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Fall colloquium series opens with film, discussion

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FREDERICK, Md.—The pressures experienced by Muslim youth as they face uncertain futures amid the controversies and divisions that engulf the Middle East will be the topic of a panel discussion and film Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center at Hood College.

The event opens the college's annual Center for the Humanities colloquium series, which is funded in part by a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant.

The HBO documentary "Koran by Heart" follows three talented 10-year-olds who compete in Egypt's prestigious International Holy Koran Competition, a two-week event in which students from more than 70 countries compete in the ancient art of Koran memorization and recitation. Producer Chris Buchanan will discuss his experiences making the documentary as part of a post-screening panel, which will also include Hood College faculty members and students.

Future colloquium events include the screening of a prize-winning documentary Oct. 3 on the significance of children's literature in contemporary culture followed by a panel discussion featuring the film's director Edward J. Delaney, award-winning author of young adult books Edith M. Hemingway, children's book illustrator Susan Detwiler and children's librarian and Newbery Medal judge Julie Dietzel-Glair; a lecture Oct. 13 by Martin Foys, Ph.D., associate professor of English at Drew University in Madison, N.J., who will discuss the diverse technological practices used to communicate and exchange information in medieval society; and a poetry reading Nov. 14 by Terrance Hayes, winner of the 2010 National Book Award for Poetry and professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

This year’s colloquium, themed "The Book: From Print to the Digital Age," explores the past, present and future of the book, along with the numerous cultural changes it has weathered during its 2,000-year history. From the print traditions of medieval Europe to the impact of today's digital technologies on human communication, the colloquium will examine whether the age of the printed book is coming to an end.

The Hood College Center for the Humanities was founded in 1990 by a group of faculty members from the humanities departments at Hood—art, English, foreign languages, history and political science, music, philosophy and religion. During its more than 20-year existence, the Center for the Humanities has presented lectures, symposia, film series, concerts, poetry readings and colloquia. In 1999, Hood was the recipient of a major challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which helps provide for an annual lecture series and an NEH visiting scholar.

For more information, contact Rebecca Prime, Ph.D., Sophia M. Libman NEH Professor of the Humanities, at prime@hood.edu.