The Indiana University, College of Arts and Sciences's Themester program is a focused and multi-faceted inquiry into a variety of topics that change each fall semester. It fosters the exchange of ideas and connects the issues our faculty teach in the classroom to our students’ lives through courses, lectures, exhibits, films, and more.
Disability in the United States
In this episode, Dr. Benjamin Irvin discusses the history of disability in the United States.
He explains the medical model of disability vs. the social model. Under the social model, society’s views of disability change, making disability a concept open to historic analysis. Dr. Irvin discusses views of disability and disability healthcare in the United States, starting from the Revolutionary War. Irvin’s conversation touches on issues of ableism such as barriers to access, the presumption of incompetence, invisibility disability, and the prevalence of ableist vocabulary in everyday life.
Queerness in Rural America, part 2
Part 2 of 2. Dr. Colin Johnson discusses the long progression of LGBTQIA+ identity in the United States and breaks down the development of queer theory. Johnson further explains the difference between urban and rural societies' viewpoints on queer culture, and how being queer in rural America isn't always what we think.
Queerness in Rural America, part 1
Part 1 of a 2. In these episodes, Dr. Colin Johnson of Indiana University's Department of Gender Studies discusses the long progression of LGBTQIA+ identity in the United States and breaks down the development of queer theory. Johnson further explains the difference between urban and rural societies' viewpoints on queer culture, and how being queer in rural America isn't always what we think.
Media and Identity
In this episode, Dr. Andrew Weaver of The Media School at Indiana University discusses the impact of media on today's youth. Weaver discusses how media shapes identity and what he sees as hyperbole around the role of technology in shaping how people think and behave.
This conversation took place July 22, 2022.
What It Means to be Human
In this episode, Dr. Stephen Selka explains what it truly means to be "human." Selka discusses the concept of the human from a historic and cross-cultural perspective, but also its role in post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, to express what being human means now and for the future and how identity connects to it all.
Identity of a Black Woman
In this episode, Dr. Amrita Chakrabarti Myers of Indiana University discusses her IU course "Wenches, Witches and Welfare Queens," and the evolution of the black woman stereotype in media. Myers comments what it means to change those stereotypes in today's society, and what can be done to include the correct representation in the ever-changing media.
This conversation took place June 13, 2022.