2013-2014 Projects

In May 2013, five projects including two documentaries, a digital archive, a virtual venue and two innovative studies received Confluencenter Faculty Collaboration Grants. The competition for these grants is open to faculty from the colleges of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The funded projects for the 2013-2014 academic year were:

New Blueprint for Success: Micro-entrepreneurs and Cooperatives in Brazil

Dan Duncan (SBS), a filmmaker at the Southwest Center, and Marcela Vasquez (SBS), associate professor in the School of Anthropology, produced a series of television documentaries that investigated innovative entrepreneurial grassroots ventures in one of Brazil’s most marginal urban contexts—the favelas of Rio de Janeiro—and revealed a blueprint for entrepreneurial success.

Disciplinary Trading Zones: A Focus on Methodological Imports

Associate professor of sociology Erin Leahey (SBS) studied interdisciplinary research itself, examining three different methodological techniques to determine how research approaches are transferred across disciplines. This study furthered Confluencenter’s mission of collaboration by providing practical suggestions for supporting interdisciplinary work.

The Documented Border: An Open Access Digital Archive

Journalism faculty Celeste González de Bustamante (SBS) and Jeannine RellyLawrence Gipe (CFA) from the School of Art, and the borderlands curator at UA Special Collections in the library, Verónica Reyes-Escudero, joined forces to collect images and oral histories for a website about the U.S./Mexico border in order to advance understanding of the border and its peoples.

Satire News, Civil Discourse and the Political-media Complex

Currently, very little is known about viewers’ perceptions of satire news. Professor of sociology and research director at the National Institute for Civil Discourse, Robin Stryker (SBS), studied how programs such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report shape students’ understandings of and engagement with American democracy.

Crossing Boundaries Seminar Series

Linda Green (SBS), director of Latin American Studies, and Matias Bianchi (SBS), School of Government and Public Policy, used innovative technologies to create a virtual seminar series linking UA faculty and students with scholars and other leaders in Latin America. Seminar discussion topics included: Drug Policies in Latin America: From Repression to RegulationElections in Bolivia: What’s at Stake?Foreign Debt and Human RightsRegional Integration in the Americas - Challenges and PerspectivesSocial Movements in the Digital EraSocial-Environmental Conflicts in Latin America: Lessons from the Yasuni in Ecuador.

Focusing the Universe

School of Theatre, Film and Television faculty Peter Beudert and Michael Mulcahy (CFA) are making a documentary that explores the influence of one of the University of Arizona’s greatest treasures: the Steward Observatory. The original observatory was conceived and built by A. E. Douglass nearly 100 years ago. The funding came in 1916 when Lavinia Steward donated $60,000 to UA to build a telescope in her husband’s name, Mr. Henry Steward, in order to memorialize her late husband.The influence and presence of both the Observatory and Douglass are the bedrock of modern astronomy at the University, in Southern Arizona, around the world and even in space.