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For Immediate Release (00-56)
Date: October 6, 2000
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 (pager: 301-930-2880)

Montgomery College to Host Humanities Association
Conference on ‘Mr. Chips in Cybercollege’

The Paul Peck Humanities Institute of Montgomery College will host the eastern region division of the Community College Humanities Association Conference, November 9-11, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rockville, Md.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Mr. Chips in Cybercollege,” underscores critical issues facing today’s humanities educators—the interaction of the humanities and technology, and the merits of the electronic classroom versus the brick and mortar classroom.

According to Dr. Myrna Goldenberg, director of Montgomery College’s Paul Peck Humanities Institute—whose Smithsonian Fellows are studying the relationship between technology and the humanities with leading Smithsonian curators and researchers— “The printed book was probably among the first examples in recorded history of the application of technology to the humanities. We've come a long way. Are hand held books on their way to becoming a relic or a memory? Or has technology given us the ability to travel everywhere, to every era?”

“Mr. Chips in Cybercollege” addresses these kinds of questions. Scholars will argue the advantages and limitations of teaching in this cyber era. This year's sessions examine both the pros and cons of technology, in sessions ranging from “Hawthorne’s Salem on the Web” to “Managing Your Digital File Cabinet.” The sessions are designed to encourage participants, entice them, and warn them of potential pitfalls in the electronic classroom.

Featured speakers include Sven Birkerts, Harvard lecturer and author of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age; E. Ethelbert Miller, a Howard University educator and author of Fathering Words: The Making of an African-American Writer; Stephen Murray, Columbia University professor and expert on the great Gothic cathedrals of France; and Valerie Neal, curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

The conference will also feature an exhibitor showcase featuring products and services that integrate technology in the teaching of the humanities. Vendors who wish to exhibit at the conference should contact Gail Youth at 301-581-1153, or e-mail gyouth@mc.cc.md.us.

For more information about the conference, contact Dr. Myrna Goldenberg at 240-567-7417.

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