During Alumni Weekend, the Center for Literature, Medicine and Biomedical Humanities celebrated its 20th anniversary by hosting a discussion and performance of E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops.” About 40 alumni attended the celebration.
Elizabeth (MacLeod) Walls ’96, an E.M. Forster Scholar, began the discussion with a brief history of E.M. Forster’s life and his ideals around the time he was writing “The Machine Stops” in 1909. She talked about Forster’s worries of losing human contact and interaction as the technological revolution was taking place. In many of his stories, he mentions the term “only connect” which can be found in “The Machine Stops” as well.
The introduction was then followed by a performance directed by Brittany Jackson ‘04, assistant director of the Center. Four alumni, Daniel Safko ‘09, Sarah Polly ‘10, Laura Ross ‘04, and Jackson, performed Eric Coble’s adaptation of “The Machine Stops,” with the assistance of current student Cara Battaglia ‘12.
Following the performance, Walls and Colleen Fried, professor of chemistry, director of the Center, and the Herbert L. and Pauline Wentz Chair of Biomedical Humanities, led those in attendance in discussion about the nuances and implications of the story and play and what bearing it has on today’s society that is focused on cell phones, texting and Facebook.
Photos from this event can be found here.
For more information about this performance or the Center for Literature, Medicine and Biomedical Humanities, please contact Brittany Jackson at 330.569.5380 or JacksonB1@hiram.edu.