The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) serves many intersecting communities, as is best demonstrated in our public programming. At IAS public programs, University faculty learn about what their peers are doing, students discover the breadth of research and creative activity at the University, and community members are introduced to innovative ideas in a welcoming and unintimidating space.
A Public Face to Research and Creative Activities
We offer scholarly presentations, performances, roundtable discussions, and conferences; presenters include University faculty and researchers as well as prominent scholars, artists, and practitioners from around the world.
Our public programming (and its archive on our website) presents a public face to the research and creative activities of the university and creates a web of intersecting communities.
150 Events in 2012-2013
In 2012-13, the IAS sponsored 150 events. Of these, 26 were in the Thursdays at Four series, 33 part of the University Symposium, and 20 associated with Quadrant. (Many events were part of two or more of these series.) Research and creative collaboratives organized 87 events. IAS also cosponsored 20 events organized by other University units and community organizations, offering administrative, logistical, and financial support.
In the Thursdays at Four series we feature an eclectic mix of scholars, artists, and practitioners from diverse disciplines who present in a variety of forms, including lecture, discussion, and performance. Fall 2011 included scholarly presentations by Glenn Davis Stone (Anthropology and Environmental Studies, Washington University) on GMO research, Catherine Prendergast (English and Rhetoric, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) on teaching with e-books, and Keith Bresnahan (Design History and Theory, Ontario College of Art & Design) on the architecture of seduction. Audiences were also treated to a preview of playwright Leigh Fondakowski’s newest multi-media project on the Gulf Oil disaster, The Big Spill, and actively participated in the work of the Moving Cell collaborative, as David Odde (Biomedical Engineering) and Carl Flink (Theatre Arts and Dance) sent audience members to the dance floor to engage in several experiments in group movement. Spring 2012 saw several standing-room-only presentations, including an interview with Chinese choreographer Jin Xing prior to her performance in the Northrop Dance Series, a presentation by Dan Cohen (History and New Media, George Mason University) on how digital media are revolutionizing the archives, and a lively discussion by anthropologists Karen Ho (University of Minnesota) Hannah Chadeayne Appel (Columbia University) on the Occupy Wall Street movement.
In addition to the presentations and performances connected with Quadrant and the University Symposium, the IAS organized several notable events. Myron Gutmann (Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation) drew national attention with his talk “Questions Without Borders: Why Future Research and Teaching Will Be Interdisciplinary,” which was followed by a roundtable in which University of Minnesota faculty members David Fox (Earth Sciences), J. B. Shank (History), and Dominique Tobbell (History of Medicine) discussed specifics of interdisciplinary research and graduate and undergraduate education. Award-winning poet Ed Bok Lee read from his new collection Whorled and discussed life as a global citizen with Maria Damon (English). Indonesian filmmaker Gotot Prakosa screened and discussed his path-breaking (and originally banned) Kantata Takwa, an incisive, epic combination of rock opera, film-poem, and Islam-infused political protest.
The 2012-14 University Symposium on Site and Incitement will look at ways “site” may be defined, expanded, critiqued, and applied to physical (outdoors/indoors), virtual, temporal, and /or imaginary sites. One may also choose to see “site” in much more conceptual or expanded ways—for example, a novel or poem may be focused on “site” or the text itself may be seen as “site.” The University Symposium, coordinated by the Institute for Advanced Study, explores critical issues from a variety of vantage points through a series of connected events, including public lectures, conferences, and research and creative collaboratives. The 2012-14 University Symposium Site and Incitement offers an opportunity to incite creative interactions and innovative thinking through interdisciplinary endeavors, ranging from public lectures and exhibits to faculty fellowships and research initiatives.
Research and creative collaboratives represent some of the most innovative work at the University. These self-initiated groups come together with the idea of working on a project of common interest—be it the development of a performance piece, the exploration of a concept or research area through different disciplines, or the creation of a supportive intellectual community. With the research and creative collaboratives, the IAS promotes synergistic interdisciplinary activity transcending departmental structures.
Virtually all IAS presentations are video-recorded and available on our website.