Messiah College

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Keynote Address: David McCullough

February 21-28

Although the close of the Cold War ended a generation-old bipolar world, there has been much written and said in recent years about a growing bipolar nation in America. Whether it is electoral politics, foreign policy, economic trends, digital and technological developments, the “culture wars,” racial, ethnic, gender, and religious tensions, or education, public discourse is said to have become increasingly based on binary thinking that leaves little room for negotiation, compromise, collaboration, or collective benefit.

The 2005 Spring Humanities Symposium provides an opportunity to explore these declared trends. To what extent is the Two Americas thesis accurate? Where are we seeing such troubling trends? Where alternatively is there evidence of unity, consensus, integration, and the blurring of sharp dividing lines? In essence, where are the many becoming one, and where are the many becoming two? Finally, what are the promises and pitfalls of viewing the world in terms of unitary, binary, or fragmentary perspectives?

These are the critical questions we invite the community at Messiah College to explore during the Spring 2005 Humanities Symposium.



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