2017-2018-funded-research-interest-groups

2017-2018

Project title: Expanding the Environmental Humanities
Name of contact: Jennifer Atkinson
Position/Rank: Lecturer
Other RIG members: Shannon Cram, Adam Romero

Summary: This research interest group seeks to advance members’ interests in Environmental Humanities scholarship and teaching, and to explore potential collective work as we develop a new curricular area in EH for our revised Environmental Studies major.  At present, RIG members are engaged in separate initiatives but share common interests in promoting understanding and exchange across fields and approaches, engaging our Environmental Studies students in humanistic modes of inquiry, and bringing UWB into conversation with other scholars and institutions working in this interdisciplinary field.  The Environmental Humanities RIG is intended to promote exchange around these efforts and explore how they might expand. Our efforts will begin with RIG participants proposing a panel and then presenting our work at the Knowledge/Culture/Ecologies International Conference. That event will then be followed by monthly meetings to explore connected research interests, revise/expand the humanities curricular area in our ES major, and explore Environmental Humanities models/programs at other institutions.

Purpose, significance, and objectives:  The Environmental Humanities RIG is intended to promote exchange around these efforts and explore how they might expand, through participation in the Knowledge/Culture/Ecologies International Conference in Santiago, Chile and monthly meetings  that will explore connected research interests, revise/expand the humanities curricular area in our ES major, and explore Environmental Humanities models/programs at other institutions

Funding awarded: $3,000

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Project title: Exploring and Confronting Islamophobia: Combining Evidence and the Arts
Name of contact: Karam Dana   
Position/Rank: Assistant Professor
Other RIG members: Anida Yoeu Ali, Silvia C. Ferreira/ Lecturer

Summary: Our group will synthesize already existing knowledge that explains Islamophobia and explores new ways to study the phenomena of Islamophobia primarily in the US, and to a lesser extent in Europe. We employ new approaches and methodologies utilizing artistic expressions in our work, through multiple interdisciplinary lens. We approach the issue of Islamophobia through an interdisciplinary social science lens, informed by the humanities and the arts to identify, address, and confront the origins, the progressions, and the consequences of Islamophobia on various local, national, and transnational scenes.

Purpose, significance, and objectives: Planned activities include focus groups with Muslim students, writing/artistic expression retreats at the Whitely Center and conference participation, to support the production of two academic journal articles addressing (1) pedagogical challenges in the classrooms on issues related to Islamophobia and (2) the role of the arts in confronting social and political exclusion, utilizing Islamophobia as a case study.

Funding awarded: $3,000

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Project title: Critical Geographies of Place, Culture, and Cities
Name of contact: Christian Anderson
Position/Rank: Assistant Professor
Other RIG member: Ben Gardner, Jin-Kyu Jung, Amir Sheikh

Summary: We will pursue several overlapping interests. Broadly speaking, we will focus on the intersections among cultural, social, political-economic, and historical-geographical processes in space. Alongside pertinent theoretical considerations, we will collaboratively explore how our different methodological approaches (spanning discourse analysis, ethnography, GIS and Geo-visualization, and other qualitative methods) could be integrated to produce innovative research and teaching on these topics. Integral to these ends, we will identify and pursue opportunities for place-based/community engaged collaborative research in the Seattle metro area and beyond.

Purpose, significance, and objectives:

  1. To begin a theoretically grounded and methodologically diverse discussion of critical urban geographical issues among UWB/IAS faculty with different but overlapping research agenda
  2. To locate collaborative methodological intersections between our work
  3. To pursue opportunities to leverage goals A and B into innovative, community engaged teaching and research.

Funding awarded: $3,000

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Project title: Journalism Histories and Social Justice in Global Context
Name of contact: Kristin Gustafson
Position/Rank: Lecturer
Other RIG members: Susan Harewood

Summary: This research interest group explores journalism histories in the U.S. and English-speaking Caribbean through the lens of social justice. We are especially interested in global events and activism that engaged certain journalism producers and production, particularly in the years before, during, and after the early 1970s. We share our research and conduct mutual readings that support our interest in identifying particular cultures, activism, and social institutions that have played a role in our case studies of journalism production and related political/social/cultural/community activism. We are also exploring journalism pedagogies and historiography. Our collaboration builds on our shared curriculum affiliations of Media and Communication Studies and Masters of Arts in Cultural Studies, as well as our individual engagement with Global Studies and American and Ethnic Studies curriculum.  Funding supports panel development and travel to conferences. 

