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



February 26, 2019

February 28, 2019


  • September 20, 2018, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Lecture: “Transcending Borders: Reflections on the Synergy Between Interdisciplinary and Global Studies.” An opportunity to meet the institute’s new director, Dr. Simona Sharoni, and the 2018-2019 Scholar in Residence, Dr. Ellen Fitzpatrick. The event will include light refreshments and an open bar and will be in the Blue Line Club.
  • September 27, 2018, 2:00 p.m., Public Forum: “Beyond the Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings.” 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, in Stevens Auditorium.
  • December 7, 2018, 12:00-2:00 p.m., 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, in Sullivan B2.
  • January 24, 2019, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Faculty Research Forum: Report from the Association of Interdisciplinary Studies Conference.
  • February 11, 2019, 12:30-2:00 p.m., 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 26, 2019, 3:30-5:00 p.m., National Interdisciplinary Institute Honors Society Induction Ceremony. This event will take place in the Blue Line Club.
  • February 28, 2019, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Faculty Research Forum:  B ioethics and “Designing Babies.” Dr.  Lisa Fuller, Philosophy, Autumn Dr. Ridenour, Religious and Theological Studies, and Dr. Janine LeBlanc, Biology, in Cascia Hall.
  • April 15, 2019, Workshop and Performance: “Weaving the Maps: Tales of Survival and Resistance.” Laila Farah and Isis Nusair, Blue Line Club.
  • April 26-27, 2019,  Faculty Retreat: “Team Teaching and Learning Communities.” This two-day workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Joye Hardiamn of the  Washington Center at The Evergreen State College.


  • April 30, 2018, Roundtable Discussion: “Reflections on an Interdisciplinary Journey: A Conversation with Dr. Jane Caputi.”
    As the final event of the year, Dr. Caputi will discuss turning points in her career that deepened her understanding of interdisciplinarity and how this enriched her work as a scholar, teacher, and activist.
  • April 26, 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 23, 2018, Lecture: “Native Resistance in the Age of Trump.” 
    Dr. Nick Estes, a fellow at Harvard University, offers 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 18, 2018, Teaching Circle and Roundtable: “Analyzing Structures of Power and Privilege: Reflections of Interdisciplinary Teaching and Pedagogy.”
    This teaching circle features 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 University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth); and Catia Cecilia Confortini (Peace and Justice Studies Program at Wellesley College).
  • March 8, 2018, Film Screening and discussion: “Feed the Green: Feminist Voices for the Earth.” Scholar in Residence, Jane Caputi, will screen 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 will field questions from the audience after the film.
  • February 12, 2018, Film Screening and Discussion: “Fattitude.”

    The documentary “Fattitude” explores prejudice and discrimination faced by fat people. The screening will be 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.

  • November 20, 2017Inaugural 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 Anne Flaherty, Political Science.
  • September 7, 2017Film Screening and Lecture: “Get Out.” 
    Rogers Center Tambakos Film Series.


  • February, 27, 2017Lecture: “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.”
  • January 26, 2017Lecture: “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.”

  • November 21, 2016Symposium: “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 Bryan Bannon, Philosophy and Environmental Studies and Sustainability, shared insights from their co-enrolled course, “Living a Meaningful Life: Creativity, Identity and Reflection.”