Friday, January 25, 12:30-2:00 p.m., Stevenson Hall 417
“A Mathematics Educator and a Cognitive Neuroscientist Walk into a Research Meeting…”
Dr. Stephen Tucker and Dr. Nicholas Hindy in collaboration between the Embodied Mathematics Education Research Group (EMERG) and the Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory (CogMem) lab. Featuring work by Lindsey Smith, Manal Zafar, Kugen Naidoo, Maame Safowa-Geary, Suryra Rajan Selvam, and Manzura Ibragimova.

Faculty collaborators with drastically different research paradigms entertain/befuddle associated student researchers with discussions about what research and learning (math) means, as it emerges from studies involving preschoolers and kindergartners learning early number sense while interacting with a multi-touch iPad app. Hilarity ensues. (For one of us, at least.) Team members will share initial findings from analyses of qualitative video data and quantitative “performance” data of children’s learning (math), as well as reflections on our experiences as a team. We intend to spark discussion about what the data types, analysis techniques, theories, etc. may contribute, especially through attendees’ applications of their own preferred theories and analyses to excerpts of video data. Together, we aim to explore ways various perspectives can be applied to the same data while helping us all consider ways we can fruitfully engage in intellectually challenging collaboration.

Friday, February 15, 12:30-2:00, Stevenson Hall 417
“Writing Omaha Childhood: Orality, Literacy, and Indigenous Childhood in Susette LaFlesche’s Magazine Writings ”
Frank Kelderman, Department of English

This paper examines the representation of childhood in the magazine writings of the Omaha writer and activist Susette LaFlesche (Inshata Theumba or “Bright Eyes,” 1854-1903). In the late 1870s and early 1880s, just as she became involved in prominent civil rights cases concerning Indian nations, LaFlesche authored several short pieces for national magazines of children’s literature, Wide Awake and St. Nicholas. I argue that in these writings—the short story “Nedawi,” “Omaha Legends and Tent Stories,” and a letter to St. Nicholas—LaFlesche mobilizes narratives of childhood to interrogate questions of citizenship, race, and indigenous sovereignty, at a moment of increased attention to Indian reform. In Racial Innocence, Robin Bernstein argues that in the nineteenth century, the representation of childhood played a pivotal role in diverging (and opposing) racial projects, from slavery and emancipation to anti-black violence and the discourse of African American “uplift.” Extending this framework, I explore what role the representation of childhood played in the work of Native writers who were active in the Indian reform movement. In particular, I examine how LaFlesche’s depiction of childhood literacy allows her to reclaim the figure of the Native American child as an agentic subject. As Patricia Crain argues in Reading Children, in the nineteenth century, children’s entry into reading and writing practices underwrote their entry into property relations and commodity culture, and literacy emerged as a potent symbol of children’s autonomy and agency. In this respect, LaFlesche’s representation of children’s reading and writing practices offers a literacy narrative that moves beyond the trope of children’s “assimilation” into settler regimes of knowledge and power. Rather, LaFlesche’s magazine writings used the figure of the American Indian child to contest the racial projects of indigenous dispossession as well as the progressive Indian reform movement, within a national culture of magazine publishing.


Friday, March 22, 12:30-2:00, Stevenson Hall 417
“Student Understanding of Genetics and Genome Editing Technology”
Katie Humrick, Department of Biology

My study investigates what students are learning about genetics in undergraduate biology courses at UofL and how biology students at varying academic levels understand genetics and genome editing technology. To investigate what students are learning about genetics I am measuring student belief in genetic determinism (BGD) and level of genetics understanding using two validated surveys. To investigate how students are understanding genetics and genome editing technology I have developed a genome editing writing assignment that asks students to read an article and respond to the question “Do you believe CRISPR/Cas9 technology should be used for non-medical enhancement in humans?”. I am using Discourse analysis to analyze the responses and am specifically looking for uses of moral reasoning by the students. Furthermore, I am coding student responses to characterize how students are framing their arguments and investigating if it relates to the level of biology they are in. Pilot data revealed students at an introductory level used two main frames: principle-based and consequential-based moral reasoning. Pilot and expected data collected during fall 2018 will be presented in the session. Discussion of the writing prompt, students responses, coding methods, and interpretation of results will be facilitated during the session.

Friday, April 19, 12:30-2:00, Stevenson Hall 417
“Coded in Black and White:  An Analysis of Racialized Language in the United States”
Tiffany Dillard-Knox, Pan-African Studies

Much of the sociolinguistic literature on language as it relates to African Americans in the United States focuses on the use and legitimacy of African American Vernacular English. However, very little research has examined the role that “white speak” has in relation to this population, specifically the significance of its use over time to maintain racialized social control within the U.S. As such, this research will focus on the process(es) used within dominant discourses that have had and continues to have a profound impact on the lived experiences of Blacks in the United States through what I will call, racial indexicality. The notion of racial indexicality is not singular in its deployment. It relies on a multitude of communicative processes. However, at least in the United States, we can trace and connect these processes back to a singular event, chattel slavery. Racial indexicality can only be understood through an analysis of the relationship between language and that colonial history. This project will attempt to build on Michael Silverstein’s notion of cultural indexicality by making a distinction between cultural and racialized linguistic processes.

And two special events:

Friday and Saturday, April 12-13 – Handwriting symposium organized by Mark Mattes

Friday, March 1, 12:30-2:00, Stevenson Hall 417 – Third-Year Anniversary Celebration