Annual faculty symposium celebrates humanities

A Roman’s defense in a seduction suit, ethnic identities in Australian soccer and the search for sex at Ellis Island are some of the topics at hand in the third annual Faculty Symposium at Bates College on Saturday, Sept. 29. This year’s Symposium, part of the annual Celebrate Bates! Weekend, focuses on research undertaken by members of the Bates faculty in the humanities.

The symposium, which begins in Pettengill Hall at 9 a.m., is designed to share Bates scholarship with alumni, students and their parents, along with the faculty at large. The 10 presentations involve research soon to be published, projects still in development, and results of sabbaticals. Questions and discussion after each talk are encouraged. Among the presenters are:

Margaret Imber, assistant professor of classical and medieval studies, who uses the legal defense of a Roman citizen (accused of seducing a widow with magic) to illustrate how provincial Romans constructed their cultural identity;

Loring M. Danforth, professor of anthropology, who makes the game of soccer a frame for examining ways in which the ethnic and cultural narratives of Australian society serve the country’s political and economic interests;

Erica Rand, associate professor of art. Rand, author of the alternative social history Barbie’s Queer Accessories (Duke University Press, 1995), scrutinizes Ellis Island for the traces of immigrants whose sexual and cultural identities fell outside the mainstream.