Resilience, Resistance, Renovation, and Rebirth Virtual Conference
April 22 and 23, 2021
How the pandemic has sparked new ideas
COVID-19 has hit us hard and forced us into a new normal. What is this normal now in the health sciences, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics? Artists, musicians, scientists, and architects will share how the shifting reality of living in a pandemic changed their ideas about work, research, and our lives. Where did they find a spark of innovation in cultural or systems change, for poetry, design, performance, or other discovery? And importantly, where can these ideas take us?
Schedule of events
10 -10:40 a.m. Opening Remarks Dean Christopher Boyer
10:40-11:20 a.m Packing and Cracking: an Interactive Event About Gerrymandering Joseph Amodei, Rachel Gita Karp, Joshua Kery
11:20 a.m.–noon Learning to Protest: An Exploration of the Impact of Students’ First Experience with Political Protesting Students of Rebecca Maniglia (April, Ingris, and Promise)
Noon–12:40 p.m. Understanding Resilience and Mental Wellbeing in Indigenous Nation in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic through an interdisciplinary and Indigenous Lens Esther Cadman, Amanda Hunter, Chesleigh Keene, Marianne Nielsen, Alfred Yazzie
1:40–2 p.m. Feedback
10:40-11 a.m. Various Poetry Pieces Brian Glaser
11–11:20 a.m. Creative Complexity: Exploring Genetics, Mental Health and Art Through the COVID-19 Pandemic Samuel Chawner, Ben Murray, and Neus Tamarit
11:20 – 11:40 a.m. Postcards from the Pandemic Haley Creighton
12:20–12:40 p.m. This Is What It Is Rosemary Meza-DesPlas
12:40–1 p.m. On Pandemic Art Poetry: A Graphic Narrative in the form of a Poem Natasa Thoudam
1–1:20 p.m. HEALTH THEATRE – Revisioning STEAM Collaborations Kathleen McGeever and Bobby Eccleston
1:20–1:50 p.m. Lingering Pato Hebert
1:50–2 p.m. Feedback
10 -10:20 a.m. Opening Remarks Vaughan Judge
10:20-10:50 a.m. From a Distance: The Art of Collaboration During COVID Christopher Kaczmarek and Deirdre Macleod
10:50-11:20 a.m. Medicinal Scrolling: Sensing and Soaking in a Digital Bathhouse Krysta Sa
11:20 – 11:40 a.m. COVID Sonata Owen Davis, Matthew Salanga, David Van Ness, and Zachary DeHaven
11:40 a.m.–1:20 p.m. The Plague Project What we Learn in Pestilence Gioia Woods, Sam Meier, Nicole Walker, and Donelle Ruwe, with students Lucas McNutt and Ann Tumarkin
1:20 p.m.-1:50 p.m. I’m Not That Sick Jennifer Joy
1:40–2 p.m. Feedback
10:20-10:50 a.m. Resilience And The Theatre: The Case Of The Greek Theatre In Brussels Katerina Diakoumopoulou
10:50-11:20 a.m. How To Survive Social Distancing – Advice From The Mid-Nineteenth Century Nina Vollenbroker
11:20–11:40 a.m. THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Revisioning How WE Produce Theatre in the Global Pandemic Kathleen McGeever and Ben Alexander
11:50 a.m.–12:20 p.m. Adapting: Continuing to Work While Learning to Walk on Fire Lauren Selden
12:20–12:50 p.m. “Spreading Stories” The Pandemic Academic as a Collective Online Archive Catharina Haensel
12:50–1:20 p.m. Research Reboot in the time of COVID: Personal Reflections of Letting Go and Starting Anew Nancy Cornwell
1:20-1:50 p.m. The Art of Depression Debra Edgerton
Joseph Amodei (Packing and Cracking: an Interactive Event About Gerrymandering)
Amodei is a new media artist, theater designer, educator, and activist. They conceive of art as a powerful epistemic and emotional tool for examining assumed realities. Their work combines innovative technology, extensive research, and hope for alternate futures to invite audiences into a communal process of debriefing and re-learning. Amodei grew up in North Carolina, where they received a BFA in Studio Art from UNC-Chapel Hill. They completed their MFA in Video and Media Design at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama. Currently, they are professor of Immersive Media at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. https://www.jamodei.com/
Christopher Boyer is Dean of Arts and Letters and Professor of History at Northern Arizona University. He specializes in the social and environmental history of Modern Mexico and Latin America. His most recent book, Political Landscapes: Forests, Conservation, and Community in Mexico (Duke University Press) investigates the social history of Mexican forest management between 1880 and 2000. His current book project traces how Green Revolution technologies pioneered in Mexico in the 1950s served to promote the industrialization of foodways in Mexico and the developing world. He co-edits a University of Arizona Press book series on Latin American environmental history.
