November 13, 2013 | Brought to you by the Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs | Dudley H. Davis Center

Speakers / Presenters

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Angela Y. Davis

Speakers / Presenters: Dr. Mary Burke | Dr. Jan Carney | Dr. Maeve Eberhardt | Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant

Josie Leavitt | Dr. Buff Lindau | Dr. Fayneese Miller | Dr. Ellen McShane

Mara Saule | Sue Schmidt | Dr. Stephanie Seguino | Dr. Rashad Shabazz

Keith E. Smith | Linda Tarr-Whelan | Maria Teixeira | Lisa Ventriss

Committee Members: Dr. Emily Bernard | Stephanie Dion | Dr. Tina Escaja | Dr. Lisa Holmes

Louise Leu | Dr. Annika Ljung-Baruth | LuAnn Rolley


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Angela Y. Davis

Dr. Angela Y. DavisThrough her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world.  Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice.

Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley.  She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University.  Mostly recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D program – and of Feminist Studies.

Angela Davis is the author of nine books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America.  In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination.  She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.”  She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment.  Her recent books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, and a new edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. In 2012 she published a new collection of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom.

Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex.  Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.

Like many educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions.  Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.

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Speakers / Presenters

Dr. Mary Burke

Mary Burke PhotoDr. Mary Burke is a Lecturer in the Sociology Department and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program at UVM. Her primary areas of specialization are in gender, sexualities, and social movements, with an emphasis on LGBTQ social movements and queer politics. Previously, she has conducted research on queer politics and the same-sex marriage movement, and on the role of emotions and professionalization in social movement organizations. Her most recent project examines the medicalization of gender variance and debates over medicalization among and between trans rights activists and health care providers. Her work is published in Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, Advances in Medical Sociology, and The Marrying Kind? Debating Same-Sex Marriage in the Gay and Lesbian Movement. At UVM, she teaches courses on gender, sexualities, LGBTQ studies, the sociology of medicine, and social theory.

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Dr. Jan Carney

Dr. Jan CarneyDr. Carney is Associate Dean for Public Health and Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She earned an AB from Middlebury College, MD from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and Master's degree in Public Health (MPH) at the Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to her full-time faculty appointment at the University of Vermont, she served as Vermont’s Commissioner of Health from 1989-2003, under three gubernatorial administrations, participating in the design and implementation of a broad range of public health and health policy initiatives. Since joining UVM in 2003, she is actively involved in public health and health policy education, research, and service. She teaches College of Medicine students in the Vermont Integrated Curriculum at the College of Medicine, and is program director for UVM’s Certificate of Graduate Study in Public Health, a newly created 100% online program.

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Dr. Maeve Eberhardt

Maeve EberhardtMaeve Eberhardt is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics. She has been at UVM since 2009, after completing her PhD at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work explores the interactions between race, place, gender, and sexuality, and the ways in which these facets of speakers' identities are negotiated and constructed through linguistic means. Her courses at UVM include African American English, Ethnolinguistic Identities, and Language, Gender & Sexuality.

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Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant

Wanda Heading-GrantWanda Heading-Grant is the Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at the University of Vermont. Dr. Heading-Grant previously served as the Chief Diversity Officer, Associate Provost for Multicultural Affairs and Academic Initiatives, and Associate Dean of the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont. She has spent her career focusing on issues of social justice, education, and equity. Dr. Heading-Grant holds a Clinical Associate Professor appointment in the Department of Social Work, and she is a member of the Graduate College at the University of Vermont. She currently serves on the Burlington Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Board of Directors and is a member of the Burlington, Vermont Dress for Success start up committee. She has served on the United Way of Chittenden County Board of Directors and Girls Scout Council of Vermont Board of Directors. She has received the 2011 Vermont Women in Higher Education Sister Elizabeth Candon Distinguished Service Award, City of Burlington's MLK Service Award, and the 2010 United Way of Chittenden County Community Impact Award. She is also a member of the Phi Gamma Mu National Honor Society.

