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Value

The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute has chosen the theme "Value" for its 2014-15 faculty seminar. "Value" is one of our keywords, easy to say and to claim, though almost impossible to pin down in its complexity and range all the way from the most material to the most ethereal. Yet, has there ever been a society where questions of value have not been front and center, both foundation and purpose, assumption and teleology, a matter for dispute, conviction and doubt? As a term that has been construed in so many different forms in so many different contexts, it is an ideal topic for interdisciplinary investigation. Read on for a list of this year's fellows.

Albie Sachs To Give Lecture at UMass

Called "arguably the world's most famous judge" in The Guardian, the famed South African judge Albie Sachs will give a lecture on September 10 at Umass at 4 p.m. in the new Integrative Learning Center, room south 331. Sachs's lecture will be on "The Value of Values: Lessons from the South African Transformation" and will inaugurate this year's ISI theme, "Value."

Max Page Completes Tenure as Rome Prize Fellow

Current ISI 'Value' fellow Max Page completed his tenure as a Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Awarded annually by the American Academy in Rome to about 30 scholars in diverse fields, the prize includes a two-year stipend plus room and board on the Academy's 11-acre campus. Page was in Rome from January to July, during which he kept a blog of more than 200 entries, including photos and observations.

Page researched the way the era of Mussolini is remembered, memorialized, and marked on the physical places of Rome, and his interview with the American Academy in Rome about his work can be found here. Upon returning to Massachusetts, Page published an article in the Boston Globe, "The Roman Architecture of Mussolini, Still Standing."

Janice Irvine Wins Contexts Claude Award

ISI Board Member and Sociology professor Janice Irvine was awarded the Contexts Claude Award for "Can't Ask, Can't Tell: How Institutional Review Boards Keep Sex in the Closet" by the American Sociology Association's magazine. She will be honored at the editorial board meeting during the ASA conference on August 16.

Her article was published in the same magazine in spring 2012, and the award is designed to recognize "outstanding contributions to Contexts...as judged by the members of the magazine's editorial board." The award series is named after Claude Fischer, the ASA magazine's founding editor.

Find the UMass press release here and a podcast interview with Irvine about her work, hosted on the Society Pages, here.

ISI Call for Applications 2014 - 2015: Value (Application Deadline Extended)

The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute has chosen the theme "Value" for its 2014-15 faculty seminar. "Value" is one of our keywords, easy to say and to claim, though almost impossible to pin down in its complexity and range all the way from the most material to the most ethereal. Yet, has there ever been a society where questions of value have not been front and center, both foundation and purpose, assumption and teleology, a matter for dispute, conviction and doubt? As a term that has been construed in so many different forms in so many different contexts, it is an ideal topic for interdisciplinary investigation.

For our 2014 - 2015 seminar, we invite participants to explore our theme from the vantage point of different disciplinary and/or creative perspectives. How has value been construed at different points in history, or by different cultures? How has it been construed in philosophy, literature, economics, psychology, journalism, education or science? As a concept that evokes broad theoretical issues as well as specific historical, political, intellectual and creative concerns, we are confident that it will create a rich and invigorating topic for our selected cohort of faculty fellows. All fellows will receive a $1500 research allowance.

For a fuller description of the theme and information on how to apply, please click here. Please note: The deadline for submitting an application has been extended to Friday, March 7.

Clingman Gives Mandela Tribute at Faculty Senate

On December 12, 2013, ISI Director Stephen Clingman addressed the Faculty Senate with a tribute to Nelson Mandela. Clingman's tribute recalls his own meeting with Mandela in 1991 and commemorates Mandela's vision of liberation, and his legacy. The full-length tribute can be found here on the Massachusetts Review's website.

Earlier this past summer, Clingman was interviewed by the Hampshire Gazette for the article "South African UMass Professors Reflect on Life of Nelson Mandela." In the article, Clingman describes conversing with Mandela while conducting research for his book Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary, about the lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Bram Fischer who defended Mandela. Clingman's recollections about Mandela, as well as those of other South African UMass professors, can be found here.

Current ISI Fellow Shona Macdonald Discusses Her Work

Current ISI fellow Shona Macdonald discusses her creative process and the relationship between landscape and memory in this video produced by UMass as part of the Research Next project, which highlights faculty research for its scholarship and creativity. Macdonald describes her work's relationship with interdisciplinarity, clarifying, "We talk about interdisciplinarity. And sometimes when people say that they mean the links between sculpture and painting. But when I say it I actually mean the links between art and geography, art and history, art and architecture, art and English." 

Joya Misra Jump-starts Her Research

Joya Misra, ISI fellow 2012-13, used her fellowship year to jump-start her research with a focus on publicizing her work through a variety of mediums, as well as the research in top journal Gender and Society. In addition to developing the journal's online presence, Misra's work appeared in several forums over the year: the symposium on Equal Pay, two radio interviews (one the cost of child care and the other with Arnie Arnesen for "The Attitude"). Her work was also cited two in the New York Times (links can be found here and here). 

Negotiating Culture Book Launch

Celebrate ISI's first book! A book launch and book signing for ISI's first edited collection, Negotiating Culture, will be held at Amherst Books on October 11 at 4.30 p.m. Edited by Laetitia La Follette, the volume includes contributions from David Bollier, Stephen Clingman, Susan DiGiacomo, Oriol Pi-Sunyer, Margaret Speas, Banu Subramaniam, Joe Watkins, & Martin Wobst and originated from ISI's productive faculty seminars. A review by contributor David Bollier can be found here. Negotiating Culture examines issues of cultural heritage and intellectual property in a variety of contexts, from contests over tangible artifacts to more abstract forms of culture such as language and oral traditions.

Lugosch Named Fellow by American Insitute of Architects

ISI Board member Kathleen Lugosch was elevated to fellow of the American Institute of Architects on June 21, 2013 at the AIA's National Convention in Denver, Colorado. 

Lugosch's honor recognizes her outstanding contribution to the creation of the first public accredited architecture program in New England as well as her excellence in the profession. Her nomination notes that the architecture program is distinctly interdisciplinary, drawing faculty from diverse departments such landscape and regional planning, engineering, art history, history, and the interdisciplinary environmental sciences program. Lugosch's contributions to the program include working to provide access to an architectural education regardless of financial ability and to promote women's interest and involvement in architecture careers. 

A full list of the 2013 fellows can be found here.

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