IUPUI to host regional for Scripps National Spelling Bee; winner goes to nationals

INDIANAPOLIS — Thirty-one area students will compete for the privilege of representing Spelling Bee ImageIndiana in the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee during the regional competition taking place at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Campus Center Theater, 420 University Blvd.

The Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement​ are co-sponsors of the Marion County Regional Spelling Bee, which includes students who have won spelling bees at their schools and in one of three district-level bees held in the county.

The regional winner receives a trip to the semifinals and championship May 22 to 27 in National Harbor, Md., near Washington, D.C.

Students through eighth grade at more than 100 area schools competed at the district level of the competition, during which spellers completed as many as 25 or more rounds before a winner was identified.

Students from the School of Liberal Arts and the IUPUI Campus Visits/Ambassadors will help set up the auditorium and direct the spellers on and off the stage. Additional volunteers and officials are provided by Rotary Club of Indianapolis and WIBC/Emmis Communications. Kroger and Rotary Club of Indianapolis provide sponsorships that allow schools to participate at a reduced cost and also provide the funding for the winner to travel to the national competition.

The regional competition is open to the public. The audience is invited to take pictures during the practice round and post them on Twitter using @iupuibee, @scrippsbee and #spellingbee.

Conference | The History of Science and Contemporary Scientific Realism

Date: February 19-21, 2016The History of Science and Contemporary Scientific Realism Flyer
Time: FRI 9:30-7:00PM, SAT 9:30-9:00PM,
SUN 9:30-5:00PM

Location: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis IUPUI Campus Center

Register here.
For the official website, please visit here.

Presented by Timothy D. Lyons, Department of Philosophy, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, USA & Peter Vickers, Department of Philosophy, University of Durham, UK present a three day conference: “An Interdisciplinary Meeting For Historians And Philosophers Of Science.”

Scientific realism is roughly the view that the world exists as science describes it. But there is a historical challenge to that view: the fact that many successful theories have been rejected in favor of new theories.

Timothy Lyons, Department of Philosophy chair and associate professor of philosophy of science in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, said the historical challenge involves what he calls the Big Question: Does predictive success mean that scientific theories are true?

This question will drive an upcoming conference, “The History of Science and Contemporary Scientific Realism,” taking place Feb. 19 to 21 at the IUPUI Campus Center. The conference will include 30 scholars from 10 countries discussing the history — and philosophical implications of that history — of topics ranging from genetics to geology, fundamental physics to medicine, chemistry and biology.

Beyond the fact that “the history of science is fascinating,” Lyons suggests that attendees can gain valuable insight on at least two matters:

“The first is the intrinsically interesting Big Question,” he said. “People watch ‘Cosmos,’  hear about DNA evidence [and] watch movies meant to be based on scientific theories. A huge portion of our contemporary worldview comes from science. Are its theories true? A desired outcome of the conference is a better understanding of the answers to the Big Question.”

Lyons also hopes that recognizing the success of discarded theories would encourage scientists to question what is treated as fact today. Scientists themselves are too busy studying nature to study the history of science, he said, and are likely unaware of past predictive successes and the way in which false parts of theories contributed to those successes.

“There is much to be uncovered in the history of science,” said Lyons, “and if we gather evidence about which parts of successful scientific theories have been retained, and which parts have not, such evidence could inform today’s scientists in their own theorizing.”

The conference is funded by a three-year grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, located in the United Kingdom. Lyons and his research partner, Peter Vickers, a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Durham University (United Kingdom), were awarded the grant for their project titled “Contemporary Scientific Realism and the Challenge from the History of Science.”

As for his personal position, Lyons said, “If I’m advocating anything, it’s that, in the quest for truth — or even in the quest only for further successful predictions — the history of science suggests we should not sit complacent with what is accepted today. In fact, we may well find good precedent in the history of science for creatively challenging even the most fundamental components of our best theories, despite their predictive success.”

Registration is $35 before Feb. 15 and $45 after Feb. 15. Space is limited. For more information, please contact Mary Lee Cox at Cox24@iupui.edu.

Supported by the AHRC funded project “Contemporary Scientific Realism and the Challenge from the History of Science.”


Press Release | IUPUI to share in $250K NEH award to New School’s Humanities Action Lab mass-incarceration project

INDIANAPOLIS — The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced a $250,000 Elizabeth-Kryder-Reid-Imagegrant to The New School’s Humanities Action Lab, a coalition of 20 universities, including Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, collaborating to produce student- and community-curated public projects on pressing social issues.

The grant is the largest of the first 21 NEH “Humanities in the Public Square” grant awards. The funds will support public dialogues around HAL’s current project, “States of Incarceration,” a traveling exhibit, Web platform and curriculum focusing on mass Modupe Labode Imageincarceration.

