BOONE—The College of Arts and Sciences Humanities Council at Appalachian State University will host a “Celebration of the Humanities at Appalachian State: Past, Present, and Future” April 10.
The event begins at 1 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Blue Ridge Ballroom and will look at the role of the humanities in higher education. The public is invited; however, participants must RSVP for the event by March 23 using on online reservation form at http://humanitiescouncil.appstate.edu or call 828-262-2483.
“In the 21st century, American citizens are being asked to redefine themselves as members of an emerging global community,” said Nancy Love, coordinator of the university’s Humanities Council and a professor in the Department of Government and Justice Studies. “Although the traditional humanities remain crucial resources in this effort, today their task is to enhance public life in new global contexts on behalf of a more sustainable democracy.”
The humanities include the study of philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history, language and other academic disciplines that document and understand human culture.
Retired English faculty member and folklorist Tom McGowan will present the keynote lecture, “Walking Boone: Reflections and Digressions on a Local Landscape.”
The arts in the humanities will be showcased at 2 p.m. with a performance by the Department of Theatre and Dance’s African dance class taught by Sherone Price and at 2:15 p.m. when Hayes School of Music faculty member Laurie Semmes presents a talk and shows a video clip on Balinese gamelan, a type of percussion instrument.
A faculty panel will discuss “Why the Humanities?” beginning at 2:45 p.m. Panelists are Michael Behrent from the Department of History, Susan Doll from the Department of Technology and Environmental Design, Kim Hall from the Department of Philosophy and Religion, and Chris Osmond from the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies.
Beginning at 3:30 p.m. Joseph Bathanti and students from the Department of English will present a poetry reading.
A reception for attendees and participants will be held at 4 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Whitewater Lounge and a dinner and discussion on the “Future of the Humanities” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in Blue Ridge Ballroom.
Comments by William Adams, chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities made in 2014 to the National Federation of State Councils are expected inform the dinner discussion. In his address, Adams spoke of the tensions between two views of the humanities: Matthew Arnold’s classical view that the humanities “deepen our intellectual and moral capacities as human beings and open us to broader and deeper experience of human excellence and beauty” and William James’ pragmatic belief that the humanities serve “the conduct of life.”
“In this framework, the humanities are valuable because they help us understand the circumstances of our lives, as individuals and as members of the public sphere,” Adams said.
The dinner is open, but seating is limited. RSVP to the reception and dinner at http://humanitiescouncil.appstate.edu.
A display and poster exhibit developed by Pam Mitchem from University Archives and Brittany Means, a graduate student in the Appalachian studies program, will be on display in the student union. In addition, the Scholars’ Bookstore will feature works by faculty authors participating in the program.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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