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Josie Leavitt

Josie Leavitt PhotoJosie Leavitt is the founding member of the Vermont Comedy Divas, Vermont's only all female comedy troupe. Josie performs regularly through out New England. When she's not performing, she's teaching stand up. Josie has taught hundreds of comics in her eight years of teaching stand up at the FlynnArts. This past year Josie taught stand-up in Vermont Correctional facilities for men and women. Josie co-owns the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne and writes a blog for Publishers Weekly and has a humor column, Leavitty in the Charlotte News.

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Dr. Buff Lindau

Dr. Buff LindauBuff Lindau is Director of Marketing and Communications since 2009, after briefly serving as interim marketing director. In this position, she has continued to write, design and produce a weekly e-newsletter for the College community - faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and select media representatives. She has coordinated the team that brought a new web design online, new Google-style campus map online, videos, a quarterly magazine, admissions brochures, and continued media attention to the College. Buff started at Saint Michael's as an adjunct professor in the English Department in 1979. At the same time, she was named coordinator of the SMC Women & Society Symposium, probably the first academic women’s studies symposium held in the U.S. It garnered coverage by The New York Times, and overflow attendance for its three-day duration. She was appointed Public Relations Director in 1980. In that position, she developed a robust relationship with Vermont media and regional media outlets. She spoke at professional CASE conferences and earned CASE awards for the bi-monthly newsletter Founders Hall that she wrote and edited for more than a decade as the primary communications link with Saint Michael's alumni. In the past, she taught public relations in the SMC Master of Science in Administration program.

Buff earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from Goucher College, and master's and doctoral degrees in English from the University of South Carolina.

Buff has served as a member of the board of the Vermont Chapter of the American Red Cross, and currently serves on the board of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival. She has published poems in a number of literary journals and continues to apply herself to that endeavor most every early morning.

Buff and her husband Huck Gutman, Professor of English at the University of Vermont and former Chief of Staff for Senator Bernie Sanders, have two children and one grandchild.

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Dr. Fayneese Miller

Fayneese Miller PhotoFayneese Miller is dean of the College of Education and Social Services and professor of Human Development, Educational Leadership and Social Policy at the University of Vermont. Prior to her appointment as dean at UVM, she was associate professor of education and human development and a past director of the Center for the Study of Race & Ethnicity in America at Brown University. Dr. Miller developed and chaired the first Ethnic Studies Program at Brown University. Dr. Miller is a social psychologist who specializes in the psychosocial development of youth, with special emphasis on such topics as alienation, social identity, and cross-racial friendships. She has conducted research on black males that was funded by the Eli Lily Foundation. Dr. Miller serves on the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Truancy Prevention Association (NTPA) Board. Her work includes a study on perceptions of racial/ethnic bias for the Rhode Island Supreme Court and a project on school-based truancy courts for the Rhode Island Family Court. In collaboration with NTPA, she recently completed a benchbook on truancy for family court judges. Dr. Miller has been a visiting associate professor at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and was a National Science Foundation and Salzburg Fellow. She was a member of the American Council of Education (ACE) 2004-2005 Fellow’s class—a Washington-based fellowship program that prepares future senior executives in higher education. She was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science Task Force on diversity in higher education and the Annie Casey Foundation and Joint Center for Political Studies focus group on reproductive health. Dr. Miller was chair of the Vermont State Board of Education and currently serves as Chair of American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) Board of Directors as well as President of Council of Academic Deans of Research Education Institutions (CADREI).

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Dr. Ellen McShane

Ellen McShaneAs Director of Academic Support Programs, Ellen oversees ACCESS services for students with disabilities, tutoring services, and two TRIO programs. Ellen earned a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies from Montclair State University, a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Ohio State University, and Doctorate in Education from UVM. She served in the Peace Corps in Brazil for two years. She has worked at UVM for the last 12 years.

