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Eclipse: The 16th Annual Interdisciplinary Colloquium

8:00-12:10 -  Academic presentations in Carter Hall (UC West)

12:30-1:30 - Performance pieces in the Mallette Theater (Liberal Arts Center)

Virtual artwork on display (Ongoing):

  • Epiphany Knedler, Adjunct in Art and Design, in collaboration with Tim Rickett (Northern State University), Here in the Mysterious Elsewhere
  • Matt Merlo, Contract Assistant Professor of Physics, The Science of Solar Eclipses

Artwork and posters on display in Carter Hall: Throughout the day on April 8, we invite you to peruse the following sculptures and posters on display in Carter Hall

Art pieces by the students of Rob Millard-Mendez

  • Alex Arwood, Hysteria
  • Ella Dornburg, Moon Cycle
  • Iain Girten, Convergence
  • Payton Henn, Eclipse Zoetrope
  • Jannelle James, Between Day & Night

Faculty art on display

  • Rob Millard-Mendez, Professor of Art, The Phases of Luna
  • Nancy Raen-Mendez, Instructor in Art, Celestial Painting

Posters on display

  • Matt Merlo, Contract Assistant Professor of Physics, The Science of a Solar Eclipse

Academic Presentations

7:30-12:10 in Carter Hall

  • Breakfast (bagels, pastries, fruit, coffee, tea, etc.)
  • Opening remarks from Colloquium Organizers
  • Opening remarks from Dr. Del Doughty, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
  • Brian Bohrer (Chemistry): “Eclipses and Discovery: From Elements to Exoplanets”
  • Gracie Schmidt (Elementary Education): “Night at the Museum - the Intern Version”
  • Keene Short (English): “Cyborgs, Hybrids, and Pinocchio: The Uncanny Valley of Student Writing in the Age of AI”
  • Ben Grubbs (WLC): “Second Generation (Deuxieme Génération): A transformation between a father and son after the Holocaust”
  • Greg Blair (Art and Design): “Eclipsing the Ordinary: The Uncanny in Contemporary Art”
  • Omar Elhanafy (WLC): “Developing an Interpretive Lense for Muslim Adolescent Identity in French Film”
  • Jillian Jones (Public Administration): “Gendered Organizations: Eclipsing Inequities and Possible Solutions”

A round-table discussion by members of the Department of Criminal Justice

  • Jason Callahan
  • Laura Lutgen-Nieves
  • Raymond Partin
  • Taylor Petty
  • Jennifer Schaefer
  • Melissa Stacer
  • Phil Todd (Communication and Media): “‘In tune- but eclipsed by the moon:’ Pink Floyd’s classic take on the sky turns 50”
  • The Students of French 490 (La bande dessinée): “Not ‘just for kids’: Transformation and Trajectories of Francophone Comic Readership
    • Omar Elhanafy
    • Ben Grubbs
    • Claire Kifer
    • Noah Lang
    • Skylar Ritchie
    • Ashlyn Wright
    • Professor: Alexandra Natoli (WLC)
  • Laura Bernhardt (Library): “Total Eclipse of the Heart: Bullshit, sincerity, and the Aesthetics of Rock Music”

12:10-12:30: Break; Walk over to the Mallette Theater (Lower Level of the LA building)

Performance Pieces

12:30-1:30 in the Mallette Theater**

**Note that all performance pieces will occur in the Mallette Theater, on the basement level of the Liberal Arts Center. Space is extremely limited – overflow livestream seating available in Kleymeyer Theater, similarly on the basement level of the LA.

Livestream link here

  • Hoosiers 風者 Japanese Club Yosakoi Dance Team performing two short dances: (1) Sōran Bushi yosakoi and (2) Senbonzakura (Thousand Cherry Blossoms)
    • Destiny Coomes
    • Daniel Heeke
    • Ayano Hosoya
    • Haruna Kamiya
    • Daniel Lechner
    • Narumi Ozaki
    • Faith Smithhart
    • Jesse Smithhart
    • Maxwell Wheeler
    • Professors: Mika Koiso (WLC) and Asuka Nakagawa (WLC)
  • The Students of SPAN 290 and SPAN 399 (The Spanish Civil War) performing a scene from Jerónimo López Mozo’s Guernica (Happening)
    • Lillian Corbin
    • Auriel Hernandez
    • Jaleigh LaBrec
    • Alexandra McKinney
    • Carmen Mejia
    • Allison Prewitt
    • Carmen Siebens
    • Professor: David Hitchcock (WLC)
  • The students of THTR 200 (Independent Study in Theatre) dancing “/verse”*
    • Cooper Craig
    • Keelyn Tiller
    • Morgan Ray
    • LillyBea Ireland
    • Brady Kolb
    • Via Wagner
    • Rayn Miller
    • Professor: Jaddyn Olivas (Theatre)
  • Lighting design by the students of THTR 347 (Lighting Design), under the direction of Brandon Bagwell (Performing Arts)
  • Costume design by Madalyn Cottrell, under the supervision of Shan Jensen (Theatre)

  • Sound design by Joshua Stallings (Theatre)

*Two live encore performances of “/verse”, will be held at 3 and 4 p.m.

Epiphany Knedler

Epiphany Knedler, in collaboration with Tim Rickett

Here in the Mysterious Elsewhere 2023

Mixed media collage

Here in the Mysterious Elsewhere is an interdisciplinary exploration of Midwestern stories and culture through eclipse-like portals. The images create a glimpse into mystic and ethereal versions of the Midwest.

Midwest mythology is a tangled labyrinth of rural complexities. From the rugged cowboys traversing the land to the persistent spirit of the pioneers and the consistent exploitation of the land, the region is ripe with discrepancies. These ideals are a reflection of ourselves, both who we were and who we have become as a society. The Midwestern land and aesthetics are romanticized with a timelessness of the frontier. The mythology is rooted in legends of individualism, persistence, and historic conquests. Here in the Mysterious Elsewhere is an interdisciplinary exploration of Midwestern stories and culture. The phrase, from architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is his impression of the Badlands which gave him an indescribable feeling of “distant architecture, ethereal…an endless supernatural world more spiritual than earth but created out of it.” Through found objects, photographs, archival materials, and sculptures, this series investigates the indelible history of the Midwest.

I’ve been about the world a lot, and pretty much over the country, but I was totally unprepared for that revelation called the ‘Dakota Badlands.’ What I saw gave me an indescribable sense of mysterious elsewhere — a distant architecture, ethereal…an endless supernatural world more spiritual than earth but created out of it.

– Frank Lloyd Wright

The landscape…changes, but far more slowly; it is a living link between what we were and what we have become. This is one of the reasons why we feel such a profound and apparently disproportionate anguish when a loved landscape is altered out of recognition; we lose not only a place, but ourselves.

—Margaret Drabble, A Writer’s Britain, 2009 (2nd ed.)

Matt Merlo

The Science of Solar Eclipses
Dr. Matt Merlo
Contract Assistant Professor of Physics
Geology, Physics, and Environmental Science