Trine Humanities Symposia begins Tuesday

Trine University’s Fall 2018 Humanities Symposia will begin Tuesday, Oct. 23, and continue through Thursday, Nov. 27.

The Symposia is presented by Trine’s Department of Humanities and Communication (HAC), and sessions will be held in Wells Theater in Taylor Hall. Each symposium is set to begin at 3:30 p.m.

The Humanities Symposia is a series of presentations and discussions that cover a wide range of topics related to the humanities. It was created as a university outlet for scholars and artists searching for a place to present their research outside of academic conferences. The Symposia allows them to share their research with Trine as well as the local community.

The fall Symposia opens Oct. 23 with “Investigating the Detective Fiction Genre,” presented by Jeanette Goddard, Ph.D., chair of Trine’s Department of Humanities and Communication.

An extremely popular genre, detective fiction, like the mysteries its characters examine, might be more complicated than it first appears. The presentation will highlight how context has affected the development of the genre and focus on works that break the mold.

“Great literature usually leaves the reader with questions to ponder, but many people see detective fiction as tying up all the loose ends,” said Goddard. “However, if you examine some of the great works in the genre, there are themes and story arcs that carry over multiple stories and novels.”

The remaining schedule for the Symposia is as follows:

Nov. 6 – “And We Followed: Caroline Kirkland and Women Writers on the Michigan/Indiana Frontier,” presented by Sarah Franzen, Ph.D., assistant vice president of accreditation and assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Communication.

In the 1830s, Caroline Kirkland and her husband founded the town of Pinckney, Michigan, two hours north of Angola. Her tell-all autobiographical novel about their experiences was supposed to be a secret, but the neighbors found out. In this presentation, Franzen will discuss Kirkland’s satirical, subversive, and, ultimately, slightly scandalous example of early female authorship in our region.

Nov. 13 – “Let Me Tell You a Story … Fanfic from a Writer’s Perspective,” presented by Cynthia Bowen, reference and outreach librarian at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois.

While fanfiction has become more mainstream, there remain misconceptions about what it is and why fans participate. A review of Brown’s journey through three fandoms (Lord of the Rings, Sherlock Holmes, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe) will serve as a backdrop to discuss some of the what and why of written fan works.

Nov. 27 – “What Would Captain America Do? World War II Through Comics,” presented by Patrick Ridout, assistant director of information services at Trine.

From Superman ending the war in two pages, to devastating autobiographies about the lasting impact of Japan’s loss, comics have played an enormous part in depicting World War II. The medium is a prime example of the attitudes, policies and opinions of the war, one of the first worldwide events to take place while comics were widely available. This talk will focus on the shifting histories of comics as they depict World War II, and the cycle of change time has brought to the way comics address the event.  

Trine’s Humanities Symposia is free and open to the public. Talks usually last about 30 minutes and are immediately followed by time for any questions, which usually leads to a total time of one hour. Wells Theater seats 75 guests, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early if they have specific seating preferences.

For more information about the Symposia, contact Jeanette Goddard, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Communication, at