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Lawrence B. Dumas Domain Dinners/Dialogues

Facilitating Interdisciplinary Connection and Collaboration


Originating in 1998, the Lawrence B. Dumas Domain Dinner series has featured hundreds of faculty presenters and engaged thousands of guests. While presentation topics have ranged greatly since the series' inception, the mission has remained the same: to stimulate faculty interactions across departments and disciplines and to highlight Northwestern's distinctive interdisciplinarity.

In general, approximately every quarter during the academic year, faculty from across the University convene for an interdisciplinary panel presentation, followed by a question-and-answer segment with the presenters. The event generally includes informal networking during a cocktail reception and may also include a formal dinner at which additional conversation occurs at tables intentionally organized to encourage cross-campus dialogue and connections. The traditional format for the event includes dinner and is called a “Domain Dinner.” A virtual format is being piloted as of Fall 2020 and will be called “Domain Dialogues.”

Co-hosted by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Administration and Planning, the events have served as a launching point for various endeavors at the University and catalyzed numerous other existing research initiatives. Most recently, events have convened faculty around topics related to quantum information science, the human-computer frontier, migration, neuroscience, music, water insecurity, and global poverty.

Due to space limitations, attendance at Domain Dinners or participation in the virtual Domain Dialogues is by invitation only and is designed primarily for tenure-line and other research-active faculty at Northwestern.

Upcoming Domain Dialogues on April 13, 2021

“Data-Informed and Community-Engaged: Research Impact Showcased through Three Chicagoland Case Studies ”

Researchers often generate questions and ideas that advance knowledge and practice; however, the impact of such research is too often enacted upon communities without engaging those most affected. Scientific inquiry that meaningfully involves stakeholders and gives voice and domain to communities during the research process can produce more relevant, actionable, and mutually beneficial knowledge and outcomes and accelerate knowledge translation. This iteration of the Lawrence B. Dumas Domain Dialogues features case studies from three Northwestern researchers working on the cutting edge of sociology, health, and education to address some of Chicagoland’s greatest problems and needs.

This Domain Dialogues will explore themes such as:

Andrew Papachristos, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Northwestern Network and Neighborhood Initiative (N3), will share his approach to addressing one of Chicago's greatest problems – gun violence – which requires new, complex, and engaged forms of research that do not just bring science to neighborhoods, but bring neighborhoods to science. Namratha R. Kandula, Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine and Co-Director of the Center for Community Health in the Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM), will describe her research with the South Asian Healthy Lifestyle Initiative, a cross-sector, community-engaged research collaboration to adapt and implement evidence-based strategies to reduce cardiovascular disparities in South Asian Americans and advance equity. Nichole Pinkard, Associate Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy and Faculty Director of the Office of Community Education Partnerships, will share her work with Chicago and Evanston community stakeholders to reimagine how to design healthy opportunity landscapes that reimagine how to use existing infrastructure to ensure all youth have access to out-of-school learning opportunities that optimize youth development.

The event will be introduced by Provost Kathleen Hagerty, and Q&A will be moderated by Darius Tandon, Associate Professor of Medical Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Center for Community Health in the Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM).