Apart from its regular seminars, the ISI hosts a number of related activities. We are delighted to invite eminent figures for our Annual Lecture, which supplements and corresponds to our seminar in any given year; sometimes this takes on other formats, such as a symposium or panel presentation. We also host other panels and presentations from time to time, and co-sponsor other events on campus. Details on current and past activities are below.

ISI Panel on the Challenges of Public Scholarship

On Wednesday, April 24th at 4 pm, the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute will host a panel discussion on 'The Challenges of Public Scholarship' featuring fellows from our current seminar, in Campus Center room 904-08. The event will highlight the work of our fellows, and allow the campus community to join in the conversation on a timely and significant topic. In many ways, we are all being challenged to consider our wider relevance to the communities and society around us, yet definitions of 'engagement' and 'relevance' may vary widely, not least across the disciplines as well as for those working in interdisciplinary environments. At the same time, those who wish to undertake public scholarship confront a variety of challenges, whether obtaining research funding, finding appropriate publication venues, or meeting tenure and promotion criteria. Our panelists will get the discussion going, but this will be an opportunity to have a wide-ranging, collaborative conversation.

Following the Capstone Event, join us at the Faculty Club at 6 pm for drinks and appetizers as we celebrate the first year anniversary of ISI!

ISI Cosponsors Conference on Cultural Heritage

The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute (ISI) will cosponsor an international conference hosted by The University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Heritage and Society. ‘The Past for Sale? New Perspectives on the Economic Entanglements of Cultural Heritage’ will take place on the UMass Amherst Campus on May 15-17, 2013. The goal of the conference is to bring together a wide range of academics, economists, heritage professionals, development experts, government officials, and community leaders to examine the economic impact of cultural heritage. Rather than seeing tourism, urban redevelopment, and antiquities looting as distinct economic problems—as case-by-case profits and/or losses—the conferences hopes to encourage a multi-disciplinary discussion of the economic entanglements of cultural heritage.

Professor Michael Gomez (NYU) Gives Lecture

On Thursday, April 18th, the World Studies Interdisciplinary Project (WSIP) brings Professor Michael Gomez to campus for a talk entitled 'Malian Malestrom: Mayhem and Meaning in the Muslim World' in Herter 601 at 4:00. The lecture will center on Islam in Africa and current political troubles in Mali. The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute was a major sponsor of the original WSIP symposium and is proud to cosponsor this exciting event, which is part of a two-day visit by Professor Gomez. For full details and schedule of events, see the WSIP website.

Acclaimed Israeli Poet Visits Smith

Renowned Israeli translator, poet, linguist, and literary critic Rami Saari visited Smith College from April 2-15, 2013 as part of the College’s Visiting Scholars Program. During his stay, Saari offered a talk entitled ‘When Poets Translate Poets: Going Far and Getting Closer’ and met with interested students and faculty from across the Five Colleges. ISI was pleased to contribute to the event.

Biondi Speaks on ‘The Black Revolution on Campus'

On February 28th, the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute (ISI) was pleased to host a stimulating lecture with Professor Martha Biondi, Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University. Professor Biondi holds the position of Graduate Director in one of the first African American departments to grant a Ph.D. in the discipline, where her research examines the intersection of 20th Century African American History with social movements, politics, labor, gender, cities, and international affairs. Her critically acclaimed To Stand and Fight: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City received two prestigious awards: the Meyers Outstanding Book Award (2004) and the Thomas J. Wilson Prize (2003). Recent publications include articles in several journals and edited collections and, in 2012, The Black Revolution on Campus, from which her talk was drawn.