Wayne State University will be a hub for humanities research this summer


This summer, two unique humanities conferences will take place at Wayne State University, sponsored by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) will hold its twelfth biennial conference, "Rust/Resistance: Works of Recovery," at Wayne State June 20-24. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in field trips, film screenings, walking sessions and a cultural crawl through Midtown Detroit.

Italian professor Elena Past, a coordinator for WSU's ASLE conference, said, "Detroit is an exciting place for the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment conference because in Detroit when you talk about environmentalism, you also have to talk about post-industrialism, environmental justice, urban agriculture, and the future of the city. In planning the conference, we have encountered so many people at Wayne State and across the city who are working to respond to these questions with art, activism, entrepreneurialism and innovative research."

Thinking with Stories in Times of Conflict: A Conference in Fairy-Tale Studies will take place at Wayne State Aug. 2 through 5. The conference will focus on the creativity that conflict can create. With plenary talks, workshops, panels, papers and roundtables, participants and facilitators will encourage a dialogue between creative and scholarly thinking with wonder tales in times of conflict.

Professor and department chair Anne Duggan, an expert in fairy tale studies and a coordinator of the conference, feels that fairy tales offer a different perspective while studying history. The conference will give a chance for participants to dissect the importance of fairy-tale studies even further.

"There are many examples in history of writers using fairy tales to address sociopolitical conflict," she said. "Fairy tales can also be put to the service of escapist fantasies in periods of pessimism. We live in a time in which many people share a general sense of insecurity due to instability in the economic, political, and social realms."

The following conference events are free and open to the public:

  • Detroit Water Wars: Empire and Ecology in the Postindustrial Heartland – June 21
  • Cultural Crawl: Progressive Evening in Midtown Detroit  – June 22
  • Watermark at the Detroit Film Theatre – June 23

Written by CLAS communications associate Christiana Castillo

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