U of A's Humanities Center Announces 2020 Research and Workshop Grant Recipients

Silas Hunt
Geleve Grice

Silas Hunt

The University of Arkansas Humanities Center is pleased to announce the selection of the recipients for its fall funding competitions, including the Confronting the Past/Interrogating our Present Research Grants and the Diversifying Research and Curriculum workshops.

The center's selection committee was impressed with the quality and variety of proposals, and decided that the following selected projects best fit the call to fundi research "to move from words to action in the effort to reveal and dismantle systemic racism at the University of Arkansas" and workshops to help diversify humanities research techniques and curricula.

Faculty Research Grant Recipients

The University of Arkansas Humanities Center's 2020 Faculty Research Grant recipients include:

Professors T. Jake Dionne and Joe Hatfield of the Department of Communication, who will use webscraping, rhetorical analysis, and interviews for their project, "#BlackatUARK: Public Memories of Anti-Black Racism on Campus." This research will contextualize the Twitter moment of #BlackatUARK against the background of students, faculty, and staff confronting anti-Black racism on college campuses throughout the United States. They anticipate sharing their research product at a national conference and with the University of Arkansas System Task Force on Racial Equality. They will also pursue a scholarly publication and a piece for the popular press. 

Professor Brittany N. Hearne from the Department of Sociology and Criminology, and affiliate faculty in the African and African American Studies Program, will use surveys and interviews with Black people in the Northwest Arkansas area and at the University of Arkansas to investigate the impact of social distancing practices in the region on feelings of community and their effects for mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. Interviewees will be asked to share their thoughts about how race, gender, and socioeconomic class shaped their lives during the pandemic. Along with her co-investigator, professor Brandon Jackson, she will produce a manuscript for publication in a scholarly journal.

Professors Valandra and Caree Banton, joint appointments in the African and African American Studies Program and in the School of Social Work and Department of History, respectively, will pursue a project to encourage humanities research on race in Washington County and at the University of Arkansas by regional secondary school students. They are joined by English doctoral student Katie Powell. This grant, along with their work on the Washington County Community Remembrance Project, is an important effort fulfilling the land-grant mission of the university, engaging future students, and increasing the profile in the region for university-driven humanities research. 

Graduate Student Research Grant Recipients

The University of Arkansas Humanities Center's 2020 Graduate Student Research Grant recipients include:

Michael Anthony, a doctoral student in the Department of History, who will be using his grant to research the Catcher Race Riot of 1923 with materials from the University of Arkansas special collections and regional archives and in interviews with survivors and their descendants. His larger analysis will engage the racial clashes and extrajudicial killings that characterized the river valley and northwest Arkansas in the early twentieth century and continue to influence views on the region today. He will use this research to develop an article for an academic journal.

Whitney King, a master's student in the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, will pursue research to showcase the stories of historically underrepresented members of the University of Arkansas community who made significant contributions towards creating a more inclusive and diverse campus environment. Working with the David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History's Story Vault "Groundbreakers and Path Makers" project, King will conduct and record oral interviews that will be archived and made available for researchers and the public.

Undergraduate Research Grant Recipients

The University of Arkansas Humanities Center's 2020 Undergraduate Research Grant recipients include:

Erica Tempesta is completing a bachelor's degree in nursing in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing. Her project is to investigate how ethics education among nursing students, as taught at the University of Arkansas and in schools around the United States, can be used to fight racial disparities in health care provision. She will use this research to produce papers for conferences in medical humanities and nursing.

Daniel Webster is pursuing an honors degree in sociology along with majors in psychology and criminology. For his research project he intends to conduct in-depth interviews to find out how multiracial and biracial identities affect feelings of belonging among students at the University of Arkansas. Utilizing gender theorists' work on intersectional identities, he hopes to understand how race and gender shape how students view and interact with the college environment. He will pursue a publication with his advisor, professor Brittany N. Hearne.

Workshop Grant Recipients

The University of Arkansas Humanities Center's 2020 Workshop Grant recipients include:

The project "Advancing Intersectional Racial Justice at a Predominantly White Institution through Interdisciplinary Dialogues and the Formation of Learning Communities" is a series of several workshops being organized by professors Colleen Thurston of the School of Journalism and Strategic Media and Injeong Yoon-Ramierez of art education in the School of Art. Bringing together faculty from over a dozen departments, programs, and centers at the University of Arkansas, this series of workshops will deepen and strengthen the current conversations around campus on diversity, inclusion, and how to create long-term sustainable changes in curriculum, teaching, and research practices across and beyond humanities programs.

Professor John Walch of the Department of Theater will organize an interdisciplinary, multi-day workshop on "Hip-Hop Theater: History, Critique, Practice, and Performance." Elements of this workshop will appeal to faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students from over half a dozen programs across campus by virtually bringing in experts from off campus, including hip-hop theatre artists Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval, to discuss their craft's history and practice. A hip-hop performance featuring work generated during the workshop and performed by Department of Theater students and broadcast through the department's online platform, will cap the experience.

About the University of Arkansas Humanities Center: The University of Arkansas Humanities Center, in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, promotes cross-disciplinary research and inquiry in the humanities, sponsors programs that engage humanities scholars and the wider public in conversations about critical topics, and fosters a strong role for the humanities in an increasingly global society. To learn more about other research support from the UAHC, click on the funding link at the website.



Tricia Starks, director
Arkansas Humanities Center
479-575-7592, tstarks@uark.edu


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