Jody Boyer (Family, Food and Domesticity) Art Production in Time of COVID
Jody Boyer is a visual artist and arts educator originally from Portland, Oregon. In her studio practice she explores the broad interdisciplinary possibilities of traditional and new media with specific interests in personal and historic memory, domesticity, cinema, the natural world and a sense of place. She received her B.A. in Studio Arts from Reed College, her M.A. in Intermedia and Video Art from the University of Iowa, and her K-12 teaching certificate at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her artwork has been shown in over 80 exhibitions across the country. She teaches studio art at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Norris Middle School and is also currently pursuing an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Nancy Cornwell (Research Reboot in the time of COVID: Personal Reflections of Letting Go and Starting Anew Research)
Nancy Cornwell worked in television journalism and cable television programming before entering higher education. She currently serves as professor of media at Montana State University. She teaches a law class for creative artists, media production and American popular television. Her research area focuses on free expression and social justice, feminist theory and hate speech. She was deep into a new research project in Singapore and Australia when the COVID-19 blew up teaching, research and demanded new ways of both coping with huge disruption and finding paths forward. Along with the grieving that comes with leaving a lot of grant money on the table and a Fulbright process stalled, she found the time and space to examine new and timely applications of early career work. She will talk about these new research threads as well as new ways of thinking about old ideas that were the unexpected gift of the pandemic.
Katerina Diakoumopoulou (Resilience and the Theatre: The Case of the Greek Theatre in Brussels Theatre)
Diakoumopoulou is assistant professor at the Department of Theatre Studies, Faculty of Philosophy of University of Athens. She studied at the Department of Theatre Studies of the University of Athens, where she later completed her postgraduate studies. In 2007 she acquired her PhD and doctoral thesis from the Panteion University, Department of Sociology, “The Theatre of Greek Immigrants in New York Since the End of the 19th Century until 1940.” She has conducted postdoctoral research at the Department of Theatrical Studies of University of Athens having received a postdoctoral fellowship from the State Scholarship Foundation of Greece (2009-2010). She has published more than 50 theatrical articles and has participated in conferences mainly for the Modern Greek Theatre with emphasis on the Theatre of the Diaspora
Debra Edgerton (The Art of Depression)
Debra Edgerton received her two MFA’s in Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and Interdisciplinary Art at Vermont College. Her art practice addresses cultural identity, perception, imprinting of memory, displacement, and water issues. Edgerton’s most recent artwork recontextualizes grief and loss for women of color. The spectacle of grief in media overshadows quiet despair, empathy, and humanity. She uses art as a mechanism to explore how we process information and its effect on emotional connections.
Edgerton is an Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University.
William Estrada (Family, Food and Domesticity) Art Production in Time of COVID
William Estrada grew up in California, Mexico, and Chicago. His teaching and art making practice focus on addressing inequity, migration, historical passivity and cultural recognition in historically marginalized communities. He documents and engages experiences in public spaces to transform, question, and make connections to established and organic systems through discussion, creation, and amplification of stories through creativity already present. He is currently a visual art teacher at Telpochcalli Elementary and faculty at the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has worked as an educator and artist with Chicago Arts Partnership in Education, Hyde Park Art Center, SkyArt, Marwen Foundation, Urban Gateways, DePaul University’s College Connect Program, Graffiti Institute, Vermont College of Art and Design, Prison + Neighborhood Art Project, and the School of The Art Institute of Chicago.
Brian Glaser (Various Poetry Pieces)
Glaser has published three books of poems, including All the Hills and Contradictions with Shanti Arts. He has also published many essays on poetry and poetics. He is an associate professor of English at Chapman University in Orange, California.
Catharina Haensel (“Spreading Stories” The Pandemic Academic as a Collective Online Archive )
Catharina Haensel is a Ph.D at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (Italy) and the University of Göttingen. She holds an MSc. in Development Studies from SOAS, London and a BA in Economics and Modern Indian Studies from the University of Göttingen. Catharina also works as an international freelance journalist, with her work appearing in Die Welt, Jungle World and Internazionale, among others. She founded Pandemic Academic in April 2020, a platform documenting the impact of COVID-19 on the academy, artists and frontline workers.