Today, the United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world and at any other moment in its history, with deep racial disparities in the system enforcing inequalities in American society.

To tackle this pressing issue, HAL invited students and people directly affected by incarceration in 20 cities to explore their own communities’ experiences with incarceration: how it evolved historically and what issues remain today. Each team created one local “chapter” of what will be compiled into a collective, multifaceted portrait of incarceration, past and present, framed by the key questions these histories raise. The exhibition, designed by the firm Matter Practice, will open at The New School’s Sheila C. Johnson Design Center in April and, over the next three years, travel to Indianapolis and the other 18 communities that created it.

“This grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, one of the nation’s largest funders of humanities programs, will enable us to explore how Americans have grappled with incarceration in the past and how it has profoundly shaped generations of people in each of our communities,” said Liz Sevcenko, Humanities Action Lab director. “We hope by coming together to exchange diverse local histories and collective memories, we can foster new national dialogue on how to move forward.”

The “States of Incarceration” exhibition opens at the Johnson Center galleries and will coincide with a national public forum at The New School April 14-16. The forum will provide a space for students — including those from IUPUI who worked on the exhibit — to come together with stakeholders, scholars and policy experts to engage in a national dialogue on incarceration. The forum will feature tactile interactives, digital polling and face-to-face dialogues. As the exhibit travels, local partners will host dialogues in their communities, in exchange with partners in other cities working on related issues.

A Web platform, designed by the studio Picture Projects, will expand on the traveling exhibition and provide a medium to connect communities across the country.

IUPUI will host “States of Incarceration” April and May 2017 at the Central Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library. The IUPUI segment of the exhibit focuses on the intersection of serious mental illnesses and incarceration. Programming for the Indianapolis exhibition, which will coincide with the National Council on Public History‘s national conference, will be developed by community partners and IUPUI students under the direction of Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, professor of anthropology and museum studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

“IUPUI’s focus on the intersections of mental health and incarceration bring attention to this important and often-ignored topic,” Kryder-Reid said. “Our partnerships with the Indiana Medical History Museum, the National Alliance on Mental Health Indiana, and National Alliance on Mental Health Indianapolis exemplify the power of public humanities to connect past and present in order to imagine a more just future.”

IUPUI’s participation in the Humanities Action Lab is led by Kryder-Reid and Modupe Labode, associate professor of history and museum studies at IUPUI.  The two professors previously led IUPUI to collaborate with more than a dozen other universities across the country to create the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, an internationally traveling exhibit, Web platform and series of dialogues reaching over 500,000 people in 18 cities that served as the pilot for HAL.

In addition to IUPUI, universities partnering in “States of Incarceration” are Arizona State University, Brown University, DePaul University, Duke University, Northeastern University, Parsons Paris, Rutgers University-Newark, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Skidmore College, The New School, University of California, Riverside, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Miami, University of Minnesota, University of New Orleans, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of Texas at Austin and Vanderbilt University.

“The pressing challenges facing our nation call for dialogue and understanding,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “There is ample evidence that communities across the nation are eager to come together to discuss the critical issues that face them as citizens and neighbors. Using the unique insights of the humanities, the Humanities Action Lab project will bring new audiences and organizations together in ways that address compelling public concerns.”

The Humanities in the Public Square grant program is part of Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, a new initiative to foster innovative ways to make scholarship relevant to contemporary issues.

27th Joseph T. Taylor Symposium | Mass Incarceration and the Destruction of Community: Beyond the Post-Racial Myth

Date:Thursday, February 25, 2016Mass Incarceration Flyer
Time: 8:45 am – 2:00 pm
Location: IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd.Theater (lower) Level

Register here.

The Joseph T. Taylor Symposium honors Dr. Taylor for his many contributions to the university and the community by hosting informed discussion on issues of interest in urban America, particularly among communities of color. The Joseph T. Taylor Symposium is offered in celebration of all Dr. Taylor stood for during his lifetime and stands as a lasting legacy to his vision and life work
Mass Incarceration and the Destruction of Community: Beyond the Post-Racial Myth.

As inequality widens and opportunities narrow for the bottom 90 percent of the American population, the disenfranchised face mass incarceration and social isolation. In a nation where nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners reside, can we still continue to be the land of the free? The American dream is increasingly at risk and is becoming unattainable for many hard-working people. What can be done to break this pattern and create opportunity, particularly for African Americans?

The 2016 symposium is presented by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI in partnership with the Department of Sociology.

