The Interdisciplinary Institute hosts lectures, public and research forums, and retreats on interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

Past Events

This panel will discuss the current state of the Anthropocene, global, and national policy options to address a degrading environment. Discussants will specifically address the ‘green new deal’ alternatives and the impact these policies may have on climate change and global and national economies and those most vulnerable to adverse climate events. Join Zoom Webinar Free
A panel will discuss current health disparities in the US, the impact of the Affordable Care Act, and options before the Biden Administration. Join Zoom Webinar Freeli
The Interdisciplinary Institute along with the Social Justice Program and the Political Science Department are sponsoring the first National Issues Forum on Structural Racism and the Case for Reparations. We will open the forum with an overview of the concept and history of structural racism and an account of this structure in the South. This overview and the exploration of...
The Institute collaborated with the McQuade Library to plan an antiracism resource review panel. The panel featured Merrimack staff, faculty, and alumni who discussed what got them started, or kept them going, on their antiracism journey. The event, co-sponsored by the President’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative continued off the momentum from the Unity and Diversity Days on October 12th...
Join the webinar for a roundtable conversation among seven artists as they discuss how they use art to cope with and respond to the global pandemic. Learn More Join the webinar for a roundtable conversation among seven artists as they discuss how they use art to cope with and respond to the global pandemic. Learn More Free
An opportunity to listen to eight colleagues from four schools who participated in the Association of Interdisciplinary Studies Annual Conference in Amsterdam in October 2019. An opportunity to listen to eight colleagues from four schools who participated in the Association of Interdisciplinary Studies Annual Conference in Amsterdam in October 2019. Free
Bodies, Borders and Bridges is a multimedia interdisciplinary exhibition inspired by the institute’s theme. It builds upon Children, an exhibition organized by Artists Unified Against Family Separation and curated by Brian Alves with conceptual curatorial advising and installation assistance by Mica Lin-Alves and Rayza Carrasco. Artwork will be on display until May 1st. 2020 Bodies, Borders and Bridges is a...
Malak Matar is a 20-year old woman artist from the Gaza Strip, Palestine currently studying in Istanbul, Turkey. Her artwork has been featured in individual and group exhibitions in Jerusalem, France, Spain, Costa Rica, India, and in the Art Under Siege exhibit held in the Rayburn House Office Building, US House of Representatives, Washington, DC. Malak Matar is a 20-year old woman...


  • Issues in Interdisciplinary Research and Pedagogy: A Faculty Conversation.
    • September 6, 2019, 12:30-2:00pm, Arcidi B

  • Reception for 2019-2020 Presidential Fellows.
    • September 19, 2019, 4:00-6:00pm, Cascia Hall

  • Team Teaching Workshop.
    • September 20-21, 2019, 10:00am-4:00pm, CETL Conference Room

  • Toy Collaboration Project: Reflections on Team Teaching Across Schools.
    • October 4, 2019, 12:30-2:00pm, Arcidi B

  • Public Forum Co-Sponsored with the Bioethics Minor: “The (Anti-)Vaccination Debate: Public Good and Personal Choice in the Post-Truth Era.” 
    • October 17, 2019, 4:00-6:00pm, Cascia Hall

  • Innovations in Interdisciplinary Teaching and Pedagogy: A Faculty Roundtable with Institute Microgrant Recipients.
    • October 18, 12:30-2:00pm, Arcidi B

  • Interdisciplinary Teaching in Prison: A Conversation with Brittnie Aiello and Emma Duffy-Comparone.
    • November 1, 2019, 12:30-2:00pm, Arcidi B

  • Public Forum “Gender-Based Violence on College Campuses in the UK and Beyond,” featuring Dr. Ruth Lewis, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK.
    • November 7, 2019, 4:00-6:00pm, Location: TBA

  • Researching Gender-Based Violence on College Campuses: A Conversation with Dr. Ruth Lewis, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK.
    • November 8, 2019, 12:30-2:00pm, Location: TBA


