Fall 2021 Conversations about Scholarship and Teaching

Friday, September 3 – 12:00-1:00 PM (in person)
Re-connecting, reflecting, and thinking ahead: A “welcome back” to the Serie Center
Joan Ostrove (Serie Center & Psychology) and Karin Aguilar-San Juan (American Studies & Serie Center)
How (and where?!) have you been for the last 17 months? What are you carrying with you during this transition to Fall 2021? Please join us (in person! masked!) for small group conversation and connection as we come to the end of the first few days of classes and anticipate another complicated and uncertain, but also exciting, semester ahead. We will convene in the Barbara Davis Space (Library 309) then spread out in small groups to the Serie Center or outside as desired. We will serve grab-and-go beverages and dessert, but not lunch.

Friday, September 10 – 12:00-1:00 PM (Zoom)
Make Love Not War: Peace through a syllabus
Karin Aguilar-San Juan (Professor of American Studies and Associate Director of the Serie Center, and winner of the 2021 Jack and Marty Rossmann Excellent in Teaching Award)
At the conclusion of the decades-long US war in Afghanistan, a lot of questions emerge about how war affects us, not only through combat but through deeply embedded values and beliefs. We have many opportunities to observe the culture of violence as it has seeped into our everyday professional work lives. One place where we can try to replace the culture of violence with a culture of peace is a syllabus–a concrete action with long-ranging impact! Presentation and discussion. An email with the link to join the event will be sent via swap-news.

Friday, September 17 – 12:00-1:00 PM (Zoom)
A collective pursuit: Teachers’ Unions and education reform
Lesley Lavery (Political Science)
Lavery argues that teachers’ unions are working in community to re-invigorate the collective pursuit of reforms beneficial to both educators and public education. Her book explores recent unionization efforts in charter schools, union work between and within contract negotiations, and the immense challenges today’s public educators must confront. An email with the link to join the event will be sent via swap-news.

Friday, September 24 – 12:00-1:00 PM (Zoom)
Affordability, inclusion, and engagement: An open conversation about open pedagogy and open textbooks
Louann Terveer (Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communications) & Aisling Quigley (Digital Liberal Arts [DLA])
Open pedagogies are teaching methods that facilitate student agency over learning and in which students demonstrate understanding through the creation of information for their peers and/or others. How are faculty at Macalester and other institutions using open pedagogy to create a more inclusive and engaging learning environment? How can open textbooks be part of your teaching toolbox to help address issues of affordability, inclusion, and engagement in the classroom? Join us for a conversation to share your experiences, build your knowledge, and to challenge assumptions of these open educational practices. Facilitators will offer case studies and guide our discussion. An email with the link to join the event will be sent via swap-news.

Friday, October 1 – 12:00-1:00 PM  (Zoom)
What’s in a grade?: Let’s talk about grading (and ungrading)
Karin Aguilar-San Juan (American Studies and Serie Center) & Christine O’Connell (Environmental Studies)
On the heels of a whirlwind year full of online modules and unexpected ways of being with students, many of us discovered that how we give out grades can be tied into compassion, reflection and equity. What did we learn about our approaches to grading and what are we willing (and able) to change with regard to grades in the undergraduate classroom? Join for a discussion about ungrading and alternative grading approaches across the curriculum. An email with the link to join the event will be sent via swap-news.

Monday, October 4 – 12:00-1:00 (in person)
Facing the Climate Situation…Together
The release of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, combined with the up-close reality of what’s happening with Line 3 (and much more), has sparked many “what are we doing?! / what can and should we all be doing?!” conversations among Mac colleagues. It has also inspired more of those sobering, “Yup, this is scary!” conversations that we don’t necessarily often get to have with one another.

In collaboration with the Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship and the Sustainability Office, and in consultation with many colleagues on campus whose work is centrally focused on these issues, the Serie Center is eager to open a space for monthly conversation where we can process the intensity and reality of this time, think about the IPCC report (and its implications) with a variety of colleagues, or strategize together about the opportunities and responsibilities all of us have in relation to the significant and deeply-interconnected-with-so-many-other-forces climate situation we are in. We will serve grab-and-go beverages and dessert, but not lunch.

