Give Now

2012 Archives

From domestic space to cyberspace

SMU symposium examines privacy

SMU privacy symposium poster art

October 26, 2012

DALLAS (SMU) — A panel of SMU faculty members from a wide range of disciplines will examine the history of and emerging ramifications for the concept of privacy in the 21st century at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center West Ballroom.

The program launches the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute’s IMPACT (Interdisciplinary Meetings to Address Pressing Current Themes) series of symposia. Sponsored by the Embrey Family Foundation, the symposium is free and open to the public and includes a 3 p.m. reception.

Those interested in attending should contact Margi Evans at mfevans@smu.edu or 214-768-2608 to request a parking permit.

Lee Cullum, journalist and fellow in SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, will moderate the discussion. Panelists include SMU professors whose studies touch on some aspect of privacy:

  • George Holden is professor of psychology in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Holden specializes in developmental psychology with a focus on family violence and parent-child interactions. His current research involves analyzing home audio recordings of mothers and their preschoolers. “Psychologists are in the business of exploring people's private lives — such as their secret thoughts and behavior behind closed doors,” Holden says. “Consequently, we are confronted with various thorny issues.”
  • Alexis McCrossen is associate professor of history in Dedman College whose specialty is U.S. social and cultural history. “Privacy is an institution that came of age in early modern Europe,” she says.
  • Beth Newman is associate professor of English and director of the Women and Gender Studies Program in Dedman College. Newman, whose specialty is 19th-century British literature, says “The concept of privacy developed alongside the rise of the novel, which reinforced its importance — especially for the middle class.”
  • Santanu Roy is professor of economics in Dedman College. Roy’s research interests are in industrial organization, natural resources and environment, international and economic growth.
  • Mary Spector is associate professor of law and director of the Consumer Law Project – both in Dedman School of Law. Spector’s research interests are in the areas of consumer credit, landlord-tenant law and clinical legal education.
  • Sukumaran Nair is chair and professor of computer science and engineering in the Lyle School of Engineering. Nair’s research interests are in network and systems security and reliability.

The Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute was made possible by a $5 million gift from the Dedman Family and the Dedman Foundation. The Institute was created to bring together faculty and students from the humanities, sciences and social sciences for collaborative research and other programs.

The Institute will host annual seminars bringing together faculty, graduate and undergraduate students and members of the community to discuss global issues. Informal research clusters will create collaborative groups of faculty and students from across the University to expand and enrich the interdisciplinary culture on campus. Interdisciplinary faculty appointments will develop challenging new programming and curricular offerings. A digital humanities lab will provide state-of-the-art computing technologies and interactive space for scholars to pursue interdisciplinary research.

The IMPACT Symposium Series is a series of half-day symposia open to the public that will focus on thematic discussions or provocative and important topics that are conducive to rethinking in unusual ways or in an outside-the-box format. Of particular interest will be topics that can bridge perspectives from the sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts and engineering.

The Embrey Family Foundation is supporting the Institute’s first four symposia – one each semester for two years. The symposia will be open to the public and will focus on thematic discussions or topics that can bridge perspectives from the sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts and engineering. 

###

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

As the heart of SMU, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences prepares students for the challenges of a complex world with a strong foundation in the liberal arts. The college offers students a wealth of choices with nearly 90 majors and minors spanning the humanities, social and natural sciences, with opportunities for advanced graduate education in numerous fields.