CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — IPRH has rescheduled its "Cell Phone Slam!" for 4 p.m. March 9 in the IPRH Lecture Hall at the Levis Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.
What does your cellphone do for you? Allow you to check work email from the road? Enable you to contact family in an emergency? Provide a distraction from real-life conversation? Give you the chance to watch funny cat videos on YouTube at any time of day?
Ten University of Illinois faculty and staff members, a U. of I. student and an Urbana High School student will talk about how they view their cellphones at “Cell Phone Slam!”
“Cell Phone Slam!” is hosted by the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, and it is part of IPRH’s “NEH50 – Questions in Common@Illinois” series, organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
IPRH wanted “to bring different people together around issues that we all think about but don’t necessarily make time to talk about together,” said director Antoinette Burton. “The ‘Cell Phone Slam!’ idea originated as a chance to hear what people from all over campus think about such a daily object – something we have all come pretty rapidly to depend on but which may have different meanings depending on who we are.”
The 12 participants will each have six minutes to answer the question, “What do you see when you see a cellphone?”
“It will be a kind of lightning-round experience, different from a panel or a lecture in terms of energy level and playfulness,” Burton said.
The participants include:
- Matthew Ando, a professor and the chair of the department of mathematics;
- Melissa Edwards, the director of research communications in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research;
- Brian Fields, a professor of astronomy and physics and the chair of the department of astronomy;
- Stephanie Foote, a professor of English and of gender and women's studies;
- Kevin Hamilton, the senior associate director in the College of Fine and Applied Arts and a professor of art;
- Mark D. Henderson, the U. of I.’s chief information officer;
- Linda Herrera, a professor of education policy, organization and leadership and the director of the Global Studies in Education program;
- Tori Metcalf, a senior in global studies and the vice president of a campus organization called Women of Pride;
- Fiona Munro, a senior at Urbana High School;
- Kirk Sanders, a professor of philosophy and classics and the chair of the department of philosophy;
- Assata Zerai, a professor of sociology, the director of the Center for African Studies and an associate dean of the Graduate College.