Friday, October 8 – 12:00-1:00 PM (Zoom)
Reflections on and next steps for the Challenging Complicities project (in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship)
As part of last year’s International Roundtable, the Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship launched the Challenging Complicities project in an effort to encourage departments across campus to examine the colonial / white supremacist / exclusionary roots of our disciplines or administrative practices. Academic department project participants will talk about what they learned and next steps they are taking. Participating colleagues will also share ideas and recommendations for other departments or units on campus that are considering taking on a challenging complicities project. Please join us for a conversation and an opportunity to strategize ways to sustain efforts to challenge our complicities with the forces and ideologies of anti-Blackness, colonialism, exclusion, etc. An email with the link to join the event will be sent via swap-news.

Friday, October 15 –  International Round Table
We encourage all to attend

Friday, October 22 [Fall break]

Friday, October 29 – 12:00-1:00 PM (Zoom)
Engaging the media around your new research, book, exhibit, or project
Joe Linstroth (Communications & Media Relations)
 Getting the media to pay attention to your new book, research, exhibit or project can be very rewarding but also extremely challenging. What exactly are they looking for and is my work a good fit? Why do they cover some academic work but not others? When should I start thinking about a media engagement plan and how do I go about putting one together? Linstroth will discuss tips, tricks and techniques that are aimed to help widen the audience for your expertise and hard work beyond the classroom and the academy.  An email with the link to join the event will be sent via swap-news.

Friday, November 5 – 12:00-1:00 PM (Zoom)
Deep classroom observations: Faculty lessons from cross-auditing entire courses
Harry Waters Jr. (Theater & Dance) & Ron Barrett (Anthropology)
There are many ways of experiencing your colleagues and their varied styles in different disciplines. Techniques and options for connecting intensive material to student learning vary. Witnessing another’s pedagogy over a course of a semester reveals the unique ways that Macalester faculty are excelling in the goals of making global leaders. In addition, the personal connections that are unearthed by viewing alternate methods are fascinating. Share in our mutual discoveries. An email with the link to join the event will be sent via swap-news.

Friday, November 12 – 12:00-1:00 PM (Zoom)
What your eyes reveal when you listen
Ariel James (Psychology)
Eye movements are one of the many observable behaviors that psychologists use to make guesses about the workings of the mind. Since the 90s, psycholinguists have sat people in front of eye trackers while they listen to speech as a way to understand language processing as it unfolds over time. In the decades that followed, the so-called “visual world paradigm” has taught us about how we recognize words, make meaning, and unpack grammatical structure in all sorts of different situations. James will talk about her attempts to characterize individual differences in eye movement behavior within this paradigm.

Friday, November 19 – 12:00-1:00 PM (Zoom)
Conversations & Choreographies: A Story of a Dance and Science Collab
Devavani Chatterjea (Biology) with Donna Sternberg (Donna Sternberg & Dancers, Santa Monica, CA)
Devavani and Donna met at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program’s inaugural Science/Arts Residency in July 2014. They have continued to collaborate ever since, co-creating dances that investigate patterns and disruptions of health in our bodies, communities, and planet. We will reflect on our process of co-creation and the power of art/sci (STEAM) in science communication, and share excerpts from performances. 

Friday, November 26 [Thanksgiving break]

Friday, December 3 – 12:00-1:00 PM (Zoom)
Reflections on staff/faculty co-teaching: Our experiences during Mod 5
Hana Dinku (Department of Multicultural Life), Duchess Harris (American Studies), Marjorie Trueblood (Department of Multicultural Life), & Harry Waters, Jr. (Theater & Dance)
They will share their experiences with co-teaching across the faculty/staff divide during Module 5. Panelists will discuss ways in which they organized themselves, pedagogical techniques used, and the importance of covering the topics they chose in furthering Macalester’s mission, and inspiring change amongst students.

Friday, December 10 [last day of classes]