Sara Ishii (Creativity in Lockdown: Three Approaches in the Pandemic)
Ishii is an interdisciplinary feminist artist/scholar with a background in visual art and multicultural women’s and gender studies. Her ongoing research examines creative interventions into social justice issues related to contemporary feminist art, Gloria Anzaldúa theorizing, and interpersonal violence. Ishii’s art practice employs painting and mixed media to investigate the inner dimensions of emotional and verbal abuse within the larger spectrum of interpersonal violence. Her work confronts the silence surrounding emotional and verbal abuse, marking its impact and acknowledging the resilience of victims/survivors.
Ishii holds a PhD in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies from Texas Woman’s University, an MFA in Art and Technology from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a MA in Feminist, Gender, and Women’s Studies from York University, Toronto. She is currently visiting assistant professor of Art History at Texas Woman’s University.
Jennifer Joy (I’m Not That Sick)
Jennifer Joy is a New York City-based writer, performer, comic and director, with a passion for science. Her current show, The Chaos Theory of Now, has played at Dixon Place and Theatre for the New City, to rave reviews. She was invited by NASA and the Library of Congress to perform at their Symposium on Astrobiology in September 2017. Her previous solo show, The Physics of Love, a romantic comedy based on the scientific history of the universe, has toured all over the country. Her work also includes a podcast series, Where Science Meets Art, which currently takes its inspiration from evolution. Her commissions include, for the Inter-Religious EcoJustice Network of Connecticut, a play called Awake, which explored communities of faith and climate change. She has also done standup with a science twist, at clubs such as New York Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, Ochi’s at Comix and others. Jennifer is the Artistic Director of the eco-performing troupe, The SciArt6. Their work includes puppet shows on food justice, an immersive performance piece on the ecological history of Manhattan, and sketch comedy raising awareness about climate change. Jennifer’s work has been featured at Highways (Santa Monica); Emerging Artists’ Theatre, Laurie Beechman Theatre, Wow Café and Theatre, and Fresh Fruit Festival (New York City); Jon Sims Center, The Marsh, Josie’s Cabaret and Red Dora’s Café (San Francisco) and at conferences such as the Association of Environmental Sciences and Studies, and the Western Regional Conference. Her college performance tour has included Scripps College, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Redlands, University of Connecticut, College of Staten Island, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Plattsburgh, Alfred University, Indiana University Pittsburgh, University of Northern Iowa, and more. She is also an accomplished actor, having worked with the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, San Francisco Shakespeare Company, Emerging Artists’ Theatre (New York City), Teatro Vision (San Jose). One of her commercials is featured in Fox Television’s World’s Sexiest Commercials, and she has appeared in several films. She received her MFA in Drama from UC Irvine.
Vaughan Judge (Opening remarks)
Professor Vaughan Judge is Director of the School of Art at Northern Arizona University (NAU) and is a Fellow of the National Arts Strategy’s Chief Executive Program. Prior to NAU, he was the Director of the School of Art at Montana State University. He has just co-authored a book titled ‘Undergraduate Research in Art: A Guide for Students’; With Dr. Jenny Olin Shanahan (Assistant Provost Bridgewater State University) & Dr. Gregory D. Young (Professor of Music Montana State University) with Routledge Taylor & Francis. Vaughan has over 38 years of experience in arts education and is a practicing artist of international significance in the field of contemporary photographic art; his work has been cited in three histories of photography books with numerous international exhibitions and publications. In 2019 he was a Speaker on Art and Sustainable Economics and Ecology at TEDx Bozeman ‘UNTAPPED’ April 2019
Christopher Kaczmarek (From a Distance: The Art of Collaboration During COVID)
Kaczmarek is a New York based artist whose work spans both experimental and traditional practices, including sculpture, site specific installations, performance, video, built circuits and solar-powered objects. His work is often interactive and designed to guide the viewer towards a deeper contemplation about the inhabited environment. Recent interests have been concerned with the act of walking as a praxis for artistic production, and the shapes in which collective and collaborative environments can be formed to become spaces where imagination and creativity are used in the service of hopeful outcomes.
Christopher Kaczmarek received an MFA in Visual Art and an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory and Criticism from Purchase College, State University of New York, and is currently an assistant professor of Interdisciplinary Art, and program coordinator of the Visual Arts Program, at Montclair State University, New Jersey.
Chesleigh Keene (Understanding Wellbeing in Indigenous Nation in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic through an interdisciplinary and Indigenous Lens Health)
Chesleigh Keene, Ph.D., M.A., is an Assistant Professor in the Combined School and Counseling Psychology program in the College of Education at Northern Arizona University. Before joining NAU’s College of Education, she was a postdoctoral research fellow in population health at the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute. She earned her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Denver (2018). Dr. Keene completed an APA-accredited clinical residency at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. She joined NAU in 2020.
