The Caroline Werner Gannett Project 2007-08

New Lunch/Interview course: Visionaries in Motion IV

REGISTER NOW!—COS 1099-559-01 or COLA 0520-449-01
Fall quarter: 2 credits (must have 2nd year or higher standing)
Dates: Wednesdays, Sept 8, Sept 29 and Oct 20. Interview three fall “visionaries” over lunch--a mechanic/philosopher, a behavioral economist, and an architect. Read works and view videos by the speakers; attend pre-interview guidance sessions; conduct lunch discussions; attend evening talks. Discussions will be videotaped and posted to the Gannett Project website (

Contact co-directors, Gary Skuse (grssbi [at] rit [dot] edu; 475-6725) or Mary Lynn Broe (mlbgsl [at] rit [dot] edu; 475-7174) for more information.

Past Courses

Truth & Consequences: Studies in Disciplinary Evidence

Winter or Spring, 2009-2010
Watch for a repeat of this popular Spring, 2007 course!
(See full description below)

2008-09 Course: Interdisciplinary Negotiations

COLA and COS Freshman Honors Colloquium
COLA Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts (0520-449-01)
COS Interdisciplinary Science (1099-559-01)
Co-directors: Gary Skuse (Science) and Mary Lynn Broe (Liberal Arts)
Academic quarters: three (2008-09)
Credits: 6 (for three quarters)

Lunch with a legendary futurist and inventor. Challenge an environmental activist. Be videotaped talking with a landscape photographer, a new media creator, or a genomics expert. This new course explores the work of nine high-profile artists, scholars and thinkers who constitute the Caroline Werner Gannett Project speaker series, 2008-09: “Visionaries in Motion II: The Human Imprint.” The series opens with the challenges of world-class inventor and artificial intelligence (AI) expert, Ray Kurzweil, and includes a performance poet and playwright; an environmental activist and writer; a photographer of industrial landscapes; two new media webloggers; an illustrator and graphic memoirist; a prominent research scientist and an interpretive group on the politics and aesthetics of land use.

Each of these speakers represents a set of values and practices that best describes “creativity,” the most important result of human innovation. Each works at the intersection of several disciplines, handles and overcomes novel challenges, asks otherwise unasked questions and produces risk-taking imaginative, original work. Collectively these speakers represent an uncommonly rich body of creativity rarely assembled in one location at RIT. Students will become familiar with selected readings, videos and artistic work of each speaker and will be expected to develop questions and conduct interviews with each lecturer when he or she visits RIT. Students will seek to understand social and cultural factors, such as collaborations and networks of support, that shape the different and novel challenges of creativity for each lecturer.

Interviews with each speaker will be videotaped and posted to the Caroline Werner Gannett Project website ( Prior to attending each lecture, and with the guidance of the two course co-directors, students will discuss the achievements of each Gannett speaker, and develop a plan for each interview. They will keep an interactive journal on the exchanges with each speaker and take part in a follow-up and assessment session after each event. As a result, there will be approximately 16 planned meetings of the class in addition to attendance at the eight presentations. Student assessment will include: participation in the interviews; group exchanges; interactive journaling; and a final capstone project. Examples of final projects might include, but are not limited to, editing a videotape of selections from the various speakers and performers; publishing a chapbook on the series; co-authoring an article for a campus or community magazine to be determined collaboratively by the participating students and faculty.

This course will span the entire academic year. Enrolled students will make a commitment to participate in the entire course so that each one can learn about and interact with every speaker. Two quarter credits will be awarded for each academic quarter in part as an incentive for student participants to complete the entire course but also to enable those students who need or choose to withdraw, for whatever reason, to do so without forfeiting credit for the entire course.

Note: Students may register for this class may during any of the three academic quarters in order to fit their respective schedules, although class participation extends throughout all three quarters. Alternately, students may register for two credits each quarter, or three credits for two quarters, with the understanding that class participation includes all three quarters.

"Truth and Consequences: Studies in Disciplinary Evidence"

COLA 0520-449-01 Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts - Special Topics
COS 1099-559-01 Interdisciplinary Science - Special Topics
Spring, 2007 (MW, 4:00-5:50)
Organized as part of the Caroline Werner Gannett Project
by Mary Lynn Broe

This course will provide a multi-disciplinary look at evidence; what it is and how it needs to be properly collected, sifted, evaluated and preserved for verification of authenticity. We will look at what constitutes "evidence" in legal, criminal, historical, scientific, journalistic, medical, geographic, artistic and aesthetic realms. To do this we will address and compare the methods and standards employed for gathering and evaluating evidence in different disciplines, and the ways evidence is preserved and passed on. How do the definitions of evidence vary with disciplines, and have they changed historically? What is the impact of the internet, electronic communication and facile methods of falsifying evidence on our ability to validate evidence?

