DEFIANCE, Ohio – Two noted scholars will be the guest presenters for this year’s McMaster Symposium at Defiance College. The event will be held April 7-8, 2010 on the DC campus with the theme "Democracy and Education in the Face of Rural Change."
Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is www.defiance.edu.
Keynote speaker Adam Renner, associate professor of education at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, will present on Wednesday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Schomburg Auditorium. Renner has a Ph.D. in cultural studies from the University of Tennessee and focuses his research on issues of pedagogy, social difference, and service learning. He will clarify the necessary long term (and feasible) work ahead for future educators.
Renner has done research and long-term service with schools and social service agencies in Jamaica, Mexico and Canada. He has also been published in Educational Studies, EcoJustice Review, Rethinking Schools, the Rouge Forum, the High School Journal, the Kentucky Journal of Excellence, the International Journal of Learning, and the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing.
Invited speaker Patrick Carr, associate professor of sociology at Rutgers, will speak on Thursday, April 8, at 2 p.m. in Schomburg Auditorium. Carr co-authored the book, Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What it Means for America, with his partner Maria Kefala.
Carr and Kefala spent a year living in "Ellis," a small town in northeastern Iowa, conducting ethnographic research on the residents and the young adults who moved away. Through in-depth interviews Carr and Kefala identified four categories of residents: the working-class “stayers,” the college-bound “achievers,” the military-bound “seekers,” and the “returners." Evidence gathered by Carr and Kefala indicate that the town's decline can be attributed to its own well meaning residents. Parents, teachers/coaches, and clergy encouraged the "best and brightest" to leave and subsequently did not support the social and civic development of the "stayers." Carr will argue that the decline and continual loss of small Midwestern towns has already had and will continue to have a major detrimental impact on the economic health of the United States. Carr will discuss solutions for small towns to retain, attract, and develop a creative and entrepreneurial mindset that will re-position rural America for the global economy.
Both presentations are free and open to the public. For more information about the symposium, go to www.defiance.edu/pages/MS_speakers_symposia.html.
Defiance College’s McMaster School for Advancing Humanity is the sponsor of the McMaster Symposium.
March 29, 2010