Announcing the Spring 2023 IAS Thursdays Series

Film strips showing Black family and community

Join the IAS on Thursday afternoons this spring for IAS Thursdays: a public event series designed to ignite, inspire, and educate.

To kick off this semester, we will begin with the (rescheduled!) event that celebrates Jennifer Gunn, long-time director of the IAS, and welcomes Bianet Castellanos, new director of the IAS. Together, they will discuss the future of interdisciplinary collaboration and the critical role of public engagement and community partnerships in the work we do. Join us for a reception afterwards as we toast to Jennifer’s eight years of leadership.

Our Spring 2023 series offers deep dives into the archives, new ways of thinking about today’s issues, and tactical takeaways we can all use to advance the work of institutional transformation. To preview just a few: a panel focused on issues of access and absence in the archives from an Indigenous Studies context (discussing multiple reclamation and research projects), and a conversation tracing the neoliberal, racialized, and gender politics at play within and beyond the WNBA. An introduction to Trans* Ecologies (as part of the Queer and Trans* Ecologies Symposium); and an essential roundtable on developing inventive approaches to administrative equity at universities, as part of the larger work of getting universities into “right relationship” with BIPOC communities (presented with Minnesota Transform).

Events are FREE and open to the public. While all events are available online via Zoom, most are also offered in hybrid form—join us in person at Northrop in the Best Buy Theater. All events will take place at 3:30 p.m. CT and include audience Q&A. Additional details about each event, including registration details, can be found via the links below. In addition to this primary event series, we are pleased to co-sponsor a wide range of additional events, and support those by our Research and Creative Collaboratives. Our full events schedule can be found on our events calendar. Sign up for news/updates/opportunities via the IAS newsletter.


Spring 2023 IAS Thursdays



Interdisciplinarity Now and Tomorrow: A Conversation with Jennifer Gunn and Bianet Castellanos

Thursday, February 2, 2023  |  3:30 p.m. CT  |  Hybrid

Jennifer Gunn: Director (2014–2022), Institute for Advanced Study
Bianet Castellanos: Director (2022–ongoing), Institute for Advanced Study

Join the Institute for Advanced Study as we celebrate Jennifer Gunn, who directed the IAS from 2014–2022, and welcome new director, Bianet Castellanos. Together, they will ask: how is interdisciplinary collaboration changing—especially as scholars engage with community partners to address some of today’s most pressing issues? They will also look ahead to the future of what it means to do interdisciplinary work, and how collaborations—with both internal and external partners—can help us build a just university together. Reception to follow.



Shipping Containers: How Lyric Poems Enter Commerce and Preserve People

Thursday, February 9, 2023  |  3:30 p.m. CT  |  Hybrid

Stephaine Burt: Professor of English, Harvard University

Shipping containers mean industry, engineering, and capital, protecting their contents while taking part in both the vital exchanges and toxic commerce that create our modern world. These containers give us a useful figure for what lyric poems do: how they protect their individual contents, how they travel, and above all how they let us repurpose their traveling structures, finding means and ends their first builders could never have foreseen. Presented in partnership with the University of Minnesota Creative Writing Program through the Edelstein-Keller Visiting Writer Series.


Two people gripping hands

Spotlight Series  |  Bodystorming: Scientific Modeling and Artmaking Within Cancer Research

Thursday, February 16, 2023  |  3:30 p.m. CT  |  Hybrid

Carl Flink: Director of Dance & Nadine Jette Sween Professor of Dance, University of Minnesota & Artistic Director, Black Label Movement 
David Odde: Bakken Professor for Engineering in Medicine, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
Moderated by Michael Corey: Geospatial, Technical, and Data Lead, Mapping Prejudice

In one of the most unexpected partnerships, Carl Flink of Black Label Movement and David Odde’s biomedical engineering lab created the technique of Bodystorming, which uses dance to bring patients, caregivers, clinicians, humanity, and deep collaboration into cancer research. Join for an opportunity to try Bodystorming for yourself, and learn about the decades-old collaboration.