  • Faculty Retreat:” Interdisciplinary Team Teaching and Curriculum Transformation: Linking Innovative Pedagogies, Student Success and Faculty Development.” This two-day retreat will be facilitated by professor emerita Dr. Joye Hardiman of the  Washington Center at The Evergreen State College. Read more about the retreat here.     
    • April 26-27, 2019
  • Workshop and Performance: “Weaving the Maps: Tales of Survival and Resistance” The performance is based on narratives Dr. Nusair and Dr. Farah have gathered over the last two decades with Palestinian, Iraqi and Syrian refugee women. It describes processes of veiling and unveiling of Orientalist narratives about the “other,” and simultaneous linking and breaking of binary spaces. The performance is a composite of women’s narratives of crossing, displacement and forced migration, and the challenges of re-making life and stitching survival. The stories trace how violence and the consequences of war are linked to the enactment of geopolitical power structures. Along with weaving the maps of resilience and resistance from the fabric of the women’s lives and memories, the performance illuminates the routes for creating systems of accountability, solidarity, coalition and movement building. Read more about this performance here.                         
    •  April 16, 2019, 2:00-3:30pm, Cascia Hall
  • Public Forum: “From Merrimack College to India and Back: Faculty and Students Reflect on a Global Interdisciplinary Field Experience” Dr. Ellen FitzpatrickDr. Simona Sharoni, and Dr. Elaine Ward were joined by students Tiana Lawrence and Eden MacDugall to share a slide show and initial reflections as well as future opportunities for collaboration with Barefoot College. You may read more about the trip in The Beacon (Merrimack College’s Student Newspaper) or here.    
    • April 3, 2019, 4:00-5:00pm, Cascia Hall                                                    
  • Faculty Research Forum:  “Brave New Biology: Ethics in Genetic Research”  Dr.  Lisa Fuller, Philosophy, Dr. Autumn Ridenour, Religious and Theological Studies, and Dr. Janine LeBlanc, Biology.
    • February 28, 2019, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Cascia Hall

  • National Interdisciplinary Institute Honors Society Induction Ceremony Read more about Merrimack College’s Interdisciplinary Honors Society.
    • February 26, 2019, 3:30-5:00 p.m., Blue Line Club

  • Faculty Research Forum: “The Post Office, the Information Economy, and the U.S. 19th Century” Dr. Zoe Sherman, Economics, and Dr. Christy Pottroff, English.
    • February 11, 2019, 12:30-2:00 p.m., Sullivan B2, CETL Conference Room

  • Faculty Research Forum: Report from the Association of Interdisciplinary Studies Conference. Integrating Inter/Diversities into Interdisciplinary Teaching and Pedagogy: Prospects and Challenges.     
    • January 24, 2019, 3:30-5:00 p.m., Sullivan B2, CETL Conference Room                                                           
  • Faculty Research Forum: “Critical Research, Teaching, and Advocacy in Precarious Political Times” Dr. Simona Sharoni, Women’s and Gender Studies, Dr. Sandra Raponi, Philosophy, and Dr. Melissa Zimdars, Communication and Media.
    •  December 7, 2018, 12:00-2:00 p.m., Sullivan B2
  • A collaborative Faculty Research project “Group Financial Coaching: A New Approach for Building Financial Capability?” with Jane Parent, Management, Girard School of Business, Allison Seitchik, Psychology, School of Liberal Arts, and Ana Silva, Finance, Girard School of Business. 
    • October 29, 2018, 12:00-1:30 p. m., Provost Conference Room Austin Hall.                                                                                
  • “Gender and Race in the Narratives of Crossing Syrian Refugees into Germany,” A talk by Dr. Isis Nusair, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and International Studies at Denison College. Based on extensive ethnographic research conducted with Syrian refugees in Germany in the past three years, the speaker explores how gendered and racialized bodies of refugees become the site for the negotiation of the meaning and practice of both “refuge” and “border.” The narratives of refugees underscore the search for an alternative to war and displacement and for new modes of transnational social and political transformations.                        
    • October 18, 2018, 2:00-400 p.m., Cascia Hall
  • Public Forum: “Beyond the Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings: Survivors Struggle for Justice and Accountability in the Era of #MeToo.” Dr. Debra Michals, Women’s and Gender Studies, Dr. Sandra Raponi, Philosophy, Dr. Simona Sharoni Women’s and Gender Studies, and Dr. Elaine Ward, Higher Education.
    • September 27, 2018, 2:00 p.m., Stevens Auditorium
  • Lecture: “Transcending Borders: Reflections on the Synergy Between Interdisciplinary and Global Studies” An opportunity to have met the institute’s new director, Dr. Simona Sharoni, and the 2018-2019 Scholar in Residence, Dr. Ellen Fitzpatrick. The event included light refreshments.   
    • September 20, 2018, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Blue Line Club