The Liberal Arts Sabbatical Speaker Series | War and Human Capital: Growing Up During the Nigerian Civil War

Presented by: Una Osili, Africana StudiesUna Osili 2015 Image
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016
Time: 4:30-5:30 PM
Location: IUPUI Campus Center Room 268

Civil conflict is an obstacle to development in the developing world. The Nigerian Civil War was the first modern civil war in sub Saharan Africa. Four decades later, this study documents the war’s significant, long-run economic impact. Those exposed to the war as children and adolescents exhibit reduced adult stature, as well as adverse education, health, and marriage outcomes.

RSVP: libarsvp@iupui.edu with Una Osili talk in the subject line.
Supported by the IU School of Liberal Arts and the Office of Development and External Affairs

Reiberg Reading Series: Garth Greenwell (Feb. 18)

What Belongs to You Book CoverThe IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute and the IUPUI Department of English present the Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series featuring Garth Greenwell

Date: February 18, 2016
Time: 7:30-9:00 pm
Location: Basile Auditorium, Eskenazi Hall, IUPUI, 735 W New York St, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Click here to get your free tickets

Garth Greenwell (born 1978) is an American poet, author, literary critic, and educator. His debut novel, What Belongs to You was published in the US by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in January 2016. What Belongs to You has been called the “first great novel of 2016” by Publishers Weekly. Of the book, the New York Times Book Review observes, “Mr. Greenwell writes long sentences, pinned at the joints by semicolons, that push forward like confidently searching vines. There’s suppleness and mastery in his voice. He seems to have an inborn ability to cast a spell.”

In 2013, Greenwell returned to the United States after living in Bulgaria to attend the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop as an Arts Fellow. He has published stories in The Paris Review and A Public Space and writes criticism for the New Yorker and The Atlantic.

Support for the Reiberg Reading Series comes from the Reiberg family, the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the IUPUI University Library, the IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs, and the IUPUI Division of Undergraduate Education.

Press Release: IUPUI economics professor comments on significance and controversy of Federal Reserve rate increase

INDIANAPOLIS — Today, the Federal Reserve increased the interest rate it pays on bank Steven Russell Imagereserves by one-quarter of one percent, from 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. While this increase is slight and is not likely to have a major impact on the economy, its significance lies in two facts, according to Steven Russell, professor and chair of the Department of Economics in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

  • “It is the first time the Fed has moved to increase market interest rates since the financial crisis, and it likely begins a period of gradual rate increases.”
  • “It is the first time the Fed has used a new method for trying to increase market interest rates, which is increasing the interest rate it pays on bank reserves. In the past, the Fed has used changes in reserve supply to try to increase the rate banks pay when they borrow reserves from other banks.”

Russell also commented on the potential for the rate increase to be seen as controversial:

  • “The Fed’s rate increase is potentially controversial because steps to increase market interest rates are usually justified by the argument that there is a need to slow the pace of economic activity in order to restrain inflation. But the pace of economic activity is still modest, and the inflation rate is well below the Fed’s target rate — 2 percent — and shows few signs of increasing.
  • “Nonetheless, the Fed has been under pressure to start moving to increase market rates in order to demonstrate its continued commitment to maintaining low inflation,” Russell said. “And it has finally concluded that the economy is strong enough to justify bowing to that pressure.”

Russell holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Minnesota. His research interests are in macroeconomics — the study of how the levels of important economic indicators such as the inflation rate, the real GDP growth rate, the prime interest rate, and the unemployment rate get determined — and monetary economics, the study of the role of money in the economy and how government policy about money and credit can affect those economic indicators. Russell can be reached for interviews at 317-278-7214 or shrusse@iupui.edu.

Presentation: Renowned Indiana historian tapped for inaugural ‘History Talks!’

INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana historian James Madison, author and Thomas and Kathryn Miller James Madison ImageProfessor of History Emeritus at Indiana University Bloomington, will launch the new “History Talks!” series, designed to “engage the past, in the present, about the future.”

His presentation, “Two Centuries of Hoosiers,” will take place Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Indiana Landmarks Cook Theater, 1201 N. Central Ave. in Indianapolis. The interactive presentation and conversation begins at 4:30 p.m. Madison will sign copies of his books from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

“History Talks!” is a new series offering insightful conversations featuring leading historians who will shed light on the rich complexities of the past and help spark conversation on how the past is shaping Indiana’s present and future.

With the approach of Indiana’s bicentennial in 2016, Madison will present an overview of the state’s past, from Hoosier pioneers through the Civil War to the 21st century. His illustrated talk will highlight connections between past and present and help us think about the future.

