Symposium: Humanities and the Future, on March 22

On March 22, 2018, the Humanities and Ethics Center at Drury hosted the Missouri Humanities Council’s one-day Symposium, “Humanities and the Future.” It was a day that was rich in discussion, presentations, and shared reading, all of which was related to the intersections between the Humanities and Science, Medicine, and Technology. To learn more about the Symposium, scroll below. To stay tuned for details on next year’s Symposium, please click here.

We were thrilled to have Dr. Brandy Schillace  as our keynote speaker. Her public lecture, “Dread Tech Tales: Unexpected Consequences of Humans and Machines” was given to a full house. If you were unable to attend “Dread Tech Tales,” you can view a recording of the talk here: “Dread Tech Tales.” 

Brandy Schillace, PhD, works at the intersections of medicine, history, technology, and literature. She is Editor in Chief of BMJ’s Medical Humanities, a journal that promotes cross-disciplinary conversation. Brandy also works as senior research associate and public engagement fellow for the Dittrick Museum of Medical History, and is the founder of Dósis, an online magazine for medical humanities and social justice. As an author, historian, and public intellectual, Brandy seeks to bring the unique stories of the past to life–for our greatest innovations and loftiest triumphs come most frequently from the arena where science and story meet.


Humanities and the Future: A One-Day Symposium

The Missouri Humanities Council & The Humanities and Ethics Center at Drury University

Thursday, March 22


The Hoblit Suite in Freeman Panhellenic Hall

9:00-9:45 AM: Check in, coffee and conversation

9:45 AM: Welcome


10:00 – 11:45 AM

The Digital Humanities: Current Projects, Future Possibilities

Chris Branton, Drury University.
Dr. Chris Branton serves as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Drury University, and as Lead Advisor for Drury’s Game Development major. He received B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Louisiana State University. Following a successful industry career, Dr. Branton returned to LSU in 2008, working in the Center for Computation and Technology’s Cultural Computing group. Much of his time there was spent helping artists, humanists, and social scientists apply computing to their research interests. This included a number of digital humanities projects. His current research interests include creative software design, next generation human-computer interaction, virtual reality, and computers in society.
John F. Chuchiak IV, Missouri State University. 
Dr. John F. Chuchiak IV is currently the Director of the Honors College, Professor of Colonial Latin American History, the holder of the Rich & Doris Young Honors College endowed professorship at Missouri State University. His general research focuses on the history of the colonial church in México with a special emphasis on the Franciscan Missions, the Inquisition and the Catholic Church and ecclesiastical justice in colonial Yucatán. He is the author of more than one hundred articles and book chapters on the Inquisition and Maya ethnohistory, and has authored five books, including The Inquisition in New Spain, 1536-1820 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) and the forthcoming Unlikely Allies: Mayas, Spaniards and Pirates in Colonial Yucatan, 1550-1750 (University of Colorado Press). Dr. Chuchiak serves as the co-coordinator of an international digital humanities project entitled Virtual Reality for the Digital Humanities: A 3-D Simulated Recreation of the 1601 General Auto-de-Fé of the Mexican Inquisition.
Brian Grubbs, Springfield-Greene County Library District.
Brian Grubbs is the Local History & Genealogy manager at the Springfield-Greene County Library District. He received an M.A. in museum studies from the University of Kansas and a B.S. in history from Truman State University. Mr. Grubbs has led several local, regional and statewide digitization projects. He served as director of the statewide World War I digitization project, Over There: Missouri and the Great War. This project received the 2016 Award of Merit from American Association for State and Local History. The award, part of AASLH’s Leadership in History awards, is the nation’s most prestigious competition for recognition of achievement in state and local history. For his work in the digitization field, Grubbs was named one of Library Journal’s 2016 Movers & Shakers, which recognizes leaders within the library profession.
Howard Rambsy, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. 
Dr. Howard Rambsy II teaches African American literature courses at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He has written articles, curated mixed media exhibits, and produced blog entries focusing on literary history, poetry, and the intersections of African American ideas and technology. He is the author of The Black Arts Enterprise and the Production of African American Poetry (University of Michigan Press). He coordinates the East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club, an arts and technology program for undergraduates and high school students.