Dr. Keene is an interdisciplinary researcher with research interests in population health; using mobile and sensing technologies to promote health behavior change; cultural models and predictors of wellness; and psychosocial factors that improve health outcomes. Dr. Keene works with populations that face greater obstacles to health due to social/economic disadvantages. This currently includes Native American communities and those experiencing homelessness.
Leslie Mauldin (Creativity in Lockdown: Three Approaches in the Pandemic)
Leslie Mauldin was born and raised in the DFW metropolitan area. She earned her BFA in Visual Art Studies and an ART EC-12 teaching certification through the University of North Texas in 2018. Leslie is a sculptor, installation, and intermedia artist working with cast or welded metals, foam, digital 3D design, photography, and video. She is interested in how science-fiction and escapism can be used to inform realities in the natural world. Leslie has exhibited in over 20 local and internationally-rated exhibitions since beginning her MFA at Texas Woman’s University in 2018. She recently concluded her MFA Thesis Exhibition, The Interventionists, and will officially graduate in May of 2021. Leslie is looking forward to continuing a fulfilling career as both artist and educator.
Kathleen McGeever (Health Theatre – Revisioning Steam Collaborations Theatre and The Show Must Go On: Revisioning How WE Produce Theatre in the Global Pandemic Theatre)
Kathleen M. McGeever has worked professionally as director, actor, educator, arts administrator, playwright, and dramaturge. During the span of her career, she has directed over 50 plays. Some of her directing credits include Private Lives, The Art of Dining, Stop Kiss, Defying Gravity, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Flea in Her Ear, Sticks and Bones, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Lesson, The Bald Soprano, The Servant of Two Masters, The Miser, The Imaginary Invalid, Pride and Prejudice, Water By The Spoonful, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The School for Lies, Peter and the Starcatcher, Sense and sensibility, MR. BURNS a post electric play and a Live Streamed, Live production of East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Kathleen has served in leadership for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s Directing Focus Group. She is an Associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and serves as the Book Review Editor for the SDC Journal. She has published and presented widely on the pedagogy of practice of stage direction, and dramatic criticism. She is a Professor of Theatre, Performance, and has served as Chair of the Northern Arizona University Department of Theatre since 2007.
Lucas McNutt (The Plague Project What we Learn in Pestilence) is an English major at NAU, and he is the recent winner of the Gary Kane Study Abroad fellowship
Sam Meier (The Plague Project What we Learn in Pestilence) is the Archivist for Discovery at Cline Library’s Special Collections and Archives, where she oversees processing of SCA’s archival holdings. Previously, Sam served as a Library Technician for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress and a contract archivist at the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Library & Archives. In Fall 2020, she served as a guest lecturer and archival consultant for the Pandemic Stories project. She guided students through the process of creating and donating oral history interviews to SCA for public research access via Cline Library’s Colorado Plateau Digital Collections.
Hiatus Healing Collective (Family, Food and Domesticity)
Hiatus Healing Collective started in the beginning of 2020. Hiatus stands for Herbalizing Inner-city Ascendance Through Universal Supplies. We are a two femme mutual-aid herbal collective (Alajia McKizia and Cait Caughey) providing herbs + education to BIPOC and allies. We are farmers and land tenders. Our purpose is to create and curate free herbal kits and distribute them to the community. We grow the plants and create the remedies and then put them together. We have created herbal kits specifically for BIPOC folx, kits for supporting protestors involved in anti-racism and anti-oppression work, kits for seniors through a collaboration with The Union for Contemporary Art, kits centered around grief and grieving during pandemic times and are currently working on kits for teachers. We see these as gifts that can bring comfort as well as knowledge towards building a relationship with plants. Each kit has 3-5 herbal items as well as affirmations and information on relating with the plants.
Rosemary Meza-DesPlas (This Is What It Is Art Practice) Meza-DesPlas currently lives in Farmington, New Mexico. She earned an MFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art (Hoffberger School of Painting) and a BFA from the University of North Texas. The cornerstone of her artwork is the female experience within a patriarchal society. Through on-site drawing installations and watercolor paintings, Meza-DesPlas evokes intellectual and visceral responses to socio-cultural burdens endured by women; these burdens and their subsequent impact on contemporary culture are interpreted through a global lens. Her artwork has been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Meza-DesPlas parallels the themes in her visual artwork with the written word and spoken word performances.
Michael Mulvey (Creativity in Lockdown: Three Approaches in the Pandemic)
Michael Mulvey’s work is rooted in the visualization of sociological practices. His research interests range from capturing the cultural divide along the border with Mexico to the gentrification of West Dallas neighborhoods, using methods of documentary as well as conceptually constructed still lives in order to create various pathways to access cultural complexities. His practice includes the use of analog and digital devices as well as site specific installation and photo sculpture.