  • Roundtable Discussion: “Reflections on an Interdisciplinary Journey: A Conversation with Dr. Jane Caputi.” As the final event of the year, Dr. Jane Caputi discussed turning points in her career that deepened her understanding of Interdisciplinarity and how this enriched her work as a scholar, teacher, and activist.  
    •  April 30, 2018
  • Performance and Workshop: Climbing Poe’s Tree. 
    Climbing Poe’s Tree is an award-winning multimedia theater, dual-voice spoken word, visual art, sustainable touring, and community organizing duo. Co-creators Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman are cultural architects committed to re-framing the story through multi-voice spoken word, hip hop, world music, and multimedia theater that translate deep research around the most pressing issues of our time into stunning artistry that catalyzes their audiences to activate the transformation they wish to cultivate within themselves and their communities.  
    • April 26, 2018
  • Lecture: “Native Resistance in the Age of Trump.” Dr. Nick Estes, a fellow at Harvard University, offered a mediation on the history of Native resistance and contemporary Native organizing around state violence against Native bodies and lands in the context of environmental justice.                
    • April 23, 2018
  • Teaching Circle and Roundtable: “Analyzing Structures of Power and Privilege: Reflections of Interdisciplinary Teaching and Pedagogy.” This teaching circle featured three interdisciplinary scholar/teachers: Anna Agathangelou (Departments of Politics, Social and Political Thought, Gender and Women’s Studies at York University); Heather Turcotte (Crime and Justice Studies, Black Studies Program, Women and Gender Studies, Sustainability Studies, and Urban Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth); and Catia Cecilia Confortini (Peace and Justice Studies Program at Wellesley College).
    •  April 18, 2018
  • Film Screening and discussion: “Feed the Green: Feminist Voices for the Earth” Scholar in Residence, Dr. Jane Caputi, screened her documentary film featuring prominent feminists and environmentalists, as well as images from popular culture that illustrate environmentally destructive world views that are often unconsciously held. Dr. Caputi fielded questions from the audience after the film.   
    •  March 8, 2018
  • Film Screening and Discussion: “Fattitude.” The documentary “Fattitude” explores prejudice and discrimination faced by fat people. The screening was followed by a panel discussion including filmmakers, Lindsey Averill and Viridiana Lieberman, and Dr. Jane Caputi, Scholar in Residence, and Dr. Melissa Zimdars, Communication and Media Studies.
    • February 12, 2018
  • Inaugural Reception, Film Screening, and Discussion: The official launch of the Institute held in the atrium of the Rogers Center. Featured remarks by Provost Allan Weatherwax and an introduction of Dr. Jane Caputi, the 2017-2018 Scholar in Residence. Included a screening of the documentary, “Democracy Through the Looking Glass” and a panel discussion featuring the filmmaker, Kevin Bowe and three faculty from Merrimack College: Dr. Jane Caputi, Scholar in Residence, Dr. Melissa Zimdars, Communication and Media Studies, and Dr. Anne Flaherty, Political Science.                                                                              
    • November 20, 2017
  • Film Screening and Lecture: “Get Out,” Rogers Center Tambakos Film Series.
    •  September 7, 2017


  • Lecture: “What Makes Life Worth Living? How Have American Philosophers Addressed This Question?” John Kaag, professor of philosophy at UMass-Lowell, discussed themes from his critically acclaimed book “American Philosophy: A Love Story.”
    •  February, 27, 2017
  • Lecture: “The Challenge of Bias: The Case for Global Interdisciplinary Studies” Maghan Keita, professor of history and founding director of the Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies at Villanova University, discussed his award-winning book “Race and the Writing of History: Riddling the Sphinx.”
    • January 26, 2017
  • Symposium: “Identity, Purpose and Meaning.” Father Richard Piatt, professor of practice in theater and director of the Rogers Center for the Arts; Dr. Christina Hardway, Psychology, and Dr. Bryan Bannon, Philosophy and Environmental Studies and Sustainability, shared insights from their co-enrolled course, “Living a Meaningful Life: Creativity, Identity and Reflection.”
    • November 21, 2016