Grants | 19 March 2012

UCSC Receives Funding in Planning Initiative




We are delighted to announce that four innovative, member-driven projects have received a total of $70,000 in funding in our recently inaugurated Program Planning Initiative, which is generously supported by the A.W. Mellon Foundation. The proposals submitted represent the work of over 30 CHCI member organizations (close to 20% of the CHCI membership), a level of participation that speaks to the high level of engagement of our members and the widespread interest in building collaborative projects and networks within our global field.

In our call for proposals, we asked for ideas for future CHCI programs that combine high-order scholarship and key intellectual issues in the humanities with the creation of models for new, tangible, and scale-able resources within CHCI. The objective of the initiative is to build on the creativity of our members toward the development of plans for projects and programs that forge new mechanisms for collaboration within our network. The initiative is specifically intended to support planning and pilot activities: the rollout of fully operational programs is not, as yet, the intended outcome, but we are hopeful that the range of program plans produced under the initiative will provide springboards for new, exciting, and fund-able opportunities for CHCI members.

The four project groups are now beginning their discussions and planning work, and representatives of each group will convene in Seattle in early 2012 for a group workshop. The intention of this session will to discover areas of mutual interest, engage in a lively group critique, and to underscore the need to develop projects that can eventually produce benefits for the widest possible range of CHCI members. The project groups will present the results of their planning work at the 2012 CHCI Annual Meeting at the Australian National University

The CHCI Project Committee and Board would like to express thanks to all members involved in developing proposals, and congratulations to the four funded project groups, which include:

Humanities for the Environment

Co-convened by Sarah Buie (Higgins School of Humanities, Clark University), Sally Kitch (Humanities Research Center, Arizona State University), and David Phillips (Institute for the Humanities, Wake Forest University), in close collaboration with Dianne Harris (Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities), Poul Holm (Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College, Dublin), E. Ann Kaplan (Center for the Humanities, Stony Brook University), Beth Levy and Carolyn de la Pena (Center for the Humanities, UC-Davis), Iain McCalman (University of Sydney), Leerom Medovoi (Portland Center for Public Humanities, Portland State University), Pauline Phemister (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh), and Ann Waltner (Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota).

The project to be pursued by CHCI’s long-standing Humanities for the Environment group will seek to take the work of the group to a new level of engagement, pursuing themes such as global/regional, reimagining the city, and interdependence and empathy. Promising ideas for program structures – “platforms” – such as a humanities environmental observatory, an expanded website, and teams of scholars working under the construct of a humanities “greenhouse,” will be developed, among other projected program components.

IGHERT (Integrative Graduate Humanities Education and Research Training)

Co-convened by Richard Grusin (Center for 21st Century Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Nathaniel Deutsch (Institute for Humanities Research, UC-Santa Cruz) and Tyrus Miller (Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz), and Ansgar Nünning (International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany)

The IGHERT group aims to map a new role for CHCI member organizations in graduate humanities education that reflects the rationale of the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program, and Canada’s National Sciences and Engineering Research Council Collaborative Research and Training Experience program. Asserting that that the imperatives of 21st-century humanities research are strongly analogous to those that the NSF-IGERT program seeks to foster in the STEM fields—interdisciplinary innovation, collaborative exchange, and attention to social impact – the project will create a comprehensive humanities education initiative, incorporating: a holistic model for graduate humanities research, training, and financial support; a diverse funding model to provide sustainable support for graduate research initiatives; a role for CHCI members in organizing research and training of humanities graduate students; international collaboration; and a web-based platform to disseminate and archive materials, facilitate collaborative research threads, and deliver research results from the network to broader audiences.

Medical Humanities

Co-convened by Stathis Gourgouris (Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University), Brian Hurwitz (Centre for the Humanities and Health, King’s College London), and John McGowan, Director, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in collaboration with the Heyman Center for the Humanities (Columbia University), Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities (University of Washington), Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health (University College London), McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics (University of Texas Medical School), and the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society (Vanderbilt University).

When several CHCI members gathered in a breakout group at the 2011 CHCI Annual Meeting to discuss the realm of possibilities for the humanities in the field of global public health, they discovered that several organizations were already working on initiatives in this area, and that many of these models could benefit from communication with others pursuing similar work. With these trends in mind, the group will undertake planning for a program that will leverage the CHCI network in the development of models for collaborative research between humanities, social sciences, and medical school faculties, along with professionals outside the academic arena. Some questions to be addressed by the group in their planning work will include: how can our research inform curriculum, and vice versa?; what are the models for collaboration between humanities departments and medical centers?; how can the CHCI membership work together to increase the international scope of our individual medical humanities initiatives?; and how can humanities research work most beneficially with governmental and corporate medical institutions?

Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging

Co-convened by Leerom Medovoi (Portland Center for Public Humanities, Portland State University), Rosi Braidotti (Centre for the Humanities, Utrecht University), Raef Zreik (Minerva Center for the Humanities, Tel Aviv University), Liu Xiogan (Research Centre for Chinese Philosophy and Culture, Chinese University of Hong Kong).

This distinctly international – hailing from four world regions – and strongly interdisciplinary group will seek to jointly explore the shifting relationships between religion, secularism, and political belonging in a global context. Starting with topical vehicles such as the civilizational clashes in the post-9/11 United States, Islam in the European Union, and the place of Confucianism and Buddhism in the wake of Chinese economic expansion, the group will seek to gather CHCI member for discussions of five key topics: immigration; fundamentalism; secularism; religious language in politics; and gender and sexuality. Through modeling mechanisms for scholarly exchange and dissemination, local/global events, and digitally mediated dialogues, the group will build the basis for a multi-faceted, scale-able digital platform for research on issues in secularism, religion, and politics.