdisciplinary Conversation” 

Rev. Shayna Watson, Associate Rector, St. James Episcopal Church, Lancaster, PA, creator and founder of  TheoCon

Rev. Canon Betsy Ivey, Canon for Support and Growth, Diocese of PA

Christina Thomas, (history alum ’14) ABD History,  Johns Hopkins University.  Lead Editor, Taller Electric Marronage

Alexis Jackson, (English alum ’13) MFA Columbia, author of My Sister's Country (Kore Press, forthcoming)

This panel of Black women scholars will provide a historical, theological, and literary perspective on Misha Green’s miniseries, Lovecraft Country.

Wednesday, March 3


3:30-4:30 p.m. 


Faculty-Student Panels

 "A Conversation on Literacy as Freedom"

Dr. Kerry Hasler-Brooks, faculty sponsor, English                                                                                                      
Students from Dr. Hasler-Brooks FYS "Read Dangerously”
Students from Dr. Kerry Hasler-Brooks' course "Read Dangerously"will give short presentations from their major research projects onliteracy as a tool for Black freedom in the United States. This panel will explore literacy in its fullest form as reading, writing, publishing,interpretation, critique, storytelling, artistry, and activism.

4:40-5:40 p.m. 


"A Conversation on the Perils and Possibilities of Writing for Social Change in a Polarized World"

Dr. Jean Corey, faculty sponsor, English

Olivia Bardo, (Engllish), Marianne Fitzkee, Victoria Berrios (peace and conflict Studies),  Nate Castellito (English), Ned Kuczmynda (English)
Drawing on Marshall Ganz's scholarship on "Public Narrative,the Story of Self, Us and Now," students from Dr. Jean Corey's "Writing for Social Change" class will discuss the unique challenges and opportunities they encountered as they designed and developed campaigns for social justice (immigration policy,creation care, over incarceration, and gender concerns withinthe evangelical church) during this season of protest and pandemic.

7:00 – 8:15 p.m.  


Faculty/Alumni Panel

 “A Conversation on Education as Freedom Work”

Dr. Jennifer Fisler, Assistant Dean of Teacher Education and Director of  Graduate Program in Education
Cory Hulsizer, ‘15, Lauren Popeck, ’12, Ruthy Lopez-Cortes, ‘13, Cora Tayler, ‘15
Dr. Monique Morris, founder and leader of the National Black Women's Justice Institute, says that education is freedomwork. Responding to Morris's ideas, this panel of faculty, alumni, and students from Messiah University's undergraduate and graduate programs in education will discuss how their work as educators serves the cause of freedom for their students and/or themselves.

Thursday, March 4


9:30 - 10:30 a.m.


 Coffee and Conversation 

Coffee and Conversation on Digital/Public Humanities and Community Engagement with Dr. Jacqueline Jones Royster

Take a coffee break and log on for conversation with Dr. Royster about lessons learned though her vision and leadership establishing Georgia Tech’s Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center, and more recently,  Communities Who Know, Inc., a non-profit focused on generating collaborative solutions for sustainable communities, as well as her  decades of community engagement.

4:30-5:30 p.m. 


Faculty/Student Panel

“Freedom of Expression: Media, Censorship, and Human Rights in Malaysia”

Dr. Jason Renn, advisor, politics, “The Right to a Free Press and Protests in International Law”
Anastasia Couch (politics), “Elections, Press, and Human Rights in Malaysia”
Allela Gebremedhin (economics), “The Role of NGOs in Mobilizing for   Human Rights” 


7:00-8:30 p.m.


Keynote Address

“Troubling the Narratives of a Democratic Nation:  Whose Stories Are These?"

Dr. Jacqueline Jones Royster, Professor Emerita at Georgia Institute of Technology and at The Ohio State University, former Dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and Ivan Allen Jr. Dean’s Chair in Liberal Arts and Technology (2010-2019).

This presentation focuses on African American women as rightful participants in the narratives of nation in the United States of America.  Suggesting a critical need for a paradigmatic shift in our analytical and interpretive frameworks for socio-political impact and consequence, attention is drawn to nineteenth century activist Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, an under sung American hero from Boston, Massachusetts.

* Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Act 48 Professional Development, Act 48 Credit

March 5


3:00-4:15 p.m. 


Student Panels

A panel discussion of students' virtual presentations, which will be available on symposium website throughout the week. 

Stephanie Stolz (French), “Blasphemy and Freedom of Speech in France”                                                                                                                                                                        
Amy DePretis (psychology), “Forgiveness and Freedom: A Two-Way Street” 
Abigail Ching Ern Poh (communications), “Cognitive Dissonance & Climate Action” 
Anastasia Couch (politics), “Foreign Freedom, Domestic War” 

4:15-5:45 p.m.  


Student Panels

Chloe Kaufman (history) and Katie Heiser (history), “The Daughters of the Confederacy and Lost Cause Narratives: How Their Influence Still Permeates the 21st Century Struggle for Freedom” 
Lydia Pebly (English w/ Teaching Certification),  "Critical Literacy, Community, and Freedom in the Narratives of Frederick Douglass and Anthony Ray Hinton."
Haley Keener (English w/ Teaching Certification), “Flawed Freedom: Conceptions of Race and Freedom in Uncle Tom's Cabin” (English)
Autumn Kritzer, (history) “Social Media and Freedom”   

Saturday, March 6

9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. 


Pedagogy Workshop

“#Digital Humanities: Teaching and Engaging with A Black Past in the Age.”
 Workshop led by Christina Thomas, (history alum ’14) ABD History,  Johns Hopkins University. Lead Editor, Taller Electric Marronage 
 This hands-on workshop will enrich participants’ digital toolkit as they explore Black history and literature in their classrooms. Participants will engage with the many rich digital collections available to students, as well as consider the many open access digital platforms students can utilize to recreate and showcase Black history.                                                                                                                    

*Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Act 48 Professional Development