Sensory explorations and the body-mind connection
How do you define interdisciplinary research in a next generation university? Two graduate students are answering this question through a podcast series now in its second season.
Aaron Lakoff and Simone Lucas, MA students in Media Studies, are producing season two of the Beyond Disciplines podcast. The audio offering is based on a public event series highlighting some of the most exciting research coming out of Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science.
Each episode explores a different theme through a variety of disciplinary perspectives, in the same vein as the podcast’s first season (produced by fellow Concordians Michelle Macklem, Constance Lafontaine, Kendra Besanger and Katherine Hill).
The motto of the current season, under the direction of Lakoff and Lucas, is, “mix it up, experiment boldly, and go beyond!”
“The exciting thing for me about this podcast is how it can take ideas that are quite complex and make them accessible beyond the university’s walls,” says Lakoff. “Podcasting is a quickly growing medium, and I love putting ideas out there in a form that anyone can download, listen to and engage with.”
Listeners who download or subscribe are treated to some of the community’s most cutting-edge voices, sharing their ideas on a common theme. The first episode of the new season, “Come to Your Senses,” features researchers from the English, Communication Studies and Physics departments discussing sensory studies.
Going “beyond the walls”
“This podcast really does take you to unexpected places across Montreal,” says Lucas. “We recorded part of the last episode with English professor Jill Didur in the Mile End neighbourhood’s Champ des Possibles.” Didur’s research combines English literature and postcolonial studies with locative media (or media linked to a specific environment) and gardens.
“She brought us into this totally sensuous experience in the urban wilds of the Champs de Possibles, and really opened our eyes and ears to how gardens, plants and wildlife can tell us so much about our experience of the city,” says Lucas.
The next episode, set to launch on February 27, will consider the effect of research in the community. It features such voices as Varda Mann-Feder, a professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences, discussing empowerment of youth in foster care; and Rodney Mark, deputy grand chief of the Council of the Crees, on a conservation project created in collaboration with Monica Mulrennan, chair of Concordia’s Department of Geography, Planning and Environment.
“This was a totally different experience, which is really what Beyond Disciplines is all about,” says Lakoff. “Learning about the work these researchers are doing in the broader community was fascinating.”
The dynamic duo promise that more surprises are in store, including a special bonus episode slated for later in the year. “Get ready,” says Lucas. “And stay tuned!”
It takes place on Thursday, March 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. in room 130.00 of the RF building on the Loyola Campus.
Listen to episodes of the Beyond Disciplines podcast.