Madison’s books include “Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana”; “Eli Lilly: A Life, 1885-1977”; “The Indiana Way: A State History”; and “A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America.” He serves on the boards of Indiana Humanities and the Indiana Historical Society and is a member of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. He began teaching history in 1976 and has lectured and consulted widely on Indiana topics.

“Jim Madison knows who we are because he knows who we, as Hoosiers, have been,” said David Bodenhamer, professor of history and executive director of the Polis Center in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. We are excited that he will be our inaugural History Talks! speaker, especially as we approach Indiana’s 200th anniversary. I cannot imagine a better guide to understanding what we might become as a state.”

The presentation is free and open to the general public. Request additional information or RSVP by contacting history@iupui.edu.

The “History Talks!” inaugural program is a collaboration between the Department of History in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the Spirit & Place Festival and Indiana Landmarks.

Award: Sociology professor receives national honor for work as an HIV/AIDS activist, survivor

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Carrie E. Carrie E Foote ImageFoote is among an elite group of individuals being honored as long-term gladiators in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

POZ magazine has named Foote to its “2015 POZ 100” list for her work teaching “countless students how to think about HIV — compassionately and unconventionally — and how to get involved in HIV activism.”

Once a homeless injection-drug user addicted to heroin, Foote, 46, is now a respected sociology scholar and director of graduate studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. She was diagnosed with HIV in 1988.

“I am honored,” Foote said of her inclusion on the POZ list. This year’s list celebrates U.S. residents who are long-term survivors of HIV, defined as having been diagnosed in 1995 or earlier, before effective treatment was available.

Nominated for the list by IUPUI students, colleagues and community partners, Foote said she is focused on reducing the stigma associated with having HIV/AIDS.

“The social stigma associated with being HIV-positive is the main barrier to our being able to end this epidemic,” she said.

Foote’s current research includes a project with the Indiana State Department of Health and the CDC regarding the Scott County, Ind., HIV outbreak among injection-drug users.

POZ celebrated its sixth annual “100” list in conjunction with the Nov. 19 New York City debut of a traveling pop-up art installation featuring pictures and testimonials of HIV-positive men and women over 50 years of age. That exhibit, part of a Walgreens-Graying of AIDS project, “Well Beyond HIV,” ran two days at Rogue Space Chelsea gallery in New York.

Foote’s activism will be evident on World AIDS Day 2015 as her sociology class AIDS and Society will host longtime HIV survivor and advocate Sean Strub as a guest campus lecturer. “An Evening with Sean Strub: The Criminalization of HIV” will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in Room 450C at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. Author of “Body Counts: A Memoir of Activism, Sex and Survival,” Strub will hold a book-signing immediately following his talk. The event is free and open to the public.

Lecture: HIV/AIDS survivor and advocate Sean Strub coming to IUPUI for World AIDS Day

Date: December 3, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM-8:00 PM
Location: IUPUI Campus Center, RM 450CSean Strub Image

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Carrie E. Foote and students in her sociology class AIDS and Society, offered in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, will host longtime HIV survivor and advocate Sean Strub as a World AIDS Day guest speaker.

An Evening with Sean Strub” will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in Room 450C of the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. Strub, founder of POZ magazine, will present “The Criminalization of HIV,” a talk on how HIV-specific laws hurt public health and why reform is needed. Author of “Body Counts: A Memoir of Activism, Sex and Survival,” Strub will hold a book-signing immediately following his talk.

The Office of National AIDS Policy, along with various agencies and organizations such as the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Health and Human Services, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Positive Justice Project, has called for all states to review their laws concerning HIV exposure, Foote said.

Thirty-three states, including Indiana, have HIV-specific statutes that apply to people living with HIV and that penalize any alleged, perceived or suspected HIV exposure, regardless of intent to, or risk of, harm to another individual, Foote said.

“Many people think that the use of criminal law in cases where no HIV transmission occurred, or was even possible, is warranted and appropriate,” she said. “Mr. Strub will offer insights into how HIV-specific laws are not warranted and are actually quite harmful, stigmatizing and discriminatory toward people with HIV. He will elaborate on how these laws hurt public health and why it is therefore critical to reform these laws.”

Strub has been HIV-positive for more than 33 years. In 1994, he founded POZ, the leading independent global source of information about HIV. He presently is the executive director of the SERO Project, a network of people with HIV fighting for freedom from stigma and injustice, and is treasurer of the U.S. Caucus of People Living with HIV. He is considered an expert on HIV prevention and treatment policy and the intersection of sex, public health and the law.

The event is the brainchild of Tamarah Kilroy, an IUPUI senior studying social work who is also the service-learning assistant for Foote’s class. Questions about attending can be directed to Kilroy at tkilroy@imail.iu.edu.