Workshops Funded for Spring 2017
Janis Breckenridge, Coordinator (Spanish); Tom Armstrong (Psychology); Daniel Forbes (Sheehan Gallery); Michelle Jenkins (Philosophy); Lydia McDermott (General Studies/Writing Center); and Jenna Terry (English/General Studies). Report - Breckenridge Workshop
Disability Studies and the Ethics of Representation: Theoretical, Discursive and Aesthetic Approaches to Physical and Mental Impairments
Description: Emerging in the 1980s, disability studies remains a broad, multi-disciplinary field that examines disability as a social construct. Always and already at the intersection of the humanities, sciences and social sciences, disability studies further engages the intersectionality of ethnicity, race, class, gender and sexuality. This CDLTI aims to explore a range of interdisciplinary, rhetorical and aesthetic approaches to disability studies, with an emphasis on the application of theoretical and discursive foundations to literature, graphic novels and the arts. The workshop opens with a roundtable session in which each participant leads discussion of seminal articles (read by all). This session will introduce the field and lay out central questions that to be explored throughout the workshop. We will then examine diverse textual and visual media in areas that include addiction, autism, Alzheimer's, visuality and the body. The primary goal of this faculty workshop is to study diverse trends in the vast field of disability studies through close analysis of leading schools of thought, major critical voices and contemporary practices in literature and the arts.
Participants represent seven distinct programs or academic departments (Spanish, Rhetoric, English, Philosophy, Psychology, General Studies and Studio Art/Sheehan Gallery) from both Division I and Division II. Our first meeting will take the form of a roundtable in which each participant will lead discussion of a foundational essay or chapter that will have been read by everyone. Six additional meetings will be led in turn by each member of the group, who will guide discussion of their selected text. Motivated by our desire to more fully and competently incorporate this field of enquiry and body of literature not only into our research but also into our teaching, each session will include both scholarly and pedagogical implications of the material under study, highlighting methods of applying the materials to diverse classroom settings.
John Stratton, Coordinator (Computer Science); Frank Dunnivant (Chemistry); Moira Gresham (Physics); Marian Manic (Economics); Fred Moore (Physics); Dalia Rokhsana (Chemistry); and Albert Schueller (Mathematics). Report - Stratton Workshop
Computer Simulation as a Research and Teaching Tool at Whitman
Description: Computer Simulation has become an important method for exploring and understanding physical and social systems. When coupled with robust data analysis and visualization, it becomes a powerful mechanism for conducting teaching and research experiments that would otherwise be ethically, economically, or technologically impossible to conduct in the physical world. It is also inherently interdisciplinary, as it always involves at least two areas of knowledge: computing informs the principles and methods of constructing a simulation, while the field of application provides appropriate models of the system of interest in a way that can be meaningfully and accurately simulated. Currently, simulation is used in a variety of ways across many different disciplines at Whitman. It is used in the research of current Whitman faculty members in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, Economics and Computer Science. It is incorporated into many student projects, as suggested by the increased number of projects at the Whitman Undergraduate Conference incorporating simulation. This workshop will bring faculty from several fields together to discuss what kinds of computer simulation methods are currently used. The workshop will provide us inspiration to further develop our own and our students' abilities to use these tools. An interdisciplinary discussion will allow us to expand our knowledge of the kinds of problems computer simulations can solve, and deepen our understanding of the common principles underlying all computer simulations. From this, we expect to see two primary outcomes; that we will be better able to equip students to engage with the interdisciplinary area of computer simulation development, and that we will acquire new ideas for how computer simulations may be incorporated into our curricula to enhance student learning. It is also an opportunity to reach out to the nascent Computer Science program, and include it in the broader liberal arts traditions at Whitman.