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Community Coffee House Celebrates the Humanities

Community lecture series by Alma College faculty encourages participation and conversation.

Alma College faculty will share their research and scholarly work during Coffee House Conferences, a new community lecture series that welcomes audience participation and conversation.

The once-a-month presentations — focused primarily but not exclusively on the arts and humanities — will take place at Highland Blush, located at 118 E. Superior St. in downtown Alma. The series will be integrated into Highland Blush’s Fine Arts and Speakers Showcase Series, held Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m.

Michigan Humanities Council logo

The Coffee House Conference series is made possible in part by a $3,200 grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, along with support from Alma College.

“There is a significant appreciation for the arts and humanities in Alma, as evidenced by active community theatre, music and dance programs,” says Deborah Dougherty, Alma College professor of Spanish and project director. “These are all excellent venues in which community members can participate in, support and appreciate the performing arts.

“The Coffee House Conference presentations will broaden exposure to the humanities beyond the performing arts and provide opportunities to enter into conversations with faculty who are eager to demonstrate the relevance of their field of study to people outside the college community,” she says.

Rather than formal lectures, the presentations will be held in a relaxed setting to encourage participation and exchange, says Dougherty.

Humanities faculty who have expressed interest in participating in the series represent cultural studies, dance, foreign literature/film, history, music, new media/film studies, philosophy and women/gender studies. Faculty in the social and natural sciences also will present programs focused on how their research and activities link to and incorporate the humanities.

Dates, presenters and topics are listed below. The presentations are free and open to the public.

Alex MontoyeAlex MontoyeThursday, Jan. 31
Alex Montoye, Ph.D., FACSM
Assistant Professor of Integrative Physiology and Health Science
“Fitness Trackers: Fad, or Fit to Last?”

Thursday, Feb. 28
Liping Bu, Ph.D.
Reid-Knox Professor and Chair of the History Department
“Changing China: An American Fascination—History and Culture”

Thursday, March 28
Rosely Conz, MA, MFA
Assistant Professor of Dance
“Dance in Academia: When, Why and How?”

Thursday, April 25
Chih-Ping Chen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English and Program Coordinator of Women’s & Gender Studies
“Shirley Temple in the Eyes of Different Americans”

Liping BuLiping BuThursday, May 9
Derick “Sandy’” Hulme, Ph.D.
Russell Professor of Political Science
“The Greatest Challenge: Climate Change in the 21st Century”

Thursday, Sept. 26
Maya Dora-Laskey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English and Women’s & Gender Studies
“Underground, Intersectional and Empowered: Pantsuit Nation’s Invitational Rhetoric”

Thursday, Oct. 24
Holly Liu, Ph.D.
Professor of German
“Thirty years After Germany’s Reunification: What Is at Stake?”

Thursday, Nov. 21
Kristin Olbertson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
“The Blue Death Comes to Alma: The Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918”

Thursday, Dec. 19
Anthony Collamati, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication and New Media Studies
“Anatomy of a Scene”

Story published on December 17, 2018