[ISEA2018] Panel: Kathryn Evans, Roger Malina, Haytham Nawar & Cassini Nazir — Curriculum in the Cracks: Encouraging Cross-Disciplinary and Art-Science-Humanities Teaching

Panel Statement

Keywords: Art-science, curriculum, assessment, transdisciplinary, cloud, collaboration

The CDASH (Curriculum Development in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities) website was established in 2012 by Kathryn Evans and Roger Malina as a both a resource for faculty who engaged in or were interested in engaging in art-science-humanities curriculum; and as a data collection point where these types of curriculum could be surveyed for innovation and sustainability. The site currently contains over 150 courses from all over the world. The results were analyzed in 2014 and published in LEA (Leonardo Electronic Abstracts). The CDASH website re-launched in the Fall of 2016 at cdash.atec.io/ with several new features that will facilitate contributions and the analysis of crossdisciplinary curriculum. The new site has created a Cloud Curriculum of syllabi and assessment tools and a Cloud Curriculum Working Group to contribute, analyze and develop these areas. The impact of cross-disciplinary curriculum on student learning and creativity has not been studied in depth. This kind of curriculum often lives “in the cracks”, between traditional disciplines and departments. This panel will discuss the following questions:

  1. Are students who have taken cross-disciplinary art-science-humanities courses more accepting or interested or explorative of areas outside their majors? Are they more innovative? Can they think “outside the box’? Can they become members of the “creative class”?
  2. How do you design assessment of these kinds of courses that gives equal weight to both (or many) disciplines? How can the current theories in the science of learning help create meaningful evaluation procedures?
  3. Are there differences in collaborative art-science-humanities teaching and learning in different countries and educational systems?
  4.  What are the challenges that cross-disciplinary curriculum faces in the current educational environment?
  5. What factors lead to sustainability and success of such courses and programs?
  6. How can institutions of higher learning encourage art-science collaborations in both teaching and research?
  7. How is art-science education structured in primary/secondary institutions and in informal education?

The Cloud Curriculum Working Group will begin discussing these issues and others at the formal launch of the CDASH website in early 2018. These issues will be discussed in advance of the panel discussion at ISEA in June of 2018 through a collaborative mechanism on the website. In addition, new data from the CDASH website will be presented, including courses of interest, level of collaboration, departments offering the courses and evidence of sustainability.  cdash.atec.io

  • Kathryn Evans, Ph.D., is a singer, conductor, director, producer, and researcher in arts and science. Dr. Evans was the Associate Dean for the Arts of the School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas from 1995 to 2010. Dr. Evans holds M. A. degrees in Mathematics and in Music and a Ph.D. in Art and Technology, with an emphasis on arts education in the 21st century. She is a member of the Art-Sci Lab in the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication, under the direction of Dr. Roger Malina, conducting research in music and science education. Her doctoral dissertation “ Does musical study enhance academic skills in undergraduate non-music majors?” studied skills transfer for music study to academic skills in STEM subjects. Her current project CDASH (Curriculum Development in Arts, Science, and Humanities) explores the current state of cross-disciplinary curriculum at the college and high school level. She is currently developing curriculum for a music and science minor at UT Dallas, including her course “Music, Science and Technology” which will serve as the core course for the minor.
  • Haytham Nawar is an artist, designer, and researcher who currently lives and works in Cairo. He is Assistant Professor and Director of the Graphic Design program, Department of the Arts at the American University in Cairo. He is the founder and director of the Cairotronica, Cairo Electronic, and New Media Arts Festival. Nawar received his Ph.D. from the Planetary Collegium, Center for Advanced Inquiry in Integrative Arts, School of Art and Media, University of Plymouth, UK. He holds a Masters of Advanced Studies ZFH in Spatial Design, Institute of Design & Technology, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland and an MFA in New Media and BFA in Printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Cairo, Egypt. He is a Fulbright alumni. Since 1999, he has participated in several international exhibitions, biennales, and triennials, the latest of which was Venice Biennial in 2015. Nawar won awards and acquisitions nationally and internationally in Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Portugal, Kuwait, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Syria, UAE and the United States.
  • Cassini Nazir is a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at The University of Texas at Dallas where he teaches classes in interaction design. He is also Director of Design and Research for the ArtSciLab, a transdisciplinary research lab helping the arts, science, and technology communities by pursuing initiatives of societal urgency and cultural timeliness. His interests include interaction design, user interface and user experience. Over the past 20 years, Cassini has designed print pieces, logos, websites, and interactive elements for mobile, tablet and desktop devices. Cassini holds an MFA from UT Dallas’ Arts and Technology Program and bachelor’s degrees in English literature and Economics.
  • Roger F. Malina is a space scientist and astronomer, with a specialty in extreme and ultraviolet astronomy, space instrumentation, and optics. He served as director of the Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille Provence and was NASA Principal Investigator for the Extreme Ultraviolet Satellite project at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a publisher and editor in the new emerging research fields that connect the sciences and engineering to the arts, design, and humanities. Since 1982, he has served as Executive Editor of the Leonardo Publications at MIT Press. He founded and serves on the board of two nonprofits, ISAST in San Francisco and OLATS in Paris, which advocate and document the work of artists involved in contemporary science and technology. He is currently a
    Distinguished Professor of Art and Technology and Professor of Physics, at the University of Texas at Dallas and Directeur de Recherche for the CNRS in France. He founded the ArtSciLab in the ATEC program fall 2013.

Full text p. 426 – 429