HFA to Host Interdisciplinary Lightning Talks on Dec. 7
The College of Humanities & Fine Arts (HFA) will host Interdisciplinary Lightning Talks on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 4-6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall. The event—formerly known as 5 at 4—will highlight HFA faculty and their collaborators’ ongoing interdisciplinary research. It is free and open to the public.
The talks will feature the following:
- Jeremy Smith (Daniel Ellsberg Archivist, Libraries) and Joe Pater (Department of Linguistics, HFA), will present “Automated Analysis of Western Massachusetts Accents in Archived Recordings.” In this project, Smith and Pater use automatic speech recognition to analyze recordings of the speech and accents of Western Massachusetts residents and to develop tools for automatic phonetic analysis to study the structure of that speech.
- Christopher White (Department of Music and Dance, HFA) and Lisa Sanders (Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, CNS) ask the question, “Does musical culture affect how listeners ‘feel the beat’?” This study identifies rhythms that are unique to different world repertoires, and then uses a combination of behavioral tests and brain scans to examine how predictable and consistently listeners from different backgrounds project an underlying meter onto—or “feel the beat in”—those patterns.
- Annie Raymond (Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, CNS) and Laura Ciolkowski (Department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, HFA) will discuss “Math, Humanities and Social Justice in Jail.” They will share insights from a new UMass Prison Education Initiative program that teaches incarcerated students mathematical modeling, data analysis, and visualization practices in conversation with humanistic approaches to addressing inequality and dismantling systems of power.
- Eric Poehler (Department of Classics, HFA) and Thomas Bernardin (Executive Director Center for Data Science, CDS) will present “Data Science and the New Archaeology of Ancient Pompeii,” a collaboration between the Pompeii Artistic Landscape Project and the CICS Center for Data Science. The talk discusses an image-matching problem on a corpus of 70,000 pictures of Pompeii, solved by students from the Center for Data Science.
- Keisha Green (Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, EDUC) and Toussaint Losier (Department of W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, HFA) will discuss “The Souls of Black Folk and the Foundations of African American Studies: Assessing the Training of High School Educators.” This project will assess the effectiveness of The Souls of Black Folk workshop series, a set of free, in-person workshops for 15 high school educators interested in teaching the new AP African American Studies course that will be offered in 2024-25.
- Stephanie Fetta (Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, HFA) and Agustín Lao-Montes (Departments of W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies and Sociology, HFA/SBS) will discuss “Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx (LACL) Black, Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous Research Initiatives,” a new field of research at UMass developed by faculty, staff, and students.
- Charmaine A. Nelson (Department of History of Art and Architecture, HFA); Favorite Iradukunda (Nursing, EMCN); Lindiwe Sibeko (Department of Nutrition, SPHHS); Lucinda Canty (Nursing, EMCN); and Shannon Roberts (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, ENGIN) will share insights from “Maternity in Crisis: Redressing the Histories and Present of Black Pregnancy and Childbirth.” Their interdisciplinary research examines the historical underpinnings of the contemporary Black maternal health crisis and seeks to ameliorate the ongoing differential health care and social impacts.
- Caryn Brause (Department of Architecture, HFA) and Elizabeth Krause (Department of Anthropology, SBS) discuss “Ecology of Student Experience in the post-Covid Campus.” This interdisciplinary research is centered on questions concerning undergraduate student experience, asking, “Where do students do their best work?” The study sheds light on an ecology of the student experience.
The goal of the Interdisciplinary Lightning Talks is to highlight existing and emerging interdisciplinary work happening between HFA and the other schools, colleges, and organizations on campus, as a way to inspire and support further collaboration.