CICAS Talk Series 2014, 2015

Dishing the Dirt: An interdisciplinary panel on 3 years and 5 versions of the Interdisciplinary Concept Courses at Nipissing

Presented by Sal Renshaw (GESJ), Renee Valiquette (GESJ), Joe Boivin (Biology), Nathan Colborne (Religions and Cultures), Candace Ghent (GESJ/Philosophy Student), & Alicia McPhee (Biology Student)

When: October 28, 2015; 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Where: B201 (Small Weaver), Nipissing University

Brief Description

As a model for teaching and learning, Nipissing’s multi-professorial interdisciplinary Concept Courses, DIRT, SLOTH, SECRETS, WATER AND GENIUS, complement disciplinary education from the perspective of both teacher and student. Bringing together an average of twelve disciplines per offering, the courses provide a rich occasion for students and professors to experience the benefits of intellectual engagement and collaboration. The courses function as a powerful pedagogical tool, allowing classroom dynamics to mimic the real world conditions of inter-professional, team driven problem solving that many students can expect to find in the workforce.

Presenters’ Bios

Sal Renshaw

Dr. Sal Renshaw is an Associate Professor in the departments of Gender Equality and Social Justice and Religions and Cultures. She holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of New South Wales, Australia and is the author of The Subject of Love: Hélène Cixous and the Feminine Divine (Manchester University Press, 2009). Her current research on the ethics of interdisciplinary scholarship and collaborative pedagogy draws especially on her collaboration with Professor Renée Valiquette in developing a suite of interdisciplinary courses which can meaningfully deliver on the promise of teaching the skills of interdisciplinary analysis.


Dr. Renée Valiquette portrait

Renee Valiquette has been a lecturer in the Gender Equality and Social Justice program at Nipissing for over ten years. Professor Valiquette is currently completing her PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University. Her research is focused in two areas: the first applies ecological readings of French feminist philosophy to contemporary environmental crises, while the second considers the practical and wider social applications of interdisciplinary education. Renée has been the principal faculty member anchoring the second-year Interdisciplinary Concept courses and the key collaborator with Dr. Sal Renshaw in developing a suite of interdisciplinary courses that deliver on the promises of interdisciplinary education.


Joe Boivin

Joe Boivin: Joe Boivin is an Instructor with Nipissing University’s Department of Biology and Chemistry. He is a two-time winner of the Nipissing University Teaching Award for CASBU Members (2009 & 2015) and is a member of both the Ontario Consortium of Undergraduate Biology Educators and also the North American Association of Biology Laboratory Educators. As a laboratory instructor, Joe has developed curriculum and taught the laboratory component for ten different courses in his department. Since 2009, he taught the lecture component of first-year biology where he used personal response systems (clickers), “Just-in-Time” teaching techniques, and Blended Learning approaches. In 2014 and 2015, he was invited to participate as a guest lecturer in Nipissing University’s cross disciplinary analysis courses themed “Sloth” and “Secrets”, respectively. Those experiences were uniquely enriching as an educator, combining students from various disciplines with curriculum designed around a unifying theme.


Nathan Colborne

Nathan Colborne is Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Religions and Cultures at Nipissing University. His research interests include sacrificial violence, political theory, and secularization. His recent articles on these topics have appeared in Toronto Journal of Theology and Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace.


Candace Ghent

Candace Ghent is a 3r-year Gender Equality and Social Justice/Philosophy student at Nipissing University. They are involved in various initiatives on campus and in the North Bay community including: developed an anti-oppression training as a Coordinator for Nipissing University Student Union’s 2015 Frosh Week, presented an original research paper “Not 'lyin’ to live’: Queer Liberation and Omar Little in HBO’s The Wire" at Nipissing University’s Undergraduate Research Conference 2015, board member of the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area, and President of the GESJ Student Collective.


Alicia McPhee

Alicia McPhee is a mature student at Nipissing University who is currently in her fourth year, pursuing her B.Sc Honours Specialization in Biology with a minor in GESJ. Her current research involves bioremediation of diesel oil in peat soil.


6th Talk: April 16, 2015

CICAS is delighted to present the final panel talk in its 2014-2015 series titled: “CREATING THE NORTH” by Drs. Colleen Franklin (English, Thorneloe University/Laurentian University; retired), Elizabeth Ashworth (Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University), and Laurie Kruk (English, Nipissing University).

When: April 16, 2015 from 7:00-9:00pm

Where: WKP Kennedy Gallery, Capitol Centre, 150 Main St. E., North Bay

This panel approaches the question of how we “Create the North” (and Canada, its reflection) through literature, visual art and poetry. Using the familiar metaphor of “exploration” in and of Canada, the panelists consider how identity changes environment and environment changes identity, with examples drawn from painting, photography, poetry and pedagogy. Click here to view the poster.

