• Citron Public Lecture 

Higginson Leads Seminar on April 13

On Wednesday, April 13, former 'Emancipation' fellow John Higginson will lead a seminar on 'Work, Workers and Industrial Transformation in Southern Africa' in Thompson Hall 919 at 4:00 pm. The event is cosponsored by the Economics Department, the  PERI African Development Policy Speakers Series, and the UMass Economic Department's History and Development seminar. Prof. Higginson's paper will be pre-circulated - please contact Prof. Johan Mathew.

Citron Residency Public Events: Lecture and Panel Discussion

The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute (ISI) is delighted to welcome Professor Danielle Citron, Lois K. Macht Research Professor and Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, who will visit UMass from April 4-8 as part of the 2016 ISI Residency. Professor Citron will present a public lecture entitled “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace” on Tuesday, April 5 at 4:30 pm in Room 904-908 of the UMass Campus Center. In addition, Professor Citron will join current ISI Fellows Jennifer Fronc (History), TreaAndrea Russworm (English), and Jenny Vogel (Art) for a panel discussion on Wednesday, April 6 at 12:30 pm in Room 174-176 of the UMass Campus Center. The panel is titled “Identity CTRL: Trolls, Bullies, and Power in the Digital Age.” Professor Citron will also interact with students and faculty across the disciplines during seminars, classroom visits, and a meeting with this year’s ISI Faculty Fellows, who have been considering the topic of “Secrecy, Publicity, Privacy, Security” from various perspectives throughout the year.

Henderson Publishes Lead Article, Visiting Scholar

Lisa Henderson, former ISHA fellow and current ISI Board member, is a visiting scholar at McGill’s Institute for Gender, Feminist, and Sexuality Studies this Spring (https://www.mcgill.ca/igsf/about/visiting).  Her essay “Queers and Class: Toward a Cultural Politics of Friendship” appeared in December as the lead article in a special issue of Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism, published by The Raymond Williams Society.

Danielle Citron Residency, "Hate Crimes in Cyberspace"

The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute is delighted to welcome Professor Danielle Citron, Lois K. Macht Research Professor and Professor of Law, who will visit UMass from April 4-7 as part of the 2015-2016 ISI Residency. Professor Citron will present a public lecture entitled "Hate Crimes in Cyberspace" on Tuesday, April 5 at 4:30 p.m. (location to be announced). During her residency, Professor Citron will interact with students and faculty across the disciplines in a range of events, including graduate seminars, classroom visits, and meetings with faculty from Computer Science as well as this year's ISI Faculty Fellows, who have been considering the topic "Secrecy, Publicity, Privacy, Security" from various perspectives throughout the year.

Achebe Symposium Videos Now Available

Video recordings of the panel discussions and presentations during the our 2015 symposium, 'Forty Years After: Chinua Achebe and Africa in the Global Imagination,' are now available on our website. You can follow this link, or select "Achebe Images" in the main menu above. Copies of the video recordings have also been shared with the W.E.B. Dubois Library and Special Collections, and will be available for use in Moodle and Blackboard courses for online streaming. For more information on how to embed the library's resources into your class's learning management system page, see IT's instructions here

For a copy of the program, please see the 'Achebe Symposium' link above for a detailed list of the panelists and their biographies.

'Trespassing:' ISI Announces Call for 2016-2017 Fellows

Faculty Seminar 2016-17: Call for Applications


Trespassing is ordinarily thought of as a misdemeanor, if not a crime, and as a violation of a declared boundary. Moreover, changes to what the boundary protected are ordinarily treated as damage. Trespassing is never encouraged, generally prohibited, and often punished. It is a phenomenon that can take many forms, often no more than setting foot across a property line, but also migrating or fleeing across a territorial boundary, or working in a discipline other than one’s own.