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Mara Saule

Mara SauleMara Saule, is the Dean of University Libraries and CIO at the University of Vermont. As Libraries’ Dean, she provides leadership, strategic planning, and overall management of fiscal, curricular, scholarly, and budgetary responsibilities for the Bailey/Howe and Dana Medical Libraries. As CIO, she is responsible for information technology leadership at UVM, including support for academic computing and planning and management of the administrative information, networking, and telecommunications services provided by Enterprise Technology Services (ETS).

Since 1985, Saule has held several positions at UVM, including Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and International Activities, and Executive Assistant to the President.

Saule earned a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She is fluent in Latvian and Spanish and has a reading knowledge of Latin. She was ALA Library/Book Fellow at the National Library of Latvia in Riga in 1992-93.

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Sue Schmidt

Sue Schmidt PhotoSue Schmidt has been writing comedy for almost as long as her friends and family members have been laughing at her. Since her on stage stand up debut in New Hampshire in 2012 she has performed across the country in Maine, Vermont, Florida and Anchorage Alaska. She is one of the newest members of the Vermont Comedy Divas. When not performing comedy, Sue, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, works as a clinical consultant to a variety of human service organizations and as an adjunct professor in the Graduate Program in Community Mental Health at Southern New Hampshire University.

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Dr. Stephanie Seguino

Stephanie SeguinoStephanie Seguino is Professor of Economics at the University of Vermont, USA; Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and Research Scholar at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Prior to obtaining a Ph.D. from American University, she served as economist in Haiti for several years in the pre- and post-Baby Doc era. Her current research explores the relationship between inequality, growth, and development. A major focus of that work explores the effect of gender equality on macroeconomic outcomes. She has also examined the gender and race effects of contractionary monetary policy. She is Associate Editor of Feminist Economics and Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, and a member of the editorial board of Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics, as well as past president of International Association for Feminist Economics. More recently, she was guest editor of a special issue of Feminist Economics on the global economic crisis. She has consulted with a wide variety of international organizations, including the UNDP, UNRISD, World Bank, and African Development Bank. Professor Seguino has also served as an instructor in the African Program for Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE), a training program for scholars, trade unionists, and policy makers from the Global South. She actively contributes locally to diversity and equity initiatives in public schools.

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Dr. Rashad Shabazz

Rashad ShabazzDr. Shabazz's academic expertise brings together theories of race and racism, Black cultural studies, gender studies, and critical prison studies, within a methodological framework that draws on history, human geography, philosophy and literature. His research explores the ways in which race, class, sexuality and gender articulate through geographies of anti-Black racism. Currently Dr. Shabazz is working on a book manuscript that examines how Black identity, culture and anti-Black racism are produced and disciplined through spatiality. His scholarship has appeared in Souls and The Spatial-Justice Journal. A long time anti-prison activist, Dr. Shabazz cites activism as a catalyst for his scholarly work. He is an editor for the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons (a Canadian-based journal that publishes the work of prisoners around the world) and an organizer for Critical Resistance (an activist organization that seeks to redirect America's failed policy on incarceration). He has also taught at San Quentin Prison. He has taught an Integrated Social Science Program (ISSP) course titled "Prison Cities and Black Masculinity" and teaches an advanced level seminar course titled, "Black Space, Identity and Culture." Dr. Shabazz holds a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from the Minnesota State University, Mankato (1999), an M.S. from the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at the Arizona State University (2002) and a Ph.D.from the History of Consciousness Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz (2008).

