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Celebration of Ann Waltner, May 9, 2014

Performing the Past and Provoking the Future:
Symposium on Interdisciplinary Collaboration

talented-women

9:30am Painting with Words: Susan Mann and Zhang Hong


Download as: audio, small video, or original.

A literati family commissioned a painting celebrating three talented family women who lived in China in the nineteenth century. The painting has since been lost. Susan Mann, in the course of writing Talented Women of the Zhang Family, discovered descriptions of the painting and commissioned Zhang Hong to recreate it. Mann and Zhang will discuss the process Zhang used to imagine the painting, and the role that her visual imagination plays in the structure of Mann’s book.

Susan Mann is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Davis.  Her other books include Precious Records: Women in China’s Long Eighteenth Century, and Gender and Sexuality in Modern Chinese History.

Hong Chun Zhang is a Chinese born artist based in Lawrence, Kansas. Hong was trained in Chinese Fine Style Ink Painting at Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing China. She came to US in 1996 and received Master of Fine Arts degree from UC Davis in 2004. Currently she resides in Lawrence KS with her husband and daughter. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and can be found in many private and public collections.

11:15am Spill: Leigh Fondakowski


Download as: audio, small video, or original.

Fondakowski is an Emmy nominated co-screenwriter for the adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO. Her play, The People’s Temple, has been performed under her direction at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Perseverance Theater, and The Guthrie Theater, and received the Glickman Award for best new play in 2005. Another original play, I Think I Like Girls, premiered at Encore Theater in San Francisco under her direction and was voted one of the top 10 plays of 2002 by The Advocate. Fondakowski was an Imagine Fund Distinguished Visiting Chair at the University of Minnesota during the spring of 2010 when she spoke about her play Casa Cushman. She spoke again in 2011 about her work on The Big Spill.

1:30pm Anatomy of a Collaboration: Agrifood Collaborative


Download as: audio, small video, or original.

The AgriFood Collaborative is a group of faculty, students, and others interested in food and agriculture — we began as a reading group across departments of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, and grew to include a number of members from across the university and many neighbors. We meet regularly to discuss each others’ work and to read relevant work by outside authors related to food, agriculture, and other related topics. This year we have focused on bringing together diverse and often diverging perspectives on food to facilitate productive exchange between them on contemporary agri-food topics. We’ll talk a bit about this today. Exchanging differing understandings between positions critical of each other (or not legible to each other) is key to fostering democratic governance of food systems; however, facilitating such dialogue, as well as popular access to it, comes with many tensions and challenges. Our collaborative hopes to bring insights from multiple disciplines facilitated by the contributions of humanistic social sciences to address the difficulties of engaging differences and learning from diverse constituencies interested in food — and will be interested in participants experience thinking and working together about food.

3:15pm Collaboration Saves the World: A Workshop

We invite you to participate in the final segment of our all-day symposium: the workshop Collaboration Saves the World. Our aim is to identify a variety of current concerns and problems and to explore how these might be fruitfully addressed by collaborative work. We hope this workshop will help the IAS to identify possibilities for exploration in the next few years.

The IAS works to build community across campus and beyond its borders, serving the common good. Addressing and exploring problems that have no clear and easy solutions requires innovative thinking across academic disciplines, collegiate units, and arenas of knowledge. In this workshop, we will identify several pressing problems or areas of concern and work in multidisciplinary groups to explore possible solutions or ways forward.   We are particularly interested in ways in which collaboration can help formulate questions and enact research strategies and solutions.  We are also interested in discussions that devote robust attention to historical dimensions and literary and artistic representations of these issues.

Some of the issues we may address at this session include:

  • Inequality: what perspectives are needed to inform thinking about problems such as the achievement gap?
  • Difference: how can we learn to work together across our disparate disciplines and traditions to address challenges across differences of race, culture, and experience?
  • Our Land Grant mission and identity: how can we formulate and enact different manifestations of expertise that are inclusive and recognizing of community as well as academic knowledge, and that become constitutive of new relationships between university and community?
  • Place-based research: how can we live here in Minnesota sustainably and equitably?
  • Strategy: how can we use the concept of strategy, the University Symposium topic for 2014-16, to think about paths into the future?

This symposium occurred on May 9, 2014, from 9:30am-5:00pm in Northrop, Crosby Seminar Room.

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