New lecture series on technology and the humanities kicks off Thursday at Lawrence Tech

SOUTHFIELD – A new lecture series on the intersection of technology and the humanities starts Thursday, Oct. 11 at Lawrence Technological University.

The “Humanity + Technology” Series is sponsored by the LTU Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communications, in collaboration with the Teagle Foundation, the Marburger STEM Center, the LTU College of Arts and Sciences, and the LTU College of Architecture and Design.

The first lecture, “Are Computer Technologies Just Tools?” will be presented Thursday from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in Room A200 of the LTU Architecture Building (see The presenter is N. Katherine Hayles, professor emerita of English at Duke University.

Hayles is a literary critic most notable for her contribution to the fields of literature and science, electronic literature, and American literature. Among other honors, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, and the Pilgrim Lifetime Achievement Award from Science Fiction Research Associates. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the National Humanities Center.

The series’ second event will be held Thursday, Oct. 18, also from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. – a panel discussion of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” Taking the bicentennial of the novel as its occasion, the panel brings together Michael Scrivener, distinguished professor of English at Wayne State University, Eric Meyer, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Lawrence Tech, and Dan Shargel, assistant professor of philosophy at Lawrence Tech. The talk is sponsored by the Marburger STEM Center, LTU’s clearinghouse for K-12 outreach in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art and architecture disciplines.

The series will continue Thursday, Nov. 15, with “Learning from Sci-Fi and Prototyping Alternative Futures,” to be held at 6:30 p.m. at LTU’s Detroit Center for Design + Technology, 4410 Woodward Ave. in Detroit. The presenter is Sophia Brueckner, assistant professor at the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan.

The series concludes for the fall semester Thursday, Dec. 13 with “Integrating Neuroscience and Cloud Technology to Break Through Institutional Barriers to Education,” at 12:30 p.m. in Room S100, the Mary E. Marburger Science and Engineering Auditorium at LTU’s Science Building. The presenter is Franco Pestilli, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University.

Further lectures in the “Humanity + Technology” series will be scheduled for LTU’s spring semester.

The New York City-based Teagle Foundation works to strengthen liberal arts education, supporting innovations in curriculum, teaching, and assessment, with an eye toward combining improvement in quality with consideration of cost. It was established in 1944 by Walter C. Teagle, longtime president and chairman of Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, now Exxon Mobil Corp.

The foundation’s support of the lecture series is part of a grant to Lawrence Tech and four other members of the Association of Independent Technological Universities to integrate liberal arts into engineering curricula.

Lawrence Technological University,, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 15 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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