Concord Social Sciences Department Offers Symposia to Expand the Mind

For Immediate Release: 
Oct 04 2004

Concord Social Sciences Department Offers Symposia to Expand the Mind

Athens, W.Va. – At Concord University, students and guests to the campus are learning to read between the scenes while watching some of their favorite movies thanks to the Social Sciences department’s fall symposia lineup.

Social Sciences Division Chair, Dr. John David Smith, notes that, “The symposia are free. We want to make Concord more of a learning community and we encourage the public to attend the symposia.”

The symposia combine entertainment with discussion designed to stimulate the minds of students and guests from the community by asking attendees to take a closer look at thought-provoking films.

“This is our third year hosting these symposia, and we’re extremely pleased with the reception we’re getting from the students,” said Dr. George Towers, associate professor of geography. “Response has been terrific in the past, which is why we’re continuing to offer these movie nights.”

The films are shown in the recently-remodeled Concord Film Society screening room located in Marsh Hall, room 237-A, featuring tiered seating for easier viewing, a projector screen, and professional blackout curtains, as well as several speakers mounted at intervals in the room for an optimal viewing experience. Students and guests are encouraged to bring their own refreshments to the screenings. The films all begin at 7:30 p.m., and the symposia will begin at 7:00 p.m. and last one hour.

According to Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Rodney Klein, “The goal of these films and discussions is to provide an alternative educational opportunity that spans the curriculum as opposed to being specifically departmental ... we’re aiming to bridge some of the gaps between the social sciences departments and get the audience to think. We want them to get a different perspective on these films.”

One symposium in particular that Dr. Klein is looking forward to is “A Clockwork Orange” with the accompanying discussion on freedom. “It’s almost a direct argument against B.F. Skinner’s approach to behaviorism in psychology, which should be extremely interesting,” Dr. Klein enthused.

Following is a schedule of the films and discussions for the fall semester.

October 6, 7:30 p.m. – “Lawrence of Arabia”

October 13, 7:30 p.m. – “The Manchurian Candidate”

October 19, 7:00 p.m. – “Choice, Freedom and Behavior Modification” – A discussion presented by Professors Karen Griffee and J. Murray Murdoch, Jr. in the College Center Ballroom. The symposium will address the films “Lawrence of Arabia,” “The Manchurian Candidate,” and “A Clockwork Orange.”

October 20, 7:30 p.m. – “A Clockwork Orange”

October 27, 7:30 p.m. – “The Witches of Eastwick”

October 28, 7:00 p.m. – “Wiccans, Druids, & Elves, Oh My! Findings from the Neo-Pagan Census” – A discussion presented by Professor Tracy Luff, location to be announced at a later date. The symposium will refer to content regarding the film “The Witches of Eastwick.”

November 1, 7:00 p.m. – “West Virginia Voting” – A symposium presented by Professors Jim White and George Towers in the College Center Ballroom will discuss the surprising 2000 election results regarding West Virginia’s republican votes, and analyze current party affiliations for the West Virginia region as well as speculate on the possible outcomes of the 2004 election.

November 10, 7:30 p.m. – “Gentleman’s Agreement”

November 16, 7:00 p.m. – “West Virginia Voting Follow-Up” – A discussion lead by Professors Jim White and George Towers in the College Center Ballroom will re-examine topics presented in the symposium held on November 1 as well as discuss any new developments and political events.

Please direct any questions regarding movie night to Professor Jim White at 1-304-384-6061 or email Any questions regarding the symposia should be directed to Professor George Towers at 1-304-384-6040 or email


CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.

Amanda Rebholz, a student in Concord University’s English department wrote this press release. Her hometown is Waco, Texas.