Colleen Franklin

Dr. Colleen Franklin is a retired professor of English Literature whose scholarly work has focused on the representation of the North in British exploration narratives. Her latest publication is a new edition and reception history of The Strange and Dangerous Voyage of Captaine Thomas James (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2014), the account of Capt. James’s voyage for the Northwest Passage in 1633. Dr. Franklin is an alumna of Nipissing, having received her Honours BA in English from the Dept. of English Studies at NU in 1996.



Liz Ashworth

Dr. Liz Ashworth is an artist and professor who has taught in the education program at Nipissing for the past 17 years. Although her art focus is photography, she enjoys working with mixed-media techniques as well. Her research interests include art education advocacy, the integration of visual arts and environmental sustainability, and how to build art confidence within generalist teachers.



Laurie Kruk

Dr. Laurie Kruk is Associate Professor and Chair of English Studies at NU, where she teaches Canadian literature, Native literature, women’s writing and the short story. She has published The Voice is the Story: Conversations with Canadian Writers of Short Fiction (Mosaic, 2003) and three collections of poetry: Theories of the World (Netherlandic, 1992), Loving the Alien (YSP, 2006) and My Mother Did Not Tell Stories (Demeter, 2012). Twenty years ago, as a new arrival in the ‘near North,’ she helped organize three conferences on “Voices of the North, Visions of the North” with Drs. Tony Blackbourn (Geography) and Bill Plumstead (English).


5th Talk: February 26, 2015

Dr. Nathan Colborne and Dr. Wendy Peters, Thursday, February 26, 2015, 2:00-3:30, A122. Click here to view the poster.

Many contemporary television series have been praised for their "groundbreaking" and "controversial" content. Our panelists analyze recent TV series in order to explore the representations of two powerful Western discourses, including the apocalyptic orientation and the imperative to "come out of the closet." Drawing on Game of Thrones and "teen TV," we ask whether these discourses are undermined, reasserted or reinvented on the small screen.


Nathan Colborne

Dr. Nathan Colborne is Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Religions and Cultures at Nipissing University. His research interests include sacrificial violence, political theory, and secularization. His recent articles on these topics have appeared in Toronto Journal of Theology and Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace.


Wendy Peters

Dr. Wendy Peters is Assistant Professor of Gender Equality and Social Justice at Nipissing University. Her work has been published in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Journal of Lesbian Studies and Canadian Woman Studies / les cahier de la femme.


4th Talk: January 29, 2015 

CICAS is delighted to present yet another exciting panel talk in its 2014-2015 series titled: "Digital Approaches to the Ancient World" by Drs. Richard Wenghofer (Classical Studies, Nipissing University), Mark Wachowiak (Computer Science, Nipissing University), Alex McAuley (Classical Studies, McGill University), and Steve Mason (History, University of Aberdeen). - click here to view the poster

Short description:

When people think of interdisciplinary approaches to academic research, few would imagine collaboration between computer science and the study of ancient history. Yet digital technologies have increasingly occupied a central position in the study of the ancient world. Our panelists will demonstrate how some of these technologies are used both as pedagogical tools and as an invaluable way of creating new knowledge of the ancient world.

The talk will be held on January 29, 2015, from 12:00-2:00 (EST) in R307 (Nipissing University).


richard wenghofer

Dr. Richard Wenghofer defended his doctoral dissertation in Ancient History at York University in 2008. His dissertation was on race and national identity in ancient Greece and Rome, a topic area in which he has published articles and presented several conference papers. More recently Dr. Wenghofer's research has focused on the Seleucid Empire, with a special focus on the Seleucid Far East and Hellenistic Bactria and India. Over the past year Dr. Wenghofer has been collaborating with Dr. Mark Wachowiak (Computer Science, Nipissing University) on a new digital map of the ancient world (Ancient History GeoVisage) which uses geography as a platform for integrating knowledge about the ancient world.


Mark Wachowiak

Dr. Mark Wachowiak is Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics at Nipissing University. He is involved in many interdisciplinary projects and research initiatives, including collaborations with the Departments of Geography, Physical and Health Education, Business, Psychology, and Classical Studies. 



Alex McAuley

Alex McAuley is a graduate student at McGill University. After working as the Director of Sales for a Montreal-based web and graphic design firm (The Message Studios), Alex McAuley then dove into the world of academia with a Master’s in Classics at the University of Edinburgh, before returning to Quebec to pursue his PhD in Ancient History, on which he continues to labour. Apart from his principal research interest of ethnicity and pluralism in the Hellenistic World, he is the primary author and editor of the ongoing Seleucid Genealogy project, and has several published and forthcoming articles in the fields of Seleucid dynastic history, Hellenistic royal women, Greek federalism, and the reception of the ancient world in film and television series.