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Keith E. Smith

Keith SmithKeith is a Senior Staff Counselor at UVM’s Counseling & Psychiatry Services (CAPS). He also serves in the role of Men’s Outreach Coordinator (MOC). He has expertise as a men’s counselor, and works with college men in numerous capacities. The position of MOC is innovative and unprecedented in a university setting in that it provides general counseling, clinical assessment, and referral and case management services specifically geared toward male students. It also provides advocacy, support and resources to men involved in judicial hearings, and including alleged perpetrators of sexual and relationship violence. Keith also provides consultation, education, training, and programming to the UVM community on issues related to diverse masculine identity, violence prevention as well as assisting in coordination of the campus-wide response to gender-based sexual violence. Keith can be reached at the Counseling & Psychiatry Services, 802.656.3340, or

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Linda Tarr-Whelan

Linda Tarr-WhelanLinda Tarr-Whelan, an expert on women’s equality is a Distinguished Senior Fellow with Demos and lives in Burlington. She serves as the Chair of the Vermont Works for Women Task Force on Young Women and the Vermont Economy, on the board of the United Way of Chittenden County and the National Women’s Leadership Council of United Way Worldwide. Formerly Deputy Assistant for Women’s Concerns for President Jimmy Carter and Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women under President Bill Clinton she is the author of Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping Up to Leadership and Changing the World.

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Maria Teixeira

Maria TeixeiraMaria Teixeira began serving as Coordinator for Programming & Leadership Development at The UVM Women’s Center in the summer of 2013. She has worked within the movement to end gender-based violence for over a decade, with a particular focus on breaking down barriers to services & resources for conventionally marginalized communities. Her work and studies have included areas such as feminist/womanist theory and history, The Prison Industrial Complex and the criminalization of brown bodies. Currently, she is considering reproductive justice and the systematic oppression of women’s bodies as it occurs at the social services level.

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Lisa Ventriss

Lisa VentrissLisa M. Ventriss is President and chief spokesperson of Vermont Business Roundtable, a non-partisan, non-political, public affairs organization comprised of 120 CEOs from among the state’s most successful private sector and not-for-profit employers. Through thoughtful policy research and analysis, collaboration and advocacy, the Roundtable seeks to leverage the entrepreneurial capital of its members to benefit the welfare of all Vermonters on economic, social and environmental matters.

Prior to joining the Roundtable in 2002, Ms. Ventriss was President of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (1997-2002) in which she represented the industry and strategic partners as it grew into the largest domestic domicile and third largest captive domicile in the world. The hallmark of Ms. Ventriss’ contributions was in laying the foundation for what has become the industry’s leading educational organization, the International Center for Captive Insurance Education (ICCIE).

Within the Roundtable Ms. Ventriss has lead the organization to become effective and respected business champions for public investments in the early life of a child. The Roundtable’s efforts have resulted in meaningful legislation at the state level and have earned a national reputation and recognition for successful community building on this issue.

Ms. Ventriss currently serves on the boards of Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation; Maine Mutual Group; Mercy Connections; University of Vermont; Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies; Vermont Medical Society Education & Research Foundation; and Vermont Public Television.

In 2009 Ms. Ventriss was appointed by Governor Douglas to the Building Bright Futures Council, which is organized to create a unified system of quality health, early care and education supports for young children and their families. She was subsequently reappointed by Governor Shumlin and served as co-chair from 2010-2012. In 2010 Ms. Ventriss was presented with the Key Achieve Award by KeyBank, in recognition of her years of leadership and contributions to both the business and non-profit communities throughout Vermont. In 2011, Ms. Ventriss was presented with the first Youth Development Award by the Greater Burlington YMCA for her tireless efforts in advocating for investment in quality early education. And in 2012, Ms. Ventriss was presented with the Hope Award by the National MS Society of Greater New England for her leadership in the business and philanthropic communities.

Ms. Ventriss is a sixth generation native from Middlebury, VT and holds a Master of Public Administration and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Vermont. She is married to Dr. Curtis Ventriss, Professor of Public Policy at both the University of Vermont and Johns Hopkins University; has three sons; and is best friends with one darling British Lab named, Miss Savannah.