His most recent project is documenting the spaces in our society that are in transition. These transitory spaces are metaphors for the complete upheaval of society during the 2020 pandemic, geo political turmoil and BLM initiatives. He currently lives in Richardson, Texas and is a Masters of Fine Art candidate at Texas Woman’s University in the College of Visual Arts, and will be graduating in May, 2021.
Marianne Nielsen (Understanding Wellbeing in Indigenous Nation in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic through an interdisciplinary and Indigenous Lens Health)
Marianne O. Nielsen is a Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a Ph.D. in Sociology in 1993, after working as department coordinator for Native Counseling Services of Alberta for 10 years. She is the co-editor, with Robert A. Silverman, of “Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian Criminal Justice” (Butterworths, 1992), “Native Americans, Crime, and Justice” (Westview, 1996) and “Criminal Justice in Native America” (University of Arizona Press, 2009), and with James W. Zion of “Navajo Peacemaking: Living Traditional Justice” (University of Arizona Press, 2005). She has written extensively on Navajo Nation peacemaking, Canadian Aboriginal Youth Justice committees, and criminal justice issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. Her area of research specialization is Indigenous justice organizations.
Ferial Pearson (Family, Food and Domesticity) Art Production in Time of COVID
Pearson earned her teaching degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, and both her Master’s Degree and Ed.D from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She taught English and Reading at Omaha South High School and was a talent advisor for the Avenue Scholars Foundation at Ralston High School. She has been teaching full time at UNO since 2013. She has earned three national and several local awards for her work in education and social justice, including the Kennedy Center’s Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher award. She is the founder of the Secret Kindness Agents Project, which is the subject of two published books, her dissertation, and a TEDx Talk. The project is in over 500 K-16 schools worldwide and has been highlighted by Hallmark, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, and SPLC’S Learning for Justice Magazine.
Donelle Ruwe (The Plague Project What we Learn in Pestilence) is Professor and Chair of English at NAU. She is the author of British Children’s Poetry in the Romantic Era: Verse, Riddle, and Rhyme and co-editor of Children, Childhood, and Musical Theater (Routledge, 2020). She has authored two award-winning chapbooks of poetry (Condiments and Another Message you Miss the Point of). In Fall 2020, she joined the “Plague Project” class and offered a section focused on science fiction and pandemics.
Lauren Selden (Adapting: Continuing to Work While Learning to Walk on Fire)is a working artist, mother, and professor living in East Texas. Originally from Indiana, Selden received her MFA from Arizona State University where she studied metalworking, jewelry, fibers, and sculpture. She is currently a Professor of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) in Nacogdoches, Texas. Exhibition accomplishments include solo, invitational, and juried exhibitions in national and international venues. She has given workshops and lectures at conferences, universities, junior colleges, and art centers across the country as well as in Brazil, Germany, France, Iceland, and Mexico. Current work includes small sculptural works as well as wearable jewelry.
In recent sculptural works, she is researching plants and animals that can hide, hibernate, or go dormant. She uses this imagery as a way to discuss how it would be nice to hide from the current social and political events. These works provide narratives about isolation and courage. Current works are inspired by drawings created by her young daughter as they worked together throughout the isolation of 2020 and 2021. These works offer joy and happiness during a trying time.
Ann Tumarkin (The Plague Project What we Learn in Pestilence) is a junior majoring in anthropology and minoring in history, taking the Plague Project class as part of her Honors Capstone.
David Van Ness (COVID Sonata)
David Van Ness is the founder and co-director of the New Media Arts program at Northern Arizona University. David is best known for his digitally fabricated sculptures that combine data, 3D scanning, 3D printing, and traditional sculptural methods. David has an extensive background in a wide array of different fields, including medical equipment, trucking, and movie props. David created the Resilience, Resistance, Renovation, and Rebirth conference to respond to his issues with exhibitions canceling and other research projects drying up and adapting to the new norm. David is originally from Dallas, TX, and has his MFA in sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work can be seen at www.davidvannessteachingportfolio.com.
Nicole Walker (The Plague Project What we Learn in Pestilence) is a Professor of English at NAU, and the author of multiple books, including
Sustainability, EGG, Micrograms, and, most recently, Processed Meats.
Gioia Woods (The Plague Project What we Learn in Pestilence) Fulbright Fellow, University of Milan. Spring 2019 Faculty Senate President, Northern Arizona University. 2017-present Distinguished Teaching Fellow, Northern Arizona University 2013-present Northern Arizona University, Professor, Comparative Cultural Studies 2017-present