Steve Mason

Steve Mason completed his B.A. and M.A, at McMaster (religious studies) in 1981. After a year abroad in each of Jerusalem and Tübingen, he completed the PhD at the University of St. Michael’s College. He has spent most of his academic career at York University, until 2011 as Canada Research Chair in Greco-Roman Cultural Interaction in the Department of History. Currently at the University of Aberdeen, teaching Christian origins and ancient Judaism, he has accepted the offer of a Chair at the University of Groningen to begin in 2015 (Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Religions and Cultures). Mason has published several books and many articles on the history of Roman Judaea, Christian origins, and the works of Flavius Josephus. He edits the multi-volume Brill commentary to Josephus. His latest book, in press with Cambridge UP, is on The Jewish-Roman War, 66-74: A Historical Inquiry. 


3rd Talk: December 2, 2014

Dr. Paul Monaghan (History/Classical Studies), Dr. Pavlina Radia (English Studies), Dr. Gyllie Phillips (English Studies), Dr. Robert Hemmings (English Studies and Liberal Arts), and Dr. Plamondon (Digital Humanities/English Studies), "Masks, Megaphones, Cyborgs and Cybernauts: Redefining Humans in the Twentieth Century and Beyond," Dec. 2nd, 2014; 3:00-4:30; B201 (Nipissing University) & Room 6 (Bracebridge) - click here to view the poster

This panel explores how different art forms from the early twentieth century and beyond have challenged the humanist ideal of the biologically determined subject. From masks and megaphones to cyborgs and cybernauts, the panel traces various manifestations of the uncanny that haunt the very concept of what it is to be human.

Paul Monaghan

Dr. Paul Monaghan is an academic (theatre studies, theatre practice, and classical studies) as well as a professional theatre maker, director, and dramaturg. He holds a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies/Classical Studies (University of Melbourne, 2010). Paul lectured in Theatre (theory and practice) at the University of Melbourne from 1999 to 2012, including a four-year period as Head of Postgraduate Studies and Research in that university’s School of Performing Arts. He is now an Adjunct Professor in the Theatre Department, University of Ottawa, and also teaches at Carleton and Nipissing University. Paul’s teaching and research areas include dramaturgy and the dramaturgical intelligence, philosophy and theatrical practice, Greek and Roman theatre in performance (in antiquity and in the modern world), modernist and postdramatic theatre, and Australian theatre. He is currently working on a book-length study of the reception of Greek tragedy in Australia, and another on Greek tragedy and postdramatic theatre. Paul is co-editor of the online journal Double Dialogues and co-convenor of The Dramaturgies Project.



Dr. Pavlina Radia is an Associate Professor in English Literary Studies at Nipissing University. She is also the Director and co-founder of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Arts and Sciences at Nipissing University. She specializes in modernist and contemporary American literature, as well as gender and media studies. She has published chapters in books and articles in international journals. She was a guest editor of Double Dialogues Issue 15. With Dr. Ann McCulloch, she also co-edited a book titled Food and Appetites: The Hunger Artist and the Arts (Cambridge Scholars Publishing; 2012). Her book on contemporary American literature and consumerism is to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. She has also finished a book manuscript on American modernism.


Gyllie Phillips

Dr. Gyllie Phillips is an Associate Professor of English Studies at Nipissing University. Her main areas of research are modernist and postcolonial literatures, along with 1930s film. Recent article publications include“Our Man on the Inside: Cannibalism in William Seabrook’s Jungle Ways," “White Zombie and the Creole: William Seabrook’s The Magic Island and American Imperialism in Haiti," and “Imaginary Africa and London’s urban wasteland in Edith Sitwell’s ‘Gold Coast Customs.’” She is currently working on a co-edited collection of essays on the work of Edith Sitwell, and on articles about British film melodrama of the 1930s and Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts.


Robert Hemmings

Dr. Robert Hemmings is an Assistant Professor of English Studies and Liberal Arts Muskoka, and Vice-president of The Space Between Society, a scholarly organization that studies literature and culture of the 1914-1945 period. He works primarily on the interrelations of human subjects and material objects in modern British culture. Essays related to this research, “Modernity’s Object: the Airplane, Masculinity, Empire” and “Beautiful Objects, Dutiful Things: Waste, Ruins and the Stuff of War,” are forthcoming next year in the journals Criticism: a Quarterly for Literature and the Arts and Word & Image.


