Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

College of Arts and Sciences News

Kent State’s Wick Poetry Center Presents the 2014 Symposium on Democracy

Posted Apr. 7, 2014
enter photo description
Filmmaker Ken Burns will give the keynote address,
“Sharing the American Experience,” at the Symposium on
Democracy on April 22 at 7:30p.m. in the Memorial Athletic
and Convocation Center as part of the Kent State Presidential
Speaker Series.

(Photo credit: University of Texas at Arlington)

Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center will present the 2014 Symposium on Democracy from April 22-24. The symposium is a three-day event featuring multiple speakers and events.

“This year’s Symposium on Democracy, ‘Voices of the American Experience,’ will bring together three key national figures, including celebrated American documentarian Ken Burns; scholar and theorist Shannon E. French, Ph.D.; and poet, essayist, editor and translator Martín Espada, to engage participants around issues of democracy, civic discourse and voice,” says David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center and co-chair of the symposium, along with Kenneth J. Bindas, Ph.D., chair of the Department of History.

Burns will give the keynote address, “Sharing the American Experience,” at the Symposium on Democracy on April 22 at 7:30p.m. in the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center as part of the Kent State Presidential Speaker Series.

“Ken Burns is perhaps the most celebrated documentarian of our time,” says Hassler. “His body of work explores the American experience through the timeless lessons of history.”

Events on April 23 will feature a legislative theater workshop with Katherine Burke, a student poster exhibit and panel, a lecture by Shannon E. French, Ph.D., and a dramatic reading of the play May 4th Voices by Cleveland actors in the Kent Student Center Kiva. On April 24, there will be a lecture and a reading by poet Martín Espada and an art exhibit of selected works from the May 4 Collection, curated by Victoria Bocchicchio.

The 2014 Symposium on Democracy is presented by the Wick Poetry Center, hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, sponsored by the Office of the Provost, College of the Arts, College of Communication and Information, Honors College and University Libraries, and supported by the Department of History and Department of English.

“The tragic events of May 4, 1970, at Kent State University had a profound impact on the university, the nation and the world,” says Hassler. “The Symposium on Democracy is part of Kent State’s commemoration of the May 4, 1970, events.”

The purpose of the Symposium on Democracy is to honor the memories of the four students who lost their lives on that day – Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder – with an enduring dedication to scholarship that seeks to prevent violence and to promote democratic values and civil discourse.

“I think that everyone – but students especially – will be engaged on both an intellectual and emotional level throughout the symposium, and will be challenged to think about various key issues and the practice of democracy in our society,” says Hassler.

For more information and a complete schedule of this year’s symposium, visit www.kent.edu/democracy.

For questions about the Symposium on Democracy, contact Hassler at dhassle1@kent.edu or 330-672-1769.