SUU to Host International Interdisciplinary Conference

Published: April 19, 2021 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 4 minutes

SUU to Host Virtual International Association for Interdisciplinary Studies ConferenceSouthern Utah University is honored to host the 43rd Annual Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Conference October 14-16, 2021. The conference attracts teachers, administrators, graduate and undergraduate students, and independent scholars with an interest in developing research and instruction around interdisciplinary studies. This year’s conference will be the first fully virtual AIS conference.

We are pleased to offer lower conference registration fees this year because the 2021 AIS Conference is completely virtual.

“SUU is delighted to host the annual AIS conference,” said President Scott L Wyatt. “This opportunity will showcase SUU’s focus on creative, integrated interdisciplinary programs and allow for enhanced collaboration to strengthen interdisciplinary learning across the globe.”

The cornerstone of interdisciplinary studies is collaboration and integration across disciplines; languages, cultures, and ethnicities; genders; abilities; the arts and creativity. The organizing committee believes that diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility are integral to fulfilling the exchange of ideas within a community of scholars, teachers, administrators, and the public. And this year’s theme, Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Navigating Between Generosity and Rigor, exemplifies those values.

“We are very excited about hosting the international Association for Interdisciplinary Studies virtual conference at SUU, especially in light of all of the interdisciplinary opportunities we are working to create for faculty, staff and students on the SUU campus,” said Dr. Jean Boreen, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at SUU. “Our new degree in filmmaking, all of the activities around being the University of the Parks, and our undergraduate and graduate degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies are just some of the wonderful initiatives we look forward to sharing with others, even as we are eager to hear how programs and opportunities at other universities may further inspire our work.”

A few highlights of this year’s conference will be a keynote address by Virgil Johnson, Native American activist, educator, member of the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation, former Chairman of the Utah Tribal Leaders, and graduate of Southern Utah University. His work focuses on bringing Native-American voices to the forefront of discussions about governance in the State of Utah, and the United States. There will be virtual tours showcasing the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and ones showcasing Southern Utah’s famous National Parks as well as other scenic attractions.

"Our SUU 2021 AIS Conference Committee, consisting of 30 members, from six different regional universities, has been working on this conference since the spring of 2018,” said Dr. Cynthia Kimball Davis, Master of Interdisciplinary Studies Program director at SUU and lead co-director of the SUU 2021 AIS Conference. “We're excited to welcome a world-wide audience of interdisciplinarians to this AIS first-ever fully virtual conference."

Registered participants will be able to engage in live paper presentations, workshops, and poster sessions throughout the conference. And because the event is virtual, registered participants will have exclusive access to sessions for a limited time after the conference concludes, enabling them to attend a session knowing that if they are interested in another session offered at the same time, it can be viewed later.

SUU has partnered with several other higher education institutions including BYU Idaho, Dixie State University, Salt Lake Community College, Utah Valley University, and Weber State University to host the annual conference.

“Weber State University is proud to support Southern Utah University in hosting the AIS conference,” said Dr. Michael E. Cena, director for the Bachelor of Integrated Studies at Weber State University and co-director of the SUU 2021 AIS Conference. “This is the first time that college students will be invited to share senior capstone work and network with other students, faculty, and researchers in the field of interdisciplinary learning. Weber looks forward to future interdisciplinary endeavors with other schools in the Utah System for Higher Education.”

For those who would like to submit work to the AIS conference, proposals are due May 15, 2021 and can be submitted here. To learn more about the 43rd Annual Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Conference or to register, visit the website at

SUU is home to several interdisciplinary studies programs, including a Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies (MIS) degree. Ranked third in the nation, the MIS degree launched in 2018 and can be completed entirely online or via hybrid format. Students are able to choose from a variety of academic areas to craft the entirety of their 30-credit degree to best suit their career goals. Learn more about the MIS program at SUU.

Tags: Interdisciplinary Studies

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