We plan to include outside speakers, films (e.g.,"The Viking Deception") and Roundtable discussions of such topics as "Ethical Issues and Evidence," and "Uses and Abuses of the Internet.

Contributing faculty from across the Institute and the community include:
Robert Croog (PTC, COLA) Rebecca Edwards (History, COLA), Elizabeth Hane (COS, Environmental Science), Guy Johnson (Ctr for Advancing the Study of Cyberinfrastructure, CCIS) , Christine Keiner (STS, COLA), Paul Brule (Criminal Justice, COLA), Elizabeth Lawley (Information Technology, CCIS), Nancy Norwood (Curator, Memorial Art Gallery), David Pankow( Cary Collection, Wallace Library), Mark Price (English, COLA), Marjorie Searl (Chief Curator, Memorial Art Gallery) Gary Skuse (Bioinformatics, COS) Kristen Waterstram-Rich (Nuclear Medicine, COS) and Jennifer Wolfley (English, COLA and Mary Magdalen House, Grace Urban Ministries)

Click here to view the video of the Uses and Abuses of the Internet Panel
Click here to view the video of the Ethics Panel

The Cognitive Revolution: Interdisciplinary Studies in Evolutionary Science

COS 1099 (Science), COLA 0504-599 (Literature)
Co-directed by Mary Lynn Broe and Kristen Waterstram-Rich
Credit: 4 hours

Academic quarters: three (2006-07)
Note: registration for the class will take place in the winter quarter, although class participation will extend through-out three quarters, 2006-07.

The course will encompass the work of six high-profile scholars/researchers who constitute the Caroline Werner Gannett speaker series for 2006-07. The series begins with Eugenie Scott (NCSE) on September 20, 2006 and ends with keynote speaker, Daniel C. Dennett, on April 10, 2007. Aspects of evolutionary science have had a profound impact on social behavior in a variety of disciplines, from biology to psychology to postmodern theory and medicine. Course opens with the challenge of the evolution vs. creationism debate set forth by Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education in her book, Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction: "there is scientific controversy concerning the details of mechanisms and patterns of evolution, but not over whether the universe has had a history measure in billions of years, nor over whether living things share a common ancestry." Students are expected to acquire a detailed knowledge of the evolution vs. creationism controversy and its history through select readings and discussion. Through the techniques of interview and group discussion, students will have the opportunity to explore specific arguments and scientific evidence for evolution and natural selection by debating the points of view expressed by six noted lecturers from various disciplines.

Based on selected readings related to the topic of each speaker, students will be expected to develop questions and conduct interviews with each of the six lecturers. Interviews will be videotaped. Prior to attending the lecture, and under faculty guidance, students will meet before each talk to discuss plans for each interview, keep a journal on the exchanges with each speaker, and take part in a follow-up/assessment session after each event. As a result there will be a minimum of 12 planned meetings of the class in addition to attendance at the six lectures. Student assessment will include: participation in the interviews and the group exchange and a final project. Examples of a final project include, but are not limited to: editing a videotape of all speakers for the Gannett website; publishing a chapbook; co-authoring a significant article for a campus magazine.

The Gannett website offers a list of Suggested Readings from which students will choose general selections as well as specific works by lecturer/authors.

"Museums, Collections, Technology, Community (MCTC)"

MCS 0531-449-01
Offered spring quarter, 2006-07 as part of Material, Culture, Science
Time: MW 2-3:50
Jason Younker (with Bart Roselli, Program Director, RMSC)

MCTC addresses the global issues surrounding cultural objects, contested ownerships, repatriation, reparations, legal compliance, museum technologies and the ever-changing role of repositories. This course facilitates experiential learning including work with the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Lectures, round-table discussions, and instruction are provided by museum professionals, nationally renowned speakers, such as Dr. Rennard Strickland and Dr. Jon Erlandson, and Native American representatives. Some students will have an opportunity to develop collection database and museum display technologies while others will participate in projects that may include collection cataloguing, museum policy review, and community project development. At the conclusion of this course students will comprehend the breadth of federal legislation regulating human remains and objects of cultural patrimony, the complex legal and social issues facing museums and communities, and the opportunities that exist as NAGPRA enters into its third decade since ratification in 1990.

Lynda Barry