Interdisciplinary Collaborative Workshop Award

The Interdisciplinary Collaborative Workshop (ICW) program spurs new collaborations among scholars in CLA and beyond. It provides support to bring together faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students from a variety of fields to intensively study a topic. Proposed forms of workshops may include (but are not limited to) reading groups, research projects, seminars, symposia, conferences, or virtual centers.

The program originated in the college Roadmap process, an ongoing consultative process that is driven by students, staff, and faculty and our various publics. ICWs are funded by the Joan Aldous Innovation Fund, in support of the College's Roadmap goal to generate new levels of innovative research through focused investment strategies.

Now in its fourth year, the ICW program has supported 19 workshops. Workshop leadership teams have collectively brought together 216 faculty and staff members from CLA, 90 from other units at the University of Minnesota, and hundreds of scholars and professionals from outside the University. These workshops in turn actively engage hundreds of participants—students, community members, artists, policymakers—and host events drawing many more.

The following workshops are in their award periods but many of the previous workshops are still active and are described further below.

Fall 2023 Awards

Anticipated Award Term: 2024-24

Exploring the Assumptions of Cultural History

The lenses of Western modernity – capitalism, Christianity, democracy, etc. – surreptitiously cause us to study premodern cultures in ways that dismiss their own claims about their world in favor of our own. The product of this problem is a colonialist narrative that presents premodern cultures as flawed or inconsistent (because they fail to meet modern criteria) and modern (usually Western) cultures as the resolution of these inconsistencies. This series will bring together scholars of premodern cultures whose research addresses this problem while offering new, more socially just ways forward for the study of Cultural History.

  • Stephen Ahearne-Kroll (PI), Classical & Near Eastern Religions & Cultures
  • Workshop Team:
    • Juliette Cherbuliez, Dept. of French & Italian, Director of Center for Premodern Studies
    • Patricia Ahearne-Kroll, Classical & Near Eastern Religions & Cultures
    • Katharine Gerbner, History, Center for Premodern Studies
    • Noah Segal, Classical & Near Eastern Religions & Cultures
    • Michelle Hamilton, Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese, Director of Medieval Studies
  • Workshop Participants
    • Ranjani Atur, Classical & Near Eastern Religions & Cultures
    • Lydia Garver, Associate Director of Center for Premodern Studies
    • Kristi Lee, Classical & Near Eastern Religions & Cultures


Eighty Years of the Minnesota Poll: Past, Present, and Future of Public Opinion Research

Since 1944, the Minnesota Poll has catalogued the opinions and perspectives of the people of this state. This series of symposia and an accompanying interactive website will put researchers and practitioners from multiple fields in dialogue with one another in an exploration of the 80-year history of this unique institution, the stories it has told about the state’s increasingly diverse and divided residents, as well as the future of opinion research. Topics include the role of the news media in covering public opinion, changing research methodologies, and using new tools and technologies to track public sentiments.

  • Benjamin Toff (PI), Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Carolina Velloso, President’s Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Sid Bedingfield, Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Elisia L. Cohen, Director of Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Galin Jones, Statistics
  • Cody Hennesy, Computational Research Librarian
  • Howard Lavine, Political Science / Political Psychology
  • Andrew Karch, Political Science


Fall 2022 Awards

Anticipated Award Term: 2023-25

The Collaborative Teaching Project will bring together University of Minnesota scholars and Teacher Leaders from secondary schools in greater Minnesota to explore the application of critical pedagogies. This project will advance
opportunities for scholarship and teaching and support community engagement between secondary schools in greater Minnesota and the University of Minnesota through collaborative inquiry. University of Minnesota scholars will have the opportunity to develop working concepts from their own practice while engaging in practices of authentic collaboration with scholars from the Minnesota Writing Project and secondary teachers. 

  • Lee Fisher, Center for Writing
  • Jasmine Kar Tang, Center for Writing
  • Nick Kleese, Writing Studies
  • Amanda Steepleton, Liberal Arts Engagement Hub

Since 2016, the Summer Institute on Global Indigeneity at the University of Washington-Seattle has brought together PhD students and faculty from universities that offer comparative Native studies for a week of workshops and engaged activities on the intellectual and institutional challenges of Global Indigenous studies, providing epistemological and professional strategies for successfully completing and disseminating research projects not always legible to conventional academic disciplines. Hosting the SIGI 23 will introduce the model to UMN and Big 10 faculty, and Indigenous community partners, allowing UMN to customize and host a Native Great Lakes/Mississippi region version in 2024.

Vicente M. Diaz, Department of American Indian Studies


Spring 2022 Awards

Anticipated Award Term: 2022-23

The Minnesota Center for Canon Expansion and Change (CCEC) was founded in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota in 2021 with the goal of effecting meaningful change in the way that philosophy is done, understood, organized, and – especially – taught. In particular, CCEC focuses on supporting instructors who want to teach neglected figures or a new canon of early modern philosophy but otherwise lack the resources to do so. CCEC aims to teach instructors how to create a safe and vibrant learning environment that speaks to a multitude of perspectives and allows students to learn about philosophers with voices like their own. This will put us in a position to change the face of philosophy, which remains alarmingly homogeneous.

Team Members

  • Jessica Gordon-Roth, Department of Philosophy
  • Dwight K. Lewis, Jr, Department of Philosophy
  • Michael Bennett McNulty, Department of Philosophy

The proposed Ethnic Studies Initiative seeks to answer the following question: How can educators and researchers collaborate to support and expand Ethnic Studies education and student-centered pedagogy in Minnesota? The Ethnic Studies Initiative proposes a new collaborative and a reciprocal model for addressing these urgent concerns. Housed in RIDGS (the Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender & Sexuality Studies), the Ethnic Studies Initiative will bring Ethnic Studies scholars into conversation with teachers and curriculum directors from Minnesota’s K-12 public schools in order to create a new, adaptive set of curricular resources for a transformative Ethnic Studies education.

Team Members

  • Keith Mayes, RIDGS Director, Department of African American & African Studies
  • Jacob Oertel, RIDGS Program Coordinator
  • Dr. Katharine Gerbner, Department of History
  • Dr. Jimmy Patiño, Department  of Chicano/Latino Studies
  • Molly Siebert, PhD Candidate in Social Studies Education
  • Brandy Siddiqui, District Program Facilitator for Social Studies and Ethnic Studies for Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Muoakong Vue, Hmong-American educator and the Ethnic Studies Program Manager in St. Paul Public Schools

This project addresses this gap through an in-person workshop targeting junior scholars and a virtual learning experience targeting a broad audience. Our goal is to develop a community of quantitative climate change-population scholars who will apply their scholarship to improve people’s lives. Their interdisciplinary scientific advancements will provide knowledge, data, and learning opportunities to reduce vulnerability to climate change events in all their forms.

Team Members

  • Kathryn Grace, Geography Environment and Society, Associate Director Minnesota Population Center
  • Audrey Dorelien, Humphrey School of Public Policy/Minnesota Population Center
  • Elizabeth Heger Boyle, Department of Sociology, IPUMS DHS and IPUMS MICS
  • Devon Kristiansen, IPUMS PMA
  • Matt Gunther, IPUMS PMA
  • Miriam King, IPUMS DHS
  • Sula Sarkar, IPUMS International and IPUMS Global Health