The Medieval Monster And The Modern Age

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - by Keri Lamb, Chattanooga State

The Humanities and Fine Arts Division of Chattanooga State Community College will host the third lecture of its 6th annual Chautauqua Lecture Series on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. in the Humanities Building, Room 133, Chattanooga State Main Campus, 4501 Amnicola Hwy.  The event is free to all members of the public.

In 1874, people gathered on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in New York State to enjoy speakers, teachers, musicians and specialists who entertained and educated members of the community, thus catalyzing an adult education movement that subsequently spread throughout rural America.

Since 2014, Chattanooga State has hosted its own monthly Chautauqua to unite faculty, students, staff and the larger Chattanooga community in exploring a wide array of topics within the Humanities.

This year, Chattanooga State’s Chautauqua Series features the compelling and culturally relevant research of seven Humanities & Fine Arts faculty as well as the series finale with Writers@Work 2019-2020 visiting author Daniel Wallace. 

This month, Instructor Jillian Sutton will present “The Medieval Monster and the Modern Age,” which examines what makes and dictates a monster, who decides what is monstrous, and when we should be critical of those creating monstrous beings. Werewolves, unicorns and dragons are as ever present today as they were in the Middle Ages. By looking through the eyes of these “monstrous” beings, Instructor Sutton will invite audience members to explore the fears, fetishes and desires of the societies that bring monsters to life. 

The series will resume in the Spring semester on Feb. 13, 2020 with Dr. De’Lara Khalili Stephens’ talk entitled “Time Reversed, Souls Severed, and Psyches Split: Exploring Trauma and Redemption in Holocaust Literature and Film,” which discusses how reversing time, dividing the soul and doubling the psyche are motifs used in Holocaust literature and film—not only to deepen empathy, but also to heal and even redeem trauma.

On March 19, 2020, Dr. Nick Mansito and Dr. Buck Weiss will delve into the importance of superheroes in popular culture and what their stories reveal about ethics, morality, philosophy and mythology in “The Value of Superheroes.”

The final installment in the 2019-2020 Chautauqua Lecture Series will be held on April 9, 2020 in partnership with the Humanities Department’s Writers@Work program. This special event features an interview conducted by Associate Professor Sarah Page with the 2019-2020 Writers@Work visiting author Daniel Wallace about the film adaptation of his celebrated novel Big Fish.



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