Love symposium events appear in concurrent formats

Held annually for its twelfth consecutive year, Virginia Wesleyan University’s Love Liberally Symposium took place between Feb. 7-18. The symposium explores various topics surrounding love and the liberal arts. 

In consideration of COVID-19 protocols, this year’s symposium appeared in two different formats: “Love Virtually” and “Love In-Person.” Both formats invited members of the VWU community to join.

“Love Virtually” offered an online version of the symposium through “Bob Talk” videos. Presented by various VWU community members, the videos displayed the notion of love through many unique perspectives.

What’s great about ‘Love Virtually’ is that the videos are available for everyone to view at their leisure,” Instructional Technologist Maegan Cook said. “I have been hearing about ‘Love Virtually’ since I started working at VWU in September, so I know it is a popular event.”

Cook presented a “Bob Talk” titled “Show Students Some Love with Technology.” The presentation connected professors with a multitude of ways to provide meaningful feedback to students through technology.

Other Love Liberally presentations included “Alma Mater” by Vox Vera, “For the Love of Musical Relationships” by Jason Squinobal, “The Love of Civic Engagement” by Erin Highsmith and “The Archeology of Love in Archaic Greece” by Ben Haller. These “Bob Talks,” along with last year’s, can be found on the VWU website.

In contrast to the “Love Virtually” format, “Love In-Person” offered various events for students and community members to attend in person. 

Among the in-person events offered, Hofheimer Library’s “Public Displays of Projection: For the Love of Silent Film” was a big hit. Research Librarian Amber Gruszeczka designed and led this event.

“As a librarian, I’m always looking for ways to share the library’s resources with the campus community,” Gruszeczka said. “As for this particular event, I thought it would be a fun way to teach our students about the public domain.”

All of the silent films presented by the library were a part of the public domain and included the films “College,” “Nosferatu” and “The Temptress.”

Similar to the in-person “Public Displays of Projection” event, communication professor Terry Lindvall displayed the in-person presentation “Homely, Friendly, Erotic and Divine: The Four Loves of C.S. Lewis.”

“As I sit in the endowed C. S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought, I need to honor the author,” Lindvall said. “I will speak about his Aristotelian categories of love from four Greek words to show subtle distinctions in our use of the term ‘love’ and to connect his thought to his lived theology.”

In his presentation, Lindvall explained C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves and revealed how it can be related to and beneficial for the lives of VWU students.

Some of the other “Love In-Person” events included an American Red Cross Blood Drive, HIV and STI Testing and Boyd Dining Center’s Valentine’s Delectables and Décor.

If students missed this year’s virtual and in-person Love Liberally events, they should be on the lookout for them once more this time next year.

Carey Seay