Purpose, significance, and objectives: We aim to accomplish three things -- First, synergies between our case studies. The structure of the conference presentation/panel formalizes a way for us to engage this with our scholarly communities. Second, engagement with others in IAS. One of the steps in our process requires us to reach out within IAS. Next year we anticipate refining MCS and MACS curricula

Funding awarded: $ 1500 x 2

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Project title: Critical Acts: Socially Engaged Art and Performance
Name of contact: Anida Yoeu Ali
Position/Rank: Artist is Residence
Other RIG members: Naomi Bragin, Diana Garcia-Snyder, Minda Martin, Jed Murr, Jade Power-Sotomayor, Thea Quiray Tagle

Summary: Our RIG will focus on expanding and deepening socially engaged arts practices at IAS and UWB by providing opportunities for students, colleagues and community members to collaborate across multiple sites with differently located practitioners. As scholars, artists, and educators, we are involved in a range of arts-based projects which connect local, national, and international cultural workers to IAS. The RIG will help us to further our individual research and creative practice, to materialize and strengthen the connections among our existing projects, and to build sustainable collaborations between UWB, local artists and performers, and arts institutions. Our RIG’s objectives not only include connecting with one another as faculty within this research framework but also to enrich campus wide cultural literacy through regular and diverse interfaces with socially engaged art. We will achieve this by activating the UWB community through an annual performance festival, the establishment of an IAS Residency program, and the creation of an online “sanctuary” space.

Purpose, significance, and objectives:

  1. Deepen our collaborative process, develop individual and seed new collaborative work, and plan our annual performance festival.
  2. Create and formalize a plan for an Artist in Residency program and invite artists to participate in on campus 3-day residency; to develop new and strengthen existing partnerships with local and regional artists, educators, and arts venues.
  3. Produce  a second annual campus “Alive: A Performance Festival,”  featuring students’ course-based performance projects.

Conceive an online “sanctuary” space for UWB students, faculty, and community members that will function as a curated platform for socially engaged works of imagination and art, housing works (short films, poetry, performance documentations, photography, etc) by UWB students, faculty and guest artists that specifically address urgent societal issues and provide a forum for critical exchange curated by RIG members. This comes as a response to students who have voiced concerns about the lack of “safe spaces” to exhibit politically charged works responding to urgent contemporary matters.

Funding awarded: $ 3000

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Project title: Contemplative Practice as Pedagogy
Name of contact: Alice Pedersen
Position/Rank: Lecturer
Other RIG members: Kristin Gustafson, Amy Lambert

Summary: This RIG convenes faculty who are interested in integrating contemplative practice into their classroom pedagogies. “Contemplative practice” includes, but is not limited to, silent meditation, guided meditation, somatic movement, forms of self-study, and varying mindfulness practices. Contemplative practice can help to create a healthy work environment, contribute to deepened reflection on the scholarship of teaching and learning, disrupt unhealthy patterns related to work load and anxiety, enrich our conversations with colleagues, and in general help us to become more compassionate instructors. How does introducing these practices into the classroom impact the learning environment? What forms of knowledge, ways of knowing, and encounters with the material might they make possible for students?

We represent a wide spectrum of disciplines, from the humanities to the social sciences to science and art. While it is not our intention to universalize the experience of contemplative practice, we do want to explore how making space for non-rational, embodied experiences can contribute to our teaching and students’ learning in these diverse spaces. We plan to share readings and resources on how to facilitate contemplative practice in the classroom; workshop our own ideas and develop them into lesson plans; implement the lesson plans and debrief them with the group; lead one another in our lessons/practices; and, if possible, begin developing our findings into an article. We would also be happy to share our best practices, or findings, with the wider IAS faculty.

Purpose, significance, and objectives:

  1. Continue to deepen pedagogical practice through course design, mindful and somatic awareness, and reflection on the stakes/challenges of this work
  2. Share our work with a wider community, including IAS faculty
  3. Finish our article and publish (previously developed through the RIG and shared at a national conference)
  4. Develop new workshops and practices

Funding awarded: $ 1850