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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


Spring 2021 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.

Racial Resentment and the U.S. Horror Film from Obama to Trump (Jan. 19, 2021)

Exploring the dominant narrative and generic patterns across almost 150 U.S. horror films between 2008 and 2016, this research reveals the terrors of white resentment that boiled over while the first Black family occupied the White House, as seen through popular cinema. Russell Meeuf is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Media.

Studying SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Via Breastfeeding (January 26, 2021)

Scientists have been concerned about the potential for SARS-CoV-2 transmission from mother to infant via breastfeeding. This presentation by Profs. Shelley McGuire and Mark McGuire describes the opportunities, challenges, and new ways of “doing science” that their interdisciplinary team encountered as they coalesced an international team of researchers, policy makers, and funders to answer this question.

Attitudinal Uncertainty in Climate Change Skepticism (Feb. 2, 2021)

This presentation asks what climate change skepticism is from the perspective of those who question or remain uncertain of climate change. The researchers, Kristin Haltinner and Dilshani Sarathchandra, present an empirically driven language to discuss climate skepticism.

Inside the Performer’s Process: Vanessa Sielert (Feb. 9, 2021)

Saxophonist Vanessa Sielert introduces her latest CD recording, duality with pianist Catherine Anderson. Sielert, director of the Lionel Hampton School of Music, will describe the concept of the project, the commissioning and performance of new works and the recording, publishing and promotion of the final product.

Apology for Free Will: Joe Campbell (Feb. 16, 2021)

Joe Campbell, a professor of philosophy at Washington State University, offers a defense of free will in light of findings in neuroscience, psychology and the social sciences.

Behind the curtain of the virtual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival (Feb. 23, 2021)

Vanessa Sielert, Vern Sielert and Josh Skinner of the Lionel Hampton School of Music describe the artistic and technical challenges of organizing a virtual jazz festival.

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Islamic Contributions to Western Civilization (March 2, 2021)

Historical sources and achievements of Islamic Civilization in the "Islamic Golden Age" (750-1250 CE). Presentation addresses Islamic contributions to Western Civilization in science, medicine, philosophy, law, economics, literature, music, language, education and more.

Social Aspects in Sustainable Landfill Development (March 9, 2021)

Landfilling is one of the most common methods of solid-waste disposal besides incineration and recycling. This presentation by Ashkan Nochian, a visiting scholar at the University of Idaho, will explore the importance of community engagement in sustainable redevelopment of a closed landfill.

Economics of Scholarly Communication (March 23, 2021)

The University of Idaho has lost access to thousands of scholarly journals in recent years, a trend seen in a universities across the nation. How did we get here, and what actions can we take to fix this broken system? Ben Hunter, dean of University Libraries, discusses global trends in scholarly communication, how these trends have affected the U of I, and what we can do to create a better future for scholarly communication.

Refugees and Racial Capitalism: Elizabeth Cullen Dunn (March 30, 2021)

Professor Cullen Dunn argues that the institutionalized placement of refugees in meatpacking jobs is actually the primitive accumulation of unfree labor. Dunn is a professor of geography at Indiana University, Bloomington, and a visiting Phi Beta Kappa scholar.

Indigenous Research and Leadership in STEM Education (April 6, 2021)

This presentation shares experiential and Indigenous-based approaches to doing science in collaboration with tribal community members and tribal agencies. Presenters Philip Stevens, Vanessa Anthony-Stevens, Karla Eitel and Sarah Penney highlight the power of Critical Indigenous Research Methods in the collaboration, documentation, and dissemination of relevant values and worldviews that tribes desire to see shape STEM education.

Tuesday Night Massacre: Four U.S. Senate Elections (April 13, 2021)

Four Senate races in 1980 had a profound political effect. The turnover of these seats not only allowed Republicans to gain control of the Senate for the first time since 1954, but also fundamentally altered the conduct of American politics. Examining the 1980 defeats of Idaho’s Frank Church, South Dakota’s George McGovern, Iowa’s John Culver and Indiana’s Birch Bayh, Marc Johnson describes the beginnings of the divisive partisanship that has become a constant feature of American politics.

Popular Culture, Affect and Animals (April 20, 2021)

Ashley Kerr, Tara MacDonald and Rebecca Scofield discuss their research. Employing a range of examples—Victorian sensation fiction, Argentinian magazines and American fiction—they find that discussions about animals are frequently discussions about race, gender and emotion. They explore the challenges of working across and within a range of fields, such as history, literary studies, animal studies and affect theory, and the challenges of working on popular, so-called “feminized” forms.

Image operations: Surplus Visibility in Oceanic Nuclear Testing (April 27, 2021)

This presentation examines the first atomic test conducted by the U.S. military after the end of World War II, which took place in Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The analysis of images of Operation Crossroads was conducted by Johanna Gosse of the University of and Kevin Hamilton of the University of Illinois.

The Arecibo Observatory and U.S. Techno-Colonialism in Puerto Rico (May 4, 2021)

This presentation by Samuel Ginsburg (Washington State University) traces the contentious history of the Arecibo Observatory, showing how techno-colonialism and popular narratives converted the radio telescope into something bigger than its scientific contributions.

Lucky: The Wit and Wisdom of Governor Phil Batt (May 11, 2021)

In the book Lucky, former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt tells readers he has lived a “lucky” life. Wisdom, wit, and more than a heavy dose of common sense and decency contributed to his success as a legislator, state Republican Party chair, lieutenant governor and governor. Panelists share stories about the Phil Batt they knew and his place in Idaho history.

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