Thursday 11th July, 2013
9:45am to 11:15am
While many skeptics seem to conflate science and skepticism, the two terms are not equivalent. Science, it turns out, is just one form of skeptical inquiry that encompasses many academic disciplines, including those in the humanities. This workshop will introduce the audience to scholarship confronting extraordinary claims across the disciplines. Skepticism may be profitably applied to everything from Ancient Aliens’ mangling of art and art history, literary and folklore studies, mythology, and archeology, to young-earth creationists’ vandalism of all forms of textual scholarship, from Beowulf and Arthurian legend to Biblical studies. These and other extraordinary claims can also be used in classrooms to teach the critical thinking skills needed in all contexts and to introduce the disciplines to popular audiences.
Professor of Writing; Skeptical Humanities blog; Virtual Skeptics panelist.
Bob Blaskiewicz is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, where he specializes in World War II veterans' writings and extraordinary claims. He co-edits the blog Skeptical Humanities, edits a series about skepticism in education for the JREF blog, appears on the weekly live web show The Virtual Skeptics, and is currently co-authoring a book with Eve Siebert about skepticism and the humanities. He is CSI's Conspiracy Guy web columnist and a regular contributor to the Skepticality podcast. he also founded and writes for The OTHER Burzynski Patient Group website and hosted the Burzynski Birthday Bash at thehoustoncancerquack.com, which raised over $15,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
College instructor; Skeptical Humanities blogger; Virtual Skeptics panelist
Eve Siebert has a Ph.D. in English literature from Saint Louis University. Her primary area of study is Old and Middle English literature with secondary concentrations in Old Norse and Shakespeare. She taught college composition and literature classes for many years and is co-authoring a book called Was Shakespeare an Alien? Skepticism and the Humanities. She has recently had articles on creationist interpretations of Beowulf published in Skeptical Inquirer. She contributes to the JREF blog on education and coedits the Skeptical Humanities blog. She is also a panelist on the weekly video webcast Virtual Skeptics.
Miranda Celeste Hale is an English professor, freelance writer, and blogger whose research interests include the intersection of skepticism and rhetoric/composition pedagogy, public understanding of and engagement with the humanities, and the relationship between clear and precise writing and the effective dissemination of knowledge. She writes for the JREF's blog and her work has also appeared in the textbook Opposing Viewpoints: Church and State.
Philosophy professor at Portland State College
Peter Boghossian is a Philosophy professor at Portland State College, where his main focus is bringing the tools of professional philosophers to people in a wide variety of contexts. Dr. Boghossian’s primary research areas are critical thinking and moral reasoning. His is the author of the forthcoming book A Manual for Creating Atheists.
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