Six faculty members were awarded five grants averaging $25,000 each at the grand opening of Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry at the University of Arizona. Ranging from hip-hop culture to mortgage indebtedness, these innovative projects with partnerships across the campus reflect Confluencenter's mission to enliven academic education and invigorate life-long learning among its diverse constituents - from UA faculty and students to inquisitive Arizonans. These are the winners:
Interdisciplinary Communities of Engagement: The Group for Early Modern Studies
Professor and associate head of the department of English, Dr. Meg Lota Brown (SBS), was awarded a grant to support this consortium of community members and more than 125 faculty and students from 17 departments — including art, history, literature, music, science and theater — in five colleges, all of whom pursue research in the early modern period (roughly 1400-1800). They presented a series of six lectures in the 2012-2013 school year.
The Poetics and Politics of Hip-hop Cultures
Director of the School of International Languages, Literatures and Cultures (SILLC), Dr. Alain-Philippe Durand (COH), received funding for a symposium (Feb. 7-9, 2013), performances and a journal on the emergence and evolution of hip hop in the U.S. and France. His collaborators were: Alex Nava, an associate professor of classics; John Melillo, a visiting assistant professor in English; Tani Sanchez, an adjunct lecturer of Africana studies; and Praise Zenenga, an associate professor of Africana studies.
Culture of Mortgage-based Homeownership in Crisis
Assistant professor of sociology Dr. Jane Zavisca (SBS) and Marilyn Robinson (CAPLA), associate director of the Drachman Institute, examined the cultural equation of mortgage indebtedness and home ownership with three initiatives: a study of mortgagors in Tucson; a symposium for scholars, policymakers and community stakeholders on the meaning of mortgages and home ownership; and an external grant proposal to support a national research network to encourage interdisciplinary research on the topic of housing and the home.
The American Indian Interactive Film Gallery: An Interdisciplinary Visual Archive
Dr. Jennifer Jenkins (SBS), associate professor of English, was funded to launch an interactive website – AIFG.arizona.edu. It features a collection of more than 450 films by and about Native peoples of America, representing dozens of tribes from Anasazi to Zuni. Many of the films date back to the early days of film making and include government informational films, the renowned 1922 film Nanook of the North and a series of documentaries produced by television station KYUK in Bethel, AK spotlighting life among the Yup’ik of southwestern Alaska.
The Precariat: An Intellectual History and Digitally Enhanced Learning
Dr. Hai Ren (COH), assistant professor of East Asian studies, and Dr. Jonathan Sprinkle, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, studied the history of the emergent class, the precariat: people whose lives and finances are precariously impacted by economic shifts, social insecurity and globalization. Thorough the use of innovative technologies, Ren and Sprinkle developed an interactive mobile application to inform others about their findings.