Dr. Ashley Green, assistant professor, English, and Writing Center coordinator, presented at the 17th Annual Conference on Illinois History Sept. 24-25 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center. Sponsors for the conference included the Illinois Historic Preservation Society and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.
Dr. Green participated in a panel with MacMurray faculty, Philosophy Professor Dr. Eric Berg, History Professor Dr. Chris Strangeman and English Professor Dr. Jeannie Zeck. The panel, “What is the Place of the Humanities?,” offered discussion on the importance of the humanities in building a better society and preparing students better for workforce success.
Dr. Eric Berg spoke about the importance of philosophy in teaching students how to think analytically and critically about their world; in addition, he believes philosophy helps students understand the why behind social and healthcare policies. Dr. Strangeman spoke to the importance of history in helping individuals feel a part of a historical continuum and global community. Dr. Zeck talked about the importance of literature, poetry and theater as a way to understand the human experience and develop a greater sense of empathy. Dr. Green discussed the significance of figurative language as a vehicle by which trauma victims can communicate their experience. Trauma, by definition, eludes articulation and full understanding. Dr. Green argued that through the use of figurative tools, a traumatized individual can best process his/her experience, express it to society and, finally, come to fully understand the traumatic event and integrate it with his/her identity.