Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Colloquium to Focus on Impact Roads Have on Our Hectic Lives

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Colloquium to Focus on Impact Roads Have on Our Hectic Lives

Article excerpt

We take them for granted until a pothole jars our attention. We spend a significant amount of time traveling along roads but don't think of the impact on our lives.

A USI colloquium wants us to turn our focus to roads, what part they played in history, what they mean to our lives today and how the notion of a road serves as a metaphor for the journey through complexities in our lives. The daylong discussion will continue Thursday night and all day Friday at the University of Southern Indiana.

Colloquium, which have been offered at the University of Southern Indiana since 2004 (except 2012), were established and coordinated by Patricia Aakus until her death. This year a team of professors, Michael Dixon, Ellen Topper and Josephine Kiteou, collaborated on the seminar which is funded by the USI Department of Liberal Arts. It is being offered free to the public. Past topics have included rivers, islands, the Parthenon, the

Great Wall and Other Barriers, masks and the Gothic Imagination.

"We wanted something simple that we all relate to on a daily basis but also a topic can show the complexities," Michael Dixon said. "What would life be like without roads?" he asked.

The committee turned to researchers in four disciplines including several poets to entice participants to consider roads in a new way.

The colloquium is described in this way: "Whether well-trodden pathways or modern superhighways, roads and road networks have provided the thoroughfares that have expedited both war and peace, sparked cultural, political, and religious revolutions, and provided inspiration to artists, musicians, and poets. Moreover, our understanding of the human body and the universe, specifically the conduits permeating both, has been the catalyst for countless scientific revolutions.

"This interdisciplinary colloquium will examine roads and pathways of all forms, their functions, and their impact through interdisciplinary approaches."

The topic Dixon found most surprising was the significant role roads play in the quality of health care to certain parts of the world because roads affect people's access.

The session actually started in early September with a lecture by the University of Evansville professor Alan Kaiser, who spoke on how "How Roman Roads Changed Roman Lives. …

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