Graduate students to present papers at second humanities conference

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of humanities conference poster.

Graduate Humanities Conference is March 22.

KALAMAZOO—The Center for the Humanities and Graduate Student Advisory Committee are teaming up again to present a conference aiming a spotlight on the academic musings of Western Michigan University's talented graduate students in humanities disciplines.

The Graduate Humanities Conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 22, and begins with registration followed by a keynote address at 9 a.m. in 2500 Knauss Hall, home of the University Center for the Humanities. The conference then shifts to Brown Hall, where students will present papers, with an emphasis on topics relating to the theme of the center's current speaker series, "Power and Publics," which was inspired by the 2012 elections.

Three sessions will be held consecutively, with the first session beginning at 9:30 a.m. Discussion topics include the theories of justice advanced by American philosopher John Rawls and their impact on the environment, public reason and religion; the difference between pre-capitalist ancient Greece and the capitalist United States today; helping students appreciate science and nature; the Monroe Doctrine; and plantation romance, domestic fiction and slavery.

Keynote speaker

Dr. Lofton Durham, a WMU assistant professor of theatre, will deliver the keynote address. In addition to teaching, Durham is a researcher and professional director, who joined the Department of Theatre in 2009. His article, "Reconnecting Text to Context: The Ontology of 'French Medieval Drama' and the Case of the Istoire de la Destruction de Troie la Grant," won the 2011 Martin Stevens Award for Best New Essay in Early Drama Studies. Durham was among faculty members instrumental in creating the University Center for the Humanities.

This is the second year for the conference. Last year, about 100 people took part, with 16 papers selected for presentation in three sessions.

For more information, visit or contact Scott Bade, coordinator for the University Center for the Humanities, at (269) 387-1811.