A disciplinary example is the lengthy critique of the standard practice of historians in the second epilogue to Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Was Tolstoy trespassing and thereby intruding on a domain that properly belonged only to historians? Did his historiography mar War and Peace as literature? Alternatively, isn’t War and Peace admired for so effectively combining literature and history, and inventing a new form of the novel in the process? War and Peace may be emblematic of the 19th century’s scientific, academic, and aesthetic trespassing of the boundaries between disciplines and modes of investigation, but the 21st century has notable equivalents. Philosophers study neuroscience and neuroscientists study philosophy, economists use psychology and psychologists use economics, biologists model language change and linguists model evolution, computer scientists produce works of art and artists write code. This is a handful of examples among many in today’s scientific, academic and aesthetic practices.

A more fraught case of apparent trespass concerns today’s massive movement of migrants and refugees. Stakes are high as activists, policy-makers, opponents, and migrants themselves ask by whom and how boundaries should be controlled or policed. What is involved in crossing boundaries, both for those who cross, and those in the host territory? What are the losses, what are the gains? Are host locales enriched by new energies and new compassions, developing new versions of identity and purpose? What are the ethics of hosting that might diminish or even negate the hierarchy of ‘host’ and ‘intruder’? Are nations and their citizens morally obligated to accept the influx of migrants and refugees, just as practitioners of particular disciplines may be obliged to accept the contributions of ‘outsiders’?

We invite colleagues to reflect on the act of trespassing and examine it as an intellectual, scientific, artistic, political, social, cultural or legal act. We also invite you to trespass in your questions and design. What obstructions do trespassers encounter, whether from colleagues, citizens or others who claim ownership? What does trespassing disrupt in one’s own well-honed practice or sense of the familiar? What is damaged and what is generated? And finally, how is trespassing transformed into collaboration and remapping, finding neighbors, colleagues and compatriots in new versions of home?

The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute is a faculty forum for discussion and engagement across the disciplines. Each year the focal point of our activity is a seminar organized around a specific topic. No matter your field, period, cultural focus, discipline or perspective, we call on colleagues from the humanities and arts to the social sciences and sciences to bring your own inspiration to our theme and tell us how you would like to approach it. We invite you to submit a proposal setting out your particular interests. All fellows will receive a $1500 research allowance.

The proposal should describe in 1-2 pages the nature of your project and how you would present it to the seminar. The proposal should be accompanied by a copy of your c.v. The 8-10 fellows who are selected will meet at regular intervals during the academic year to discuss presentations from each seminar member in turn (each fellow presents once). Among the obligations of the group will be a capstone event at the end of the year. Meetings are on Fridays at lunch, so you must be free at that time. Proposals should be sent by email to isi@umass.edu by Monday, February 29th, 2016.

For more information on the seminar or ISI, please contact the Director, Stephen Clingman, at clingman@english.umass.edu or see our website at www.umass.edu/isi. Major funding for ISI comes from the Provost, and the Deans of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, with additional funding from the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences.

Interdisciplinary Studies Institute: Director and Board Members
Stephen Clingman, ISI Director, Department of English
Lee Badgett, Center for Public Policy and Administration
Janice Irvine, Department of Sociology
Lisa Henderson, Department of Communication
John Kingston, Department of Linguistics
Randall Knoper, Department of English
Kathleen Lugosch, Department of Architecture
Banu Subramaniam, Department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies

Lee Badgett Discusses New Book, The Public Professor

Lee Badgett, ISI Board member and director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, will discuss her new book The Public Professor: How to Use Your Research to Change the World on Wednesday, January 27 at 4 p.m. in the Amherst Room of the Campus Center. Amy Shalet, from the department of sociology and director of the Public Engagement Project, will moderate the event. Elizabeth Chilton, former ISI Engagement fellow, will comment along with Sylvia Brand from the department of resource economics.

 The book was published this month from New York University Press. Among the book's many positive reviews, Urvashi Vaid, author of Irresistible Revolution praises, "From one of the foremost publicly engaged scholars in the country, this brilliant and groundbreaking primer for academics interested in applying their expertise in the policy realm is also a deeply useful manual for all policy advocates. Combing astute power analysis of how policy is made with strategic communications advice, stories of real-life experience with an accessible and clear style, Lee Badgett has created an essential training tool for every academic, graduate student, law student and advocate interested in informing public policy debates."