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Beyond the Blue Podcast Asks ‘What is Genius?’

By:    Published 12:17 pm / April 16, 2012

Why does the recognition of genius matter? Are there patterns to the people and moments where genius is most evident? Titled “What is Genius?” this week’s Beyond the Blue podcast and Foundational Studies Program sample class with Jim Stockton and Riley Caldwell-O’Keefe tackles these questions and others like them.

Listeners can access the website featuring a series of faculty podcasts at or go directly to their presentation. Visitors can download all podcasts and subscribe to receive automatic downloads of new content whenever they open iTunes.

Challenging students to investigate genius and formulate opinions about what they find intellectually compelling can provide key building blocks for the entire learning process. In this podcast, listeners learn more about the Rationalist viewpoint of genius as a non-physical, supernatural entity, as well as the opposing philosophy espoused by the Empiricists, who look at genius as a heightened manifestation of the human physical senses.

Stockton is a lecturer of philosophy at Boise State and is a member of the Foundational Studies Program faculty. He teaches a wide variety of courses including medieval philosophy, aesthetics, Eastern philosophy and interdisciplinary courses on philosophy, literature and film. He received his master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Nevada, Reno, and an M.A. in English from Boise State.

Riley Caldwell-O’Keefe teaches introduction to theatre, theatre history and upper-division special topics courses for the Department of Theatre Arts and the Gender Studies program at Boise State. Caldwell-O’Keefe is working with the Foundational Studies Program and co-teaching a UF100 course titled “Genius.” She has received grant and fellowship funding, had her work featured in a number of publications and presented at multiple professional conferences. She also is working on an LGBTQI oral history project which will be available through Boise State’s Albertsons Library Special Collections. Her areas of interest include United States military performance and national identity as well as gender, ethnic and LGBTQ studies.

This podcast is part of a series of presentations related to Boise State’s Foundational Studies Program. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Martin Schimpf provides an introduction to the new general education program that focuses on essential learning and shared experiences. The Foundational Studies Program begins in fall 2012 and features an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on problem solving, communication, innovation and teamwork, ethics and diversity, and disciplinary outcomes. Upcoming podcast topics will be from faculty members on sample Foundational Studies Program classes.

The Beyond the Blue website has been developed to showcase the expertise and innovative spirit that exists in many fields at Boise State. Known for its unique blue turf and nationally ranked football program, Boise State is demonstrating creativity beyond the blue in faculty podcasts intended to introduce a variety of topics to casual listeners.

New faculty podcasts are being added on a regular basis, including:

The website contains bonus video and editorial content about the university, including its growth, research initiatives and student life. A related collection of faculty interviews also is accessible from the Reader’s Corner radio show hosted by Boise State President Bob Kustra on Boise State Public Radio.