Faculty Shop Talks

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Fall 2019 Schedule

Presenter: K. Angelique Dwyer
Title: "Gringos Mexicanos" An Intercultural Podcast in Complex Times
Time and Place: September 20, 2019 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the recent creation of Dwyer's podcast "Gringos Mexicanos" featuring 5 of her creative non-fiction stories written in Spanglish. The narrative voice in these stories/podcasts provides a unique perspective broadening dialogue(s) on Mexican American identity. It questions times of fixed borders and selected national identities. The podcast additionally features relevant commentary by academics, professionals and community members. Specific commentary relates to the topics covered in each story: identity negotiation, gender dynamics, death, spirituality, pets, siblings, sexuality, family relations, classism, religion, rituals and rites of passage. The podcast will serve as engaged scholarship, free of use with educators from many disciplines in mind.

Presenter: Jeff La Frenierre
Title: "Taking the Temperature of Tropical Glaciers: A Report from Recent Fieldwork in Ecuador"
Time and Place: October 18, 2019 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

In our steadily warming world, mountain glaciers remain a key indicator of global climate change. Glaciers in tropical mountain regions are especially sensitive to climate change, and these glaciers are at considerable risk, and unless the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions changes in the very near future, many of these ice masses may be lost, with considerable environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural implications. In this talk, we will explore the state of glaciers on two of Ecuador’s highest mountains, examine the spatial and temporal patterns of recent ice loss, and reflect on the methods my students, collaborators, and I use to measure glacier change in these remote and challenging environments. 

Presenter: Kjerstin Moody
Title: "Contemporary Sámi Visual Art and Practice"
Time and Place: November 1, 2019 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract:This shop talk investigates the work of three contemporary Sámi visual artists and the ways their work questions sovereignty, land-use rights, and exploitative practices of natural resources and indigenous cultural identity. Focus will be given to Anders Sunna, Outi Pieski, and Marja Helander. Together their recent work, commissions, and awards represent historically peripheral Nordic indigenous artistic creation being brought into visibility and conversation on a more global stage. 

Presenter: Madeline Harms
Title: "Age, Experience, and the Explore-Exploit Dilemma"
Time and Place: November 15, 2019 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: The interplay between the decision-making processes of exploration (gathering new information, potentially at the expense of immediate reward) and exploitation (taking advantage of known information to obtain reward), has long been of interest among cognitive scientists. However, few studies have examined age-related changes in exploration and exploitation. In this talk, I will review a study in which we examined developmental changes in decision-making strategies during the explore-exploit dilemma from pre-K to young adulthood. I will also discuss the next steps in this research, which involve identifying and examining environmental and life history factors that may push people to explore or exploit.

Presenter: Jessica Imholte and Darsa Donelan
Title: "Effect of Supplemental Video Instruction on Introductory Science Labs"
Time and Place: December 13, 2019 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract:. Many college students come into introductory science laboratories unprepared to work with equipment for the first time. Students can be given a pre-lab quiz that forces them to read the manual ahead of time. However, without seeing a demonstration of the equipment they will be working with or techniques they will be doing, reading the lab manual can be like translating a foreign language. As an inclusive solution to this, we provided the students with supplemental videos. These videos allowed the students to visualize portions of the labs (experimental set-ups, new techniques, and anticipated results) before arriving. Students were able to access pre-lab videos outside of lab time, allowing for more time during lab for other pedagogical applications like post-lab discussions. Having dedicated time at the end of a lab period to discuss thoughts and observations while the lab is fresh in the student’s mind allowed them the opportunity to think critically about its application, benefitting future engagement with academic content.

Spring 2020 Schedule

Presenter: Anna Versluis
Title: "Southern Minnesota Farmers’ Negotiation of a Changing Agricultural Landscape"
Time and Place: February 21, 2020 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: In this talk, we provide an overview of our faculty+student interdisciplinary research on southern Minnesota farming and discuss our main findings. We elicited farmers' personal stories and perspectives on changes in agriculture and ways of life through semi-structured, on-farm interviews with randomly selected conventional farming families in southern Minnesota. These farmers shared their reflections on the dramatic shifts in agriculture over their lifetimes involving new technologies, consolidation, uncertain financial well-being, erosion of community, and growing public concerns about food production. Farm families are resorting to a number of strategies to withstand these changes, though for many, farming ultimately proves unsustainable.

Presenter: Sidonia Alenuma-Nimoh
Title: "Inclusive Teaching Strategies in Ghana and the United States: Teaching All of Our Children"
Time and Place: March 6, 2020 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: This presentation is report on a project that aims at exploring inclusive teaching strategies to arrive at best practices for teaching all children irrespective of their background (gender, race, class, language, religion, sexual orientation or ability). This quest in the field of education has a long history and there is plethora of ideas on how we can “teach all our children” especially here in the United States. In this project, I focus on how that quest manifests itself in Ghana and the United States. Based on my experience as a product of the Ghanaian Educational school system, I can attest to the fact that Ghanaian teachers have always taught students of different ability levels, class and cultural differences in the same setting without having to analyze: am I using differentiation? They just do it and know that it works, or do they? What can be learned from teachers who are seemingly oblivious of such strategies as culturally responsive, multicultural and differentiation instruction? Has this been the case and how different are approaches of the past and those of the present? What strides are being made and how can educators in Ghana learn from the educators in United States and their preoccupation to be intentional about including everyone in their instruction and vice versa? Rather than viewing the inclusive instructions in isolation, is there any merit in hybridism? Does naming and acknowledging the teaching practice lead to best practices? What happens when inclusive strategies are blended in a subconscious manner, not named, but just done? Could there be lessons learned from the practices of Ghanaian educators?

Presenter: Thia Cooper
Title: "Josephus, the Pharisees, and the Afterlife: A Study in Translation"
Time and Place: March 20, 2020 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: Development aims to raise the living standard of the world’s poor, mainly through small-scale projects that increase economic growth. A theology of liberation provided a critique to development practice, but a specific theology of development is still lacking. I’ll offer a brief theology of development, which emphasises empowerment, justice, and being with the marginalised at the intersections of their marginalisation: race, class, sex, environment, religion, etc. This theology would ask aid agencies to address the entrenchment of unequal power relations, and embrace a holistic notion of development, defined by the needs of those most marginalized. 

Presenter: Lynnea Myers
Title: "Physical Anomalies in Neurodevelopmental Disorders"
Time and Place: April 3, 2020 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


Presenter: Joshua Brown
Title: "How to Talk about Things that don't Exist"
Time and Place: April 17, 2020 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center