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Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium

Mailing Address:
Malcolm M. Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium
c/o School of Journalism and Mass Media
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3178
Moscow, ID 83844-3178


Fall 2020 Archive

In this series of past lectures, distinguished members of the University of Idaho community presented and described their approach to teaching and research. These lectures explored the specific subjects and methodologies that define the disciplines within which the speakers work.

COVID-19 in Idaho: Modeling for Understanding and Forecasting (Aug. 25, 2020)

We all use models to understand the world around us and make decisions. These models may be statistical, mathematical, or (more likely) categorical.

Evolution of the Plague Bacterium: Yersinia pestis (Sept. 1, 2020)

This presentation discusses the history of plague and how recent genomic analyses of Neolithic and Bronze Age human skeletal remains trace the evolution of a ‘mild’ pathogen to one that can cause devastating pandemics.

Predicting COVID-19 Through Wastewater Surveillance (Sept. 8, 2020)

SARS-CoV-2 can shed through stools and has been detected in municipal wastewater, making wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) a promising approach to track in real time the emergence of the virus.

Risk of Disease and Willingness to Vaccinate (Sept. 15, 2020)

Researchers found an overall change in proportion willing to vaccinate of at least 30% as risk of infection increases, and that the proportion willing to vaccinate is related to ideology and the level of risk.

Pandemic Pedagogy in the Performing Arts, Part 1: Theatre & Music (Sept. 22, 2020)

Rob Caisley, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, and Vanessa Sielert, director of the Lionel Hampton School of Music, describe how their students and faculty are adapting in disciplines that rely on the relationships among directors, performers and audiences.

The Science Behind Vaccine Development (Sept. 29, 2020)

Professor Tanya Miura provides an overview of how vaccines work, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, and the vaccine strategies being tested against it.

Publishing a 17th-Century Woman’s Correspondence Online (Oct. 6, 2020)

This presentation introduces the correspondence of 17th century Italian-French noblewoman Marie Mancini, with a dual focus on the content of the letters and on the creation of a website for their publication.

Construction of Gender: A Global Perspective (Oct. 13, 2020)

This talk by Lysa Salsbury (U of I) and Ken Faunce (WSU) examines current and historical constructions of gender from a global perspective, their differences and commonalities.

Reconciliation of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima

How we remember World War II in the Pacific is clearly divided by national boundaries. This this talk will explore how we may be able to make conscious efforts to build bridges across national boundaries that exist in war memories.

Bach and Telemann: Friends and Rivals (Oct. 22, 2020)

Leonard Garrison, Christopher Pfund and Miranda Wilson discuss the relationship between Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767). The presenters are faculty members in the Lionel Hampton School of Music.

Exploration, Science, & Celebrity: Edmund Hillary and the Trans-Antarctic Expedition (Oct. 27, 2020)

In the early 1950s, British geologist Vivian Fuchs proposed a major expedition to explore the surface of Antarctica, an expedition which would be the first overland crossing of the Antarctic continent. To complete this project, Fuchs needed the help of New Zealand, as well as its then most-famous resident, Sir Edmund Hillary.

How the Story Ends: What a Machine Learned From Reading 13,032 Novels (Nov. 3, 2020)

Matthew Jockers (Washington State University) describes his use of computational sentiment analysis to study 13,000 novels from 1800 to 2000. The ratio of positive to negative terms in fiction declines in a regular and systematic fashion that suggests that novels are becoming more somber and less optimistic.

The Looking Glass: Through the Eyes of Young Scholars (Nov. 10, 2020)

The Looking Glass is an interdisciplinary magazine produced as part of the University Honors Program’s service learning. The magazine features honors students’ work in the genres of original research, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, and art. A panel including members of the student-editorial team, faculty and staff describe their experiences, personal growth and insights.

Making Sense of the 2020 Election (Nov. 17, 2020)

Former Vice President Joe Biden has won the presidency, but Democrats lost seats in the House of Representatives, and control of the Senate remains unclear. A panel of University of Idaho faculty experts will discuss the historical and political causes and effects of this year’s results, as well as large societal trends reflected in the election results.

Election Law and Litigation: Strict Construction or Serious Confusion (Nov. 19, 2020)

This session was held 16 days since Election Day and 12 days since major news organizations declared Joe Biden the winner of the presidential election. Every day, we learned of new challenges to election results in some states – even at the county level. Our panel of legal experts gives an overview of U.S. election law and assesses the validity of the legal maneuvering by the Trump campaign.

CAFE: A Progress Report Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Dec. 1, 2020)

The Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE) will include a 2,000-cow research dairy, a demonstration farm, an extension/outreach center, a food-processing research facility, and a center to retrain the workforce and to educate students. CALS Dean Michael Parrella discusses the potential for broader involvement by the university community.

Heralds of Settlement: Newspapers on the Western Frontier (Dec. 8, 2020)

This presentation discusses early Idaho newspapers. While the history of western publishing is filled with short-lived publications, these newspapers reflected the important cultural, political and economic role of print culture in the United States. Prof. Caitlin Cieslik-Miskimen is a media historian focusing on the cultural history of American newspapers.

Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium

Mailing Address:
Malcolm M. Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium
c/o School of Journalism and Mass Media
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3178
Moscow, ID 83844-3178