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Committee Members

Dr. Emily Bernard

Emily Bernard PhotoEmily Bernard is a Professor of English and Director of the ALANA U. S. Ethnic Studies Program at the University of Vermont. Her first book, Remember Me to Harlem: The Letter of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten (2001), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her essays have been published in several journals and anthologies, such as Best American Essays, Best of African American Essays, and Best of Creative Non-Fiction. Bernard has received fellowships from the Alphonse A. Fletcher Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Beneicke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University. Her most recent book is Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance: A Portrait in Black and White.

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Stephanie Dion

Stephanie Dion PhotoStephanie Dion is the Director of the Administrative Business Service Center. In this role, she leads the team in its mission of providing an enhanced level of service and expertise in administrative core services such as finance and human resource processes.

Stephanie’s previous roles at UVM include senior financial manager for Enterprise Technology Services and budget analyst for Financial Analysis and Budgeting. Stephanie worked as a senior financial analyst for General Dynamics before coming to the University in 2005. She graduated from the UVM with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and holds a Master of Science in Administration from Saint Michael’s College.

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Dr. Tina Escaja

Tina Escaja PhotoDr. Tina Escaja is Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages and Linguistics at UVM. She joined the department in 1993 after earning her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. She has published extensively on gender and contemporary literature from Latin America and Spain. Her research includes investigations of women, technology and representation at the turn of the twentieth century, and the connections with the current turn of the millennium. From 2007 to 2011, she served the International Organization of Hispanic Women in the Humanities (AILCFH) as its vice-president and president. Her academic and literary awards include the International Poetry Prize Dulce María Loynaz for her book of poems Caída Libre (2004), the Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award (2013), and the Dean’s Lecture Award at UVM for excellence in teaching and research (2009). She is also the author of experimental and multimedia works, including hypertext, and has collaborated and exhibited with artists from a variety of media. Her work has appeared in museums and galleries in Mexico, Spain and the United States.

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Dr. Lisa Holmes

Lisa Holmes PhotoLisa Holmes is Associate Professor of Political Science at UVM and affiliated faculty with Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. She specializes in judicial politics, constitutional law, gender and law, and American politics. Her research focuses on various issues surrounding the politics of appointing federal and state court judges. A current project examines the implications of politicized appointment politics on the careers and attitudes of judicial nominees.

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Louise Leu

Louise Leu PhotoLouise Leu is the Administrative Assistant for the Center for Cultural Pluralism. In this role, she manages both the office and business aspects of the center, is the lead student staff supervisor and manages the building of Allen House. Louise holds membership in the Women's Summit planning committee and the Women of Color Leadership Retreat planning committee. She currently serves as the Chapter Social Advisor and President for the Housing Corporation of the Gamma Tau Chapter Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Louise graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Business Administration. She is passionate about furthering her knowledge and experience within higher education and student affairs.

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Dr. Annika Ljung-Baruth

Annika Ljung-Baruth PhotoAnnika Ljung-Baruth: Senior Lecturer in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and Senior Lecturer in English, specializes in 20th century literature and phenomenology, the representation of women in literature and in the media, and feminist theory and philosophy. Current research areas include the field of ecofeminism, and the connection between the oppression of women and the exploitation of nature in Western society and globally. An additional research area is the development of feminism as a component of public policy and culture in Scandinavian social democratic societies.

Annika Ljung-Baruth has received scholarships from Stockholm University, The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, and The Sweden-America Foundation. Recent articles include "The Virtue of Responsibility: Femininity, Temporality, and Space in Michael Cunningham's The Hours" and "In Search of a Moral Erotic Standard: Female Subjectivity and Eros in Dorothy Canfield Fisher's Rough-Hewn and The Brimming Cup", both published in Springer's book series Analecta Husserliana.

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LuAnn Rolley

LuAnn Rolley PhotoLuAnn Rolley is the Director of the University of Vermont (UVM) Women's Center. She is also Principal Investigator of a Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women Campus Program Grant. LuAnn cares deeply about providing safe and empowering spaces for women to thrive and create. She has trained extensively in modern dance and believes that our bodies hold stories and have much to tell us. She has an M.Ed. in Interdisciplinary Studies.

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