Strong English Department Representation at TEDxWesternIllinoisUniversity


Rebecca Gonner (English undergraduate and member of the Presidents Institute). Dr. David Banash, Dr. Marjorie Allison, Dr. Chris Morrow, Dr. Merrill Cole

English faculty represented half of the speakers in Western Illinois University’s first-ever TEDx event, hosted by The Presidents Institute on the fifth of April. The theme for the event was Embracing Uncertainty, and Dr. Merril Cole, Dr. Marjorie Allison, Dr. Chris Morrow, and Dr. David Banash each gave a unique talk connecting to their personal experiences and passions. Dr. Cole’s talk was titled “Your Humanity, The Real One” and focused on his struggle with the uncertainty of having HIV as a young adult. Dr. Allison’s talk was titled “Buckle Up: Rough Road Ahead” and dealt with the uncertainty of lies and getting through tough times. Dr. Morrow’s talk was titled “‘The Uncertain Glory of an April Day’: Shakespeare’s Example” and explained the uncertainty that Shakespeare likely dealt with each day and explored a comparison between Shakespeare and first-generation college students. Dr. Banash’s talk was titled “Reconceptualizing Vocation, Utility, and the Value of Liberal Arts Education” and discussed the dangers of secondary education becoming essentially job training rather than an opportunity for students to explore and grow. The event was a success, with all eight speakers eloquently sharing their ideas with the audience gathered. It was an honor to be present for such moving and inspiring talks.