POSTPONED: Indigenous Stories from the Archive

Thursday, February 23, 2023  |  3:30 p.m. CT  |  Online

Jeremy M. Carnes: Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Central Florida
Laura M. Furlan: Associate Professor of English and Director of American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Becca Gercken: Morse Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor of English and American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota Morris
Darren Edward Lone Fight: enrolled member, Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota (MHA Nation) and Assistant Professor of American Studies, Dickinson College

Archives hold myriad stories through the primary and artifactual sources that can reproduce or disrupt dominant narratives. Archival Studies demands that we consider issues of access and absence—considerations that are especially important in an Indigenous Studies context. Speakers will discuss projects focused on boarding schools in the United States, a Plains ledger, seemingly non-literary texts, and archival reclamation in contemporary Indigenous art. Presented in partnership with the Mellon Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community Initiative.


Image of nurse with stethoscope and illustration of heart monitor and other data superimposed radiating from center

Spotlight Series  |  Visualizing the Human in the Data: Nursing Science from Cells to Systems

Thursday, March 2, 2023  |  3:30 p.m. CT  |  Hybrid

Lisiane Pruinelli, PhD, MS, RN, FAMIA: Associate Professor, University of Minnesota School of Nursing & College of Medicine, University of Florida
Mary O. Whipple, PhD, RN, PHN: Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota School of Nursing
Moderated by Michael Corey: Geospatial, Technical, and Data Lead, Mapping Prejudice

Nursing often conjures up mental images of a caring relationship with a patient, but nursing practice is also grounded in enormous amounts of empirical evidence. In this discussion, University of Minnesota School of Nursing faculty will share how collecting patient data can help change the way we deliver health care.



Intersectional Environmental Humanities Now!

Thursday, March 23, 2023  |  3:30 p.m. CT  |  Hybrid

Mel Y. Chen: Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Culture, University of California Berkeley
Michelle Murphy: Professor of History and Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto & Canada Research Chair in Science and Technology Studies and Environmental Data Justice
Moderated by Aren Z. Aizura: Associate Professor of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Join two leading scholars at the cutting edge of environmental humanities for a conversation about intersectional and transnational approaches to ecological work. This introduction to Trans* Ecologies invites us to contend with gender, sexuality, race, colonialism, and disability when approaching science and technology, ecological devastation, and climate crisis. Presented in partnership with the Queer and Trans* Ecologies Interdisciplinary Initiative and as part of the three-day Queer and Trans* Ecologies Symposium, March 23–25, 2023.



Spotlight Series  |  Big Data and the Human Experience of the Developing Brain

Thursday, April 6, 2023  |  3:30 p.m. CT  |  Hybrid

Saonli Basu: Professor, Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
Mark Fiecas: Assistant Professor, Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
Moderated by Michael Corey: Geospatial, Technical, and Data Lead, Mapping Prejudice

Researchers at the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain, Professors Saonli Basu and Mark Fiecas, will speak in layman’s terms about the role of big data in brain research and how it informs our understanding of the human experience as we age from childhood through adolescence to adulthood.



What to Do When They Tell You It Can’t Be Done: Innovative Approaches to Navigating Administrative Injustice

Thursday, April 20, 2023  |  3:30 p.m. CT  |  Hybrid

In this roundtable conversation with Minnesota Transform faculty leads and partners, we will discuss inventive approaches to developing administrative equity at universities. We hold that the everyday work of financial systems, hiring, and billing have been central to the distrust, inequity, marginalization, and exclusion that universities can engender and that rethinking these processes is necessary. We will discuss challenges, share solutions, and reflect on how prioritizing racial and Indigenous justice in community engagement projects—getting universities into “right relationship” with BIPOC communities—can also change basic systems at universities themselves. Presented in partnership with Minnesota Transform as part of their Just Futures Showcase Series of events, April 17–21, 2023.




The WNBA: Sport as Spectacle and the Politics of Sport

Thursday, April 27, 2023  |  3:30 p.m. CT  |  Online

Mary G. McDonald: Homer C. Rice Chair of Sports and Society, ADVANCE Professor, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, Georgia Institute of Technology

WNBA players have received media attention for their activism off the court, including in their fight against police brutality, institutional racism, and gun violence. Returning to the 1997 founding of the league, this conversation will trace the neoliberal, racialized, and gender politics at play while asking how sports help reveal the contested terrain of gender and race relations.







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