Symposia returns for spring

ANGOLA — Trine University’s Spring 2018 Humanities Symposia is set to begin on Tuesday, Feb. 13, and will run through Tuesday, Apr. 3.

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 of the six symposiums 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 Thursday, Feb. 22, symposium, “The Science and the Fiction in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” is part of the One State / One Story: Frankenstein program sponsored by Indiana Humanities and funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Trine University is one of 14 colleges and universities across the state selected to participate in the program, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and explores the hard questions on scientific investigation it poses. Other Symposia sessions continue the Frankenstein theme.

The schedule for the Symposia is as follows:

Feb. 13 – “Bloodfeud and Miracles: Creating and Killing a Saint,” presented by Melissa Mayus, Ph.D., of the Department of Humanities and Communication. This presentation will center on Hrafn Sveinbjarnarson, a physician and chieftan in Iceland during the late 12th and early 13th centuries, and will provide an in-depth look into the life of a medieval surgeon who was drawn into the blood feud that lead to his death.

Feb. 20 – “Fascism, Feminism, and Frames: The F Word in Video Game Narratives,” presented by Prof. Justin Young of the Department of Humanities and Communication. This presentation provides relevant information on the social hurdles addressed through video game narratives. Young will utilize media theory to examine how video game developers frame their subjects.

Feb. 22 – “The Science and the Fiction in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” presented by Monique R. Morgan, Ph.D., of Indiana University. Morgan will discuss how early-19th century science and previous works of literature influenced Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. While based on the biology, chemistry and physics of its time, this novel also included and transformed philosophical questions. Through examining these ideas, Morgan hopes to provide a better understanding on how Frankenstein continues to pose vital questions on science and society.

Feb. 27 – “Becoming Mary,” presented by Prof. Lou Ann Homan. Homan is well known for her diverse one-woman shows. In this presentation, Homan takes you behind the scenes as she prepares for her role as Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

Mar. 13 – “Frankenstein vs Spiderman? Classic Horror’s Influence on Modern Comics,” presented by Patrick Ridout, MLIS. While monsters have always been a staple in comics, the way comics are now shaped and written, as well as the traditions of the original stories, have been changed since the classical and Gothic eras. This presentation will address how the influence of horror has added to the myths and stories of the medium of comics.

Apr. 3 – “Not-Just-for-Children Literature,” presented by Michelle Blank, MA, MLIS. Through this presentation, Blank will explore the ways students, teachers and others can share the great books of their childhoods. The audience will be able to hear, as well as participate in, these book experiences. Blank will prove that children’s literature isn’t just for children.

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 For more information about the One State/One Story: Frankenstein program, visit