Marc Plamondon

Dr. Marc Plamondon is an Assistant Professor (limited-term) in the Department of English Studies. His teaching focuses on issues surrounding Digital Media and Culture, including courses on the study of computer games and virtual reality, and the Digital Humanities. He is also General Editor of Representative Poetry Online. His research focuses on the digital stylistic analysis of poetry, popular songs, and rhetoric and also the representations of interactions between humanity and digital entities and realities.

2nd Talk: October 29, 2014

Dr. Aroha Page (Nursing) and Dr. Haibin Zhu (Computer Science), “IT in Health Care Scheduling,”October 29th, 2014; 4:30-6:00; F210 (Nipissing University) - click here to view the poster

As Canada’s population is rapidly aging, health care services (medical specialists, expensive equipment and facilities, and special operating rooms) are becoming less and less accessible to patients as clients. It is important to assign limited expensive services to the most required patients. Optimized scheduling is the only way to achieve this goal. This presentation will discuss the requirement of IT in scheduling of health care sectors, and present our ways to meet this requirement, i.e., auction-based online scheduling.


Aroha Page

Dr. Aroha Page is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing. Her past experience includes qualifications in Basic Radiology and the Senior Clinical Research Nurse at Mt. Zion and UCSF hospitals Experimental MRI Unit USA for three years. Aroha is engaged in teaching nursing informatics- ehealth as well holding an ehealth Champion Stage2 certificate. She is also a member of NPEN-NEOLIHNS ehealth section. In 2013 she was awarded the prestigious Canada Infoway for Nursing Faculty Leadership in ehealth. She has presented at several ehealth-nursing informatics workshops and symposiums, and she has been a contributing author for the RNAO-ehealth toolkit and manuals. In collaboration with Dr Haibin Zhu, their research proposal focused on MRI Wait Times, was recommended for submission to CIHR by the MOHLTC. Haibin has shared his expert knowledge in algorithms and Role Assignments Model to the Nursing Informatics students.



Dr. Haibin Zhu is a Full Professor and the coordinator of the Computer Science Program. He is also the Founding Director of Collaborative Systems Laboratory at Nipissing University and the coordinator of the Health and Technology cluster. The eHealth and Technology Cluster actively engages information technology (IT) to improve both quality and access to health care for the people. Its aim is to investigate the related challenges in health sectors that might be solved or supported with IT.

He has published 130+ research papers, four books, and two book chapters. He is a senior member of IEEE and is serving and served as co-chair of the technical committee of Distributed Intelligent Systems of IEEE SMC Society, guest (co-) editor for 3 special issues of prestigious journals, and organization chair for many IEEE conferences. He was a Program Committee (PC) Chair for 17th IEEE Int’l Conf. on Computer Supported Cooperative Work in Design, Whistler, BC, Canada, June 27- 29, 2013. He also served as PC members for 50+ academic conferences. He is a founding researcher of Role-Based Collaboration and Adaptive Collaboration. He is the recipient of the chancellor’s award for excellence in research (2011) and two research achievement awards from Nipissing University (2006-2007, 2012-2013), the IBM Eclipse Innovation Grant Awards (2004, 2005), the Best Paper Award from the 11th ISPE Int’l Conf. on Concurrent Engineering (ISPE/CE2004), the Educator’s Fellowship of OOPSLA’03, a 2nd class National Award for Education Achievement (1997), and three 1st Class Ministerial Research Achievement Awards from China (1997, 1994, and 1991). His research interests include Collaboration Theory, Technologies, Systems, and Applications (Role-Based Collaboration and Adaptive Collaboration), Human-Machine Systems, CSCW (Computer-Supported Cooperative Work), Multi-Agent Systems, Software Engineering, and Distributed Intelligent Systems.

1st Talk: September 29, 2014

Dr. Sarah Winters (English Studies) and Dr. Susan Srigley (Religions and Cultures), “You Teach, YouTube: Authority and Affect in the Wired Classroom,” September 29, 2014; 4:30-6:00; H104 (Nipissing University) - click here to view the poster


Sarah Winters

Dr. Sarah Winters is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies. She teaches a course on Fan Vids that counts as an elective towards the Digital Humanities Certificate offered jointly through the Departments of English and Computer Science. She has published articles on vidding (the practice of making fan vids) in Transformative Works and Cultures and Children's Literature in Education, and is collaborating with Susan Srigley of Religions and Cultures in the areas of digital pedagogy and the relationship between fandom and religion.


Susan Srigley

Dr. Susan Srigley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religions and Cultures. She is the author of Flannery O’Connor’s Sacramental Art and the editor of Dark Faith: Essays on Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away (University of Notre Dame Press). She taught a “Dialogue” course with Sarah Winters in English Studies on “The Bible as Cultural Text” in 2013 and this collaboration has led to further explorations into pedagogy and digital media.