Friday March 2, 2018, 2 – 7pm, including a closing reception

Join us for a meeting of minds, human and non-, as we discuss the state of art/science collaborations, how big interdisciplinary projects and out-of-the-box thinking offer exciting opportunities for collaboration and experiential learning, and what we can learn from our visiting plasmodial slime mold scholars. Featuring students, staff, and faculty from across the college, as well as guest artist Jonathon Keats and Julia Buntaine, Hampshire alum, artist, and founder of the SciArt Center.


Image credits: Ray Mendel

2:00 – 2:15:
The Plasmodium Consortium: An Origin Story (or ‘Only at Hampshire’: When Slime Mold become Visiting Scholars’) – Professor Megan Dobro and Gallery Director Amy Halliday

After an initial introduction to the project by Amy Halliday, Megan Dobro discusses how big interdisciplinary projects and out-of-the-box thinking offer exciting opportunities for collaboration, experiential learning, and challenging disciplinary assumptions. From the grand ideas to the small details, Megan will share what we learned and how you as a faculty or staff member can integrate this into your own teaching and learning.

2:15 – 3:00:
Molding minds: A Faculty Q&A
A range of professors who were involved in the project reflect on how it challenged their own disciplinary thinking and research, and how they plan to integrate their learning into curriculum design.

3:00 – 3:30: Networked Knowledge: Students Reflections
Students discuss how they collaborated with slime mold to engage with diverse areas of interest, from drug addiction to the metaphysics of a slime mold science fiction.


4.00 – 4:45: Keynote Address: Julia Buntaine (Alum, 06F), SciArt Center
Artist and SciArt Center founder Julia Buntaine addresses the state of art/science collaborations, how Hampshire’s non-human visiting scholars fit into that paradigm, and how they break the mold.

4:45 – 5.15: You Say You Want A Revolution – Jonathon Keats and the Plasmodium Consortium
Jonathon Keats reports on what has been learned from the plasmodial visiting scholars, and how it can be applied to policy decisions locally and globally. He also proposes new questions still to be addressed by P. polycephalum, and elicits suggestions from the audience. When possible, he models these questions live for the slime molds to address.

5:30: Opening remarks for Gallery reception

The symposium will conclude with a gallery reception from 5.30-7pm, where you can view our concurrent spring exhibitions The Plasmodium Consortium and The Reciprocal Biomimicry Initiative.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

At Hampshire College, support comes from the School for Interdisciplinary Arts, the Culture, Brain, and Development (CBD) program, and Ethics and the Common Good (ECG) project, as well as MacArthur Faculty Development and Dr Lucy Faculty Research grants from the School of Natural Sciences.


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