Trans-Disciplinary Conversation Series

This is a Temple-wide initiative intended to provide a platform where intellect across disciplines is supported and new knowledge can be created.

Each conversation session will be led by a graduate student and a faculty member, centering around questions that are relevant to the faculty member’s research. For each session, up to 10 participants (faculty, staff, students) from varying disciplines who are working through similar issues can come together (over free dinner!) and share resources/questions/comments in order to enrich one another’s research and practice. You will leave with a tight micro-community of people across Temple who also care deeply about the questions that matter to you & your work.

Sign up for any or all conversations here

FALL 2019

#1: (Potentially) Lost in Translation: Effectively Augmenting Science Communication

Co-facilitated by Dr. Erik Cordes (Biology).

When communicating scientific research to a broader public, why does the narrative ordinarily center around ‘a problem’? This has the effect of tying the work to negative issues within policy, economy, culture, etc. in order to augment its perceived relevance. How can various ways of communicating scientific information using the language of other fields (ie: art, social sciences, etc.) make this a more positive message? Can these methods enhance or alter how science is weighed or used in making decisions? At what point during scientific research should other fields become involved?No matter your discipline, if your work, research, practice or general interests are concerned with science communication, the expansion or redefinition of a scientific community, the impact of science upon other disciplinary spheres, etc., please join us for the conversation!

When: Thursday November 7th, 7pm-9pm
Where: Biology (SERC 604)

#2: Sensory Structures: Embodied Experience of Public Spaces

Co-facilitated by Seher Erdoğan Ford (Architecture).

Sensory perception is closely tied to individual memory-building and cultural conditioning; with this in mind, how can the sensory experience of space be considered when designing for and occupied by the general public? Further, how would the inclusion of embodied knowledge into the “objectivist” paradigm inflect your field of research? Does moving away from this dichotomy bring into focus something about the human experience or is it simply a distraction?No matter your discipline, if your work, research, practice or general interests are concerned with the sensorial attributes of a discipline, the affective experience of space, architecture as a register of memory and identity, etc., please join us for the conversation!

When: Thursday Nov. 14th, 7pm-9pm
Where: Arch 103

SPRING 2020

#3: Genre & Gender: Trans-Identification and Thinking Through Essentialism within Musical & LGBTQ Communities

Co-facilitated by Dr. Shana Goldin-Perschbacher (Music).

Expressions of LGBTQ identity are infinite, and yet reliance upon essentialism simplifies identity in favor of clear communication, visibility and community-building. In a similar vein, reliance upon genre essentialism in popular music often simplifies the narratives being told, and their relationship to an audience. If music has the ability to construct real & imagined communities and affective alliances, how can the notion of genre as it intersects with notions of gender be complicated? Do genre boundaries need to be maintained in order for community to form? What is the relationship of essentialism to identification?No matter your discipline, if your work, research, practice or general interests are concerned with the formation of LGBTQ identity, affective community, genre creation and distinction, etc., please join us for the conversation!

When: Mid-February, 2020
Where: Boyer (TBD)

#4: The Distance between Student and Subject: Closeness and Identity-Building in Science & Technology

Co-facilitated by Dr. Meghnaa Tallapragada (PR & Marketing).

The subjects of science & technology are involved in almost every aspect of daily life, and yet the working components often feel unrelatable or too abstract, even (or especially) for those actively learning the subjects. How can ideas of closeness to science & technology be initiated and fostered? If their relational/personal qualities are held as equal to the information itself, how will this change the field? How do we create and maintain programming that promotes ‘identity’ within the sciences, particularly in regards to students who are often left behind in, or left out of, these subjects?No matter your discipline, if your work, research, practice or general interests are concerned with STEM education, self-identification processes, alternative models of learning, etc., please join us for the conversation!

When: February 20th, 2020
Where: Pysch. (TBD)

#5: Tied to Territory: Community Representation and Urban Landscapes

Co-facilitated by Lee Hachadoorian (Geography).

The actions of re-mapping, re-drawing boundaries, and redistricting maintain the notion of representation as it relates to territory and land. Should representation of a people, of a community, be tied to ‘territory’? Is a ‘community of interest’ different than a ‘community of place’? How do the ethics regarding land and human relationships apply to the needs of political and community representation?No matter your discipline, if your work, research, practice or general interests are concerned with urban geography, spatialization and politicization of communities, identity as it relates to territory, etc., please join us for the conversation!

When: Mid-February 2020
Where: Geography (TBD)

#6: Healing Landscapes: Reciprocal Care through Interaction with Land

Co-facilitated by Dr. Pauline Hurley-Kurtz & Kate Benisek (Landscape Architecture).

The process of interacting with the landscape, whether through physical gardening or simply experiencing an exterior space, can be understood as a reciprocal form of care. In these terms, how do you navigate this relationship of stewardship between human and land in your work? How does the process of healing, on a human scale, impact or integrate with the environment?No matter your discipline, if your work, research, practice or general interests are concerned with intentional interaction with landscape, built environments, healing processes through connection to ecology, etc., please join us for the conversation!

When: TBD March or April 2020