Celebration of the Humanities to be held April 10

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The Appalachian Online

Tommy Culkin

An event looking at the past and present accomplishments of Appalachian State University students and faculty in the humanities as well as an analysis of future goals will be held April 10 in the Blue Ridge Ballroom of Plemmons Student Union.

The Celebration of the Humanities at Appalachian State: Past, Present and Future, will be hosted by the College of Arts and Science in conjunction with the Humanities Council of the university, said Nancy Love, chair of the Humanities Council.

The event will be held in three segments: a humanities showcase, a reception and a dinner following the event.

Neva Specht, the senior associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences and member of the Humanities Council, said although the symposium is an annual event, this year will mark a key difference in terms of the speakers who present at the event. This year, the presenters will be members of the Appalachian community, rather than outsiders.

“In the past we’ve brought in outside speakers,” Specht said. “But this time, since we have so many talented people on campus doing work in the humanities, we thought it would be great to celebrate that, and let everybody see our faculty and students.”

The keynote speaker will be Thomas McGowan, a former professor in the English department, who will deliver a speech entitled, “Walking Boone: Reflections and Digressions on a Local Landscape.”

The symposium will also feature a dance performance by Sherone Price from the School of Theater and Dance, a musical performance by Laurie Semmes of the Hayes School of Music and poetry readings by Joseph Bathanti of the English department and four of his students.

“Because the humanities are performative, we have several performance segments,” Love said.

One of the discussions will be titled, “The Future of the Humanities,” which will focus on the increasingly global aspect of humanities using both classic texts and alternative voices.

“Our primary concern there is communicating to both a campus audience and the general public the value of the humanities for helping us to understand how we live our lives in both a deeper and broader way,” Love said.

Love said she believes the symposium is important because everyone can all learn more about themselves and the world around them through an exploration of the humanities.

“The ultimate goal of this event is to celebrate the role of the humanities in all of our lives, as teachers and learners,” Love said. “The humanities are about understanding how to live well as human beings in a global context.”

Story: Tommy Culkin, News Reporter