Skip to main content
Belmont University logo


Benjamin Franklin's World - Symposium

Fourth Annual Fall Humanities Symposium - 2005
  • 'Why It's All About the Benjamin (Franklin, that is)'
    Lecture: Dr. David Curtis
    Massey Business Center Room 100, 10:00-10:50
Dr. David Curtis will explain why this year's Humanities Symposium is devoted to Franklin while giving an overview of Franklin's life, interests, and continuing importance to American culture. Thursday, October 27th
  • 'The Lost State of Franklin'
    Lecture: Dr. Amy Sturgis
    Massey Board Room, 11:00-12:00
Did you know that for four years after the American Revolution, several counties in what is now Tennessee (including Davidson County) were part of a state named for Benjamin Franklin? The Belmont Humanities Symposium presents a lecture by Dr. Amy Sturgis concerning the fascinating history of this failed commonwealth.
  • 'Benjamin Franklin and the Question of National Character'
    Keynote Address: Dr. Carla Mulford, Penn State University
    Massey Board Room, 6:00-7:15
Dr. Mulford will explore how Franklin's writings represent the conflicting attitudes about empire, nationhood, and 'race' in his era, showing how, early in his career, Franklin's ideas about different ethnic groups were shaped by the presumably liberal discourse of English nationhood. Later in his career, however, Franklin called England's vaunted liberalism into question. Friday, October 28th
  • 'Benjamin Franklin and Recreational Mathematics'
    Lecture: Dr. Mary Goodloe and Dr. Andy Miller
    Hitch Science Building Room 408, 10:00-10:50
    As part of the Belmont Humanities Symposium Professors Mary Goodloe and Andy Miller will present insights into Benjamin Franklin's interest in recreational mathematics--specifically his creation of 'magic squares' and 'magic circles.'
  • 'Portraying Historical Characters'
    Discussion/Performance: David Alford and Rene Copeland of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre production of 1776
    Belmont Little Theatre, 3:00-4:00
    David Alford and Rene Copeland from the Tennessee Repertory Company's production of the musical 1776 discuss the rewards and challenges of performing historical characters.
  • 'Rhetoric and Politics in Benjamin Franklin's Pictorial Representations of British America'
    Keynote Address: Dr. Lester Olson, University of Pittsburgh
    Massey Board Room, 6:00-7:15
    A lecture by Dr. Olson traces the fundamental changes in Franklin's conceptions of British America through his creation of visual images (most notably the 'Join or Die' cartoon).
Saturday, October 29th
  • 'Historian as Detective: Solving the Mysteries in Franklin's Papers'
    Keynote Address: Dr. Ellen Cohn, Yale University, Editor of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin
    Massey Board Room, 4:00-5:15
    During the twenty-five years Dr. Cohn has spent poring over Franklin's manuscripts she has cracked secret codes, traced spies, dated nearly all of Franklin's undated bagatelles, and pieced together astonishing 'hidden' stories through jottings on scraps of paper and miscellaneous account book entries.
Sunday, October 30th Popcorn and 'Pop'
LCVA vestibule, 3:30-4:00
  • Film and Discussion: National Treasure
    LCVA Auditorium, 4:00-7:00
    The Symposium presents a screening and discussion of the 2004 action film National Treasure , starring Nicholas Cage as Benjamin Franklin Gates, a man who gets caught up in a plot to steal the Declaration of Independence.
Monday, October 31st
  • 'Franklin at 300: What We Learned from the Symposium'
    Panel Discussion - Symposium Committee
    Massey Business Center Room 100, 10:00-10:50
    The symposium concludes with panel discussion on what was learned about Benjamin Franklin from the symposium events.