Arts and Humanities Seed Fund Recipients Announced

Seven University of Arkansas faculty members in four departments have received Arts and Humanities Seed Funding from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation. This office provides $25,000 to fund research, scholarly, and creative activity in the arts and humanities annually.

Funded projects are intended to enrich the research and professional growth of the faculty member and the university, and result in new opportunities for research and other creative endeavors. The following recipients were selected out of 26 proposals. 

Stephen Caldwell, assistant professor of music, Building Bridges: Kenya. Caldwell traveled to Kenya in July as a 2018 American Choral Directors Association International Conducting Exchange Fellow. He worked with choirs, conducted at festivals, judged the East African Music Festival and presented a guest lecture at Mt. Kenya University. He also collected folk songs, instruments and arrangements of Kenyan music to bring back to the U of A for performance. The connections he made will lead to concerts, cultural exchanges and publications of authentic Kenyan folk music.

Lisa Corrigan, associate professor of communication, The Cicero Project. The Cicero Project's long-term goal is to secure a large National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Grant to fund a variety of projects designed to highlight the rhetorical and political significance of public leaders with works housed in the Special Collections in Mullins Library, the Pryor Center and eventually other collections from across the American South. This archival work will focus on such influential figures as Senator William Fulbright, Governor Orval Faubus, Senator Hattie Caraway, civil rights activist Daisy Bates and many others. The project aims to build partnerships with other special collections affiliated with libraries across the state and region.

Angela LaPorte, professor of art education, Service-Learning Through Inclusion. LaPorte collaborated with education staff from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the director of Life Styles visual art program, and an art teacher at a local school to frame a service learning course around the museum's exhibition, "The Garden." Participants included students in the U of A Service Learning Course, Life Styles clients, and seventh through ninth-grade art students from a local school.

Michael Maizels, assistant professor of art history, Soldier the Opera. This project is focused on a concept album and film installation. Soldier explores the operatic dimensions of contemporary rap music, drawing on the many parallels that run through the genres of opera and rap: cycles of betrayal, violence and revenge, wounded honor and youthful boasting, decadent luxury and spiritual emptiness.

Chal Ragsdale, University Professor of music, Percy Grainger: Australian Genius of the American Wind Band. Percy Grainger is respected among wind band directors as the first important composer to write a body of work for the wind band. Ragsdale is interested in Grainger's ground-breaking use of percussion and his innovative work in orchestration, as well as his philosophy toward music's place in society and in the lives of people. Ragsdale will travel to the Grainger Museum at the University of Melbourne to detail the composer's pioneering work in the development of what we now can identify as the American Wind Band.

Frank Scheide, professor of communication, Preserve and Catalog The Dave and Jimmie Lou Whitekiller Indigenous American Video Collection. This collection consists of one-of-a-kind videotapes of historic gatherings, council meetings and interviews relating to indigenous American culture, primarily Cherokee, videotaped in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee from 1984 to the present. The collection will be made available to scholars through the special archives that the U of A Department of Communication is developing to house these rare and historically significant recordings.

Lora Walsh, assistant professor of English, An Unrecognized Middle English Translation of Matthew's Gospel. This project will discover how one book of the New Testament was translated from first-century Greek, through medieval Latin, into a 14th century northern dialect of Middle English. This translation of Matthew's gospel is dispersed throughout two medieval manuscripts currently categorized as "commentaries" or "homilies." After extracting the translation itself, this project will identify the translation policies and institutional contexts of the work, as well as determine whether it was likely to have been covert and controversial or collaborative and clerically sanctioned.




Camilla Shumaker, director of science and research communications
University Relations


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