All seminars are free, but we’d like you to register
them so we can plan for enough seating for each session.
a reservation please contact:
Kathy Miller, (616) 395-7860,
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
Dr. Rhoda Janzen
9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Not unreasonably, we expect our community of origin to affect our
expressions of spirituality, and, for better or for worse, to explain
why we seek or reject church participation as adults. However, our
community of origin also predicates our response to crisis, setting
the stage for how we will process challenges like divorce, change,
risk, and forgiveness. Dr. Rhoda Janzen, author of Mennonite in
a Little Black Dress, discusses her conservative upbringing in a presentation
about memoir, media, and Mennonites. Trained as a poet and literary
scholar, Dr. Janzen will describe her unexpected decision to tackle
a humorous memoir. She will use an excerpt from the book to frame the
contrasting responses among Mennonite and non-Mennonite readers. Q & A
“Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is snort-up-your-coffee funny,
breezy yet profound, and poetic without trying.”
Now in her tenth year at Hope College, Dr. Janzen teaches American literature,
grammar, and creative writing. Her nonfiction has been excerpted and reviewed
in the New York Times, and she has been featured in many sources including
Time Magazine, USA Today, People, Elle, Marie Claire, The L.A. Times, and Entertainment
Weekly. Her memoir Mennonite in a Little Black Dress (Henry Holt, 2009) was
Editor’s Pick in the New York Times Book Review; it appears on Publishers
Weekly Top 100 Books of the Year 2009.
—Kate Christensen, New York Times
“Four stars!”—People Magazine”
The Valley Sim: New Forms
of Storytelling in a Digital Age
Dr. Christian Spielvogel
9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
While the Internet has provided us with unprecedented and instantaneous access
to vast sums of information, it also contains great untapped potential as a
creative storytelling medium. This seminar examines one such example of digital
storytelling — the Valley Sim — in greater depth. The Valley Sim
is an online reenactment or simulation of the American Civil War based on the
award-winning Valley of the Shadow digital archive. The Valley archive contains
tens of thousands of original photographs, diaries, letters, maps, and newspaper
articles that tell extraordinary stories about ordinary people from two wartime
communities—Augusta County, Va., and Franklin County, Pa. The Valley
Sim, by assembling the most dramatic, illustrative, and vital fragments from
the Valley archive, generates a compelling, ground-level narrative of
two wartime communities that students and members of the general public alike
can reenact through collaborative online role-play. The seminar explores this
project and its implications for 21st century forms of participatory learning
Dr. Spielvogel is an associate professor of communication at Hope, where
he teaches courses in rhetoric and culture, social media, and conflict resolution,
and conducts research on how public discourse and serious games can be used
to critique enmity, violence, and war.
Who Is It?
Voice Quality and Speaker Identification
Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown
11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Have you ever listened to a person you don’t know—maybe over the
phone or on the radio? Did you somehow get a mental picture of that person: male
or female, older or younger, ethnicity? What information in the voice does the
brain use to help us create the image of the speaker and how accurate are we
in making these perceptual decisions? This seminar presents perceptual results
for the contribution of voice quality as well as acoustic analysis outcomes that
shed some light on the psychoacoustic variations that appear to help us to identify
Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown has been an assistant professor of psychology at Hope since
2005. Her research is in the areas of perception and psychoacoustics, and explores
speech perception and the acoustic correlates that give rise to perceptual interpretations.
She has worked extensively with cross-language speech perception and production
with various languages, including American English, Japanese, German, Spanish,
and African American English. In March 2009, she was selected as one of the
inaugural class of Franklin & Marshall Emerging Scholars Fellows for her
work with acoustic resonance characteristics and speaker identification.
New Applications of Nuclear Science
to Address Environmental
and Forensic Questions
Dr. Graham Peaslee
11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Particle accelerators have been the mainstay of experimental nuclear science
for more than 50 years, and Hope College installed a brand new particle accelerator
in 2004 with the unique purpose of expanding traditional nuclear science into
other fields. Over the past five years we have expanded our research program
from basic nuclear science into applied questions in environmental science,
biochemistry, geochemistry, and even forensic science. This presentation will
discuss this interdisciplinary growth and show examples where we use accelerated
particles to study diverse topics such as contaminated lake sediments, proteins,
auto glass, and sand dunes! Not only have we created new fundamental research
results, but we have a wonderful educational tool for students from a wide
variety of disciplines.
Dr. Graham Peaslee is professor of chemistry and geological and environmental
sciences and chair of the chemistry department. He and Dr. Paul DeYoung in physics
have collaborated to run the Hope College Nuclear Group for the past 16 years.
Between them, they have mentored over 100 research students and produced more
than 100 research publications associated with the Hope College Nuclear Group.
A lot to do for Hope Theatre’s
Much Ado About Nothing
Dr. Daina Robins, Professor Michelle Bombe
and Professor Richard Smith
11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Join members of the department of theatre as they give you an inside view
of the preparations for the upcoming production of Shakespeare’s Much
Ado About Nothing to be performed on campus in March. The director and
designers will share insights into their research and renderings of the designers,
hear about the director’s dramaturgical approach, and see how the play
goes from the page to the stage!
Dr. Daina Robins joined Hope's theatre department in 1991 and has served
as chair since 1997. She teaches acting, directing, and theatre history
for the department as well as the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. Recent productions
include Big Love, Little Women (the musical), and Rabbit
Hole. Dr. Robins is
a founding member of Double Edge Theatre of Massachusetts.
In addition to teaching, Michelle Bombe, professor of theatre, is the resident
costume designer and director of theatre for the department. Professor Bombe
is very active in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, serving
as the vice-chair for Region 3. Her work has been seen at Hope Summer Repertory
Theatre where she worked for 11 years and for 10 years at The Kentucky Shakespeare
Richard L. Smith, is an M.F.A. and McKnight Fellow from University of Minnesota.
He currently serves as professor of theatre and resident scene designer at
Hope College, where he teaches courses in stage design, theatre crafts, and
For additional information please contact: Lynne Powe ’86,
(616) 395-7860, email@example.com