UW News

May 15, 2008

‘Enriching the Academy’: Diversity Research Institute conference May 16 celebrates interdisciplinary collaboration

UW News

The mission of the UW Diversity Research Institute is to spark interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty on campus and to spotlight diversity in collaboration on campus.

A glance at the host of topics addressed in the institute’s daylong spring conference on Thursday, May 16, in Kane Hall’s Walker-Ames Room, shows that much progress has already been made.

The conference is titled “Enriching the Academy: Diversity Research at the UW” and will include talks on citizenship and inclusion, health care coverage, civil unions and same-sex marriages, race and empire in history and elements of popular culture. The conference is free and open to the public. You can learn much more online here.

Luis Fraga, associate vice provost for faculty advancement and director of the Diversity Research Institute, explained, “The purpose is to highlight the wonderful work that’s already occurring here at the UW regarding the study of diverse communities.”

Fraga defined those communities as “underserved, understudied and under-represented.”

Conference advance notes state that it is “designed to foster cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing and dialogue about issues of difference, social justice and institutional transformation.”

Fraga added, “In this conference we are facilitating the development of networks of intellectual enrichment for our faculty who do work in different disciplines, and who use distinct methodological approaches.”

The variety of participants says a lot about the interdisciplinary nature of the event. People are coming from political science, social work, history, English, comparative literature, American ethnic studies, ethnomusicology, women studies, communication and even drama, to share their work.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., with welcoming remarks by Sheila Edwards Lange, vice president and vice provost for minority affairs and diversity; followed by Fraga.

Conference panels:

  • 9-10:30 a.m.: “Exploring the Boundaries of Citizenship and Inclusion in the United States”
  • 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: “Pathways to Wellness: Indigenizing Health Research”
  • 12:15-1:45 lunch break
  • 2-3:30 p.m.: “Race and Empire in Comparative Historical and Transnational Perspective”
  • 3:45-5:15 p.m.: “‘We’re Desperate, Get Used to It’: Crises, Performance and Popular Culture”
  • 5:15-6 p.m. reception.

Fraga said he hopes the conference helps participants forge new relationships that will in turn lead to even more interdisciplinary collaboration, “helping their exciting research be even better than it already is.”