12:00 – 1:00 PM

Networking Lunch

Findlay Student Center, Ballroom


1:00 – 2:00 PM

Reading Discussion

Findlay Student Center, Room 204

Our reading discussion will focus on the Introduction (“Humanities at Risk”) and Chapter One “Humanities in the City” of Eric Touya de Marenne’s The Case for the Humanities: Pedagogy, Polity, Interdisciplinarity.

For a 20% discount when ordering The Case for the Humanities, registrants should order via the publisher’s link below and enter the promotion code RLEGEN18 when ordering.


2:15 to 3:45 PM

The Medical Humanities: Medicine, Narrative, and the Human Experience

The Hoblit Suite in Freeman Panhellenic Hall

Brian Carter, UMKC School of Medicine.
Dr. Carter joined the School of Medicine at UMKC and Children’s Mercy Hospital in 2012 as a Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology) and Bioethics and practices at Children’s Mercy Hospital as a neonatologist where he consults with parents in the Fetal Health Center. Dr. Carter is board certified in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine. He also serves as co-director of the Children’s Mercy Bioethics Center’s Pediatric Bioethics Certificate Course and is the recently appointed William T. & Marjorie Sirridge Endowed Professorship in Medical Humanities & Bioethics. An internationally recognized expert in medical ethics, neonatology, and pediatric palliative care, he has two NIH grants looking at NICU follow-up and outcomes and has published extensively in the areas of neonatology, palliative care, and bioethics. Dr. Carter is the author of three textbooks on neonatal intensive care and pediatric palliative care.
Marnie Watson, Missouri State University.
Dr. Watson is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at MSU. She is a cultural and medical anthropologist, specializing in issues relating to migration, identity, ritual, and behavioral health. Dr. Watson has conducted research in New Mexico, Ohio, and the Brazilian Amazon. She is currently directing a study working with a community of Bhutanese of Nepali ethnicity who live in Akron Ohio, and who came to the United States as refugees. A people without a country, this group of people were forced out of Bhutan in the 1990s by government policies that (often through violence) removed their citizenship and accompanying rights. In this study, Dr. Watson and her research team are gathering information on cultural understandings of alcohol use and abuse, which will inform the creation of culturally competent substance treatment options to be implemented in community treatment centers.
Shannon Wooden, Missouri State University. 
Dr. Wooden is Professor of English at MSU and currently chairs the Gender Studies and Disability Studies Committees. Her earliest research interests, connecting evolutionary science and race in a variety of Victorian novels, developed with training at the Columbia University Program in Narrative Medicine to include the foundational theories of medical humanities and to analyze representations of illness, wellness, and disability in literature and popular culture, sometimes alongside social expectations of gender and class. In 2014, she published Pixar’s Boy Stories: Masculinity in a Postmodern Age (Rowman & Littlefield), which examines contemporary “boy culture” in children’s media, ranging across topics from hypermasculinity to disability to bullying. She recently completed a certificate program at the Center for Narrative Practice and is currently writing on masculinity and disability in Breaking Bad.


4:00 PM Wine and Cheese Reception

The Rose O’Neill House


Directions, Location of Events, and Parking

Directions to Drury University:

Map of Drury:

-Parking for all daytime events will be available in Lot 7 on Summit Avenue.

-Panels will take place in The Hoblit Suite. The Hoblit Suite is in the Freeman Panhellenic Hall, which is building 4 on Summit Avenue.

-Lunch will take place in The Ballroom is in the Findlay Student Center, which is building 23, near Summit Avenue.

-The Reading Discussion will take place in Room 204 in the Findlay Student Center, which is building 23, near Summit Avenue.

-The reception will take place in The Rose O’Neill House, which is building 44, on Summit Avenue.

-Brandy Shillace’s 5:30 PM talk will take place in Reed Auditorium, which is in the Trustee Science Center, building 40 on Drury Lane.

*Parking will be available in Lots 1 and 2 on Drury Lane.

Lodging Options:

Should you require accommodations, there are a number of local options:

Questions? Contact Dr. Katie Gilbert, Director of the Humanities and Ethics Center and Field Representative for the Missouri Humanities Council at