Interdisciplinary Collaborative Workshop Award

The Interdisciplinary Collaborative Workshop (ICW) program is intended to spur 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.

ICWs are meant to convene scholars from within the college and beyond, and as such, proposed forms of workshops may include (but are not limited to) reading groups, seminars, symposia, conferences, or virtual centers.

The program originated in the college Roadmap process, an ongoing consultative process 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.

Full Grant Awards Fall 2017

Migration and Migrants in Terrifying Times

We live in uncertain and, especially in the past few months, terrifying times. Assumptions, myths, and misinformation about migration and migrants are routinely and increasingly manifested in acrimonious political debates, news stories, sound bites, and our daily conversations and interactions with one another in the very communities in which we live and work.

At the same time, migration was, is, and will continue to be, an essential and vibrant part of our lived experience as individuals, communities, Minnesotans, Americans, and global citizens.

We will explore this tension in an ICW characterized by the theme, “Migration and Migrants in Terrifying Times.” We envision four semester-long reading/discussion groups and symposia modeled on the Law School’s Human Rights Lab and covering four highly relevant and timely topics that will help to facilitate conversations and collaborations among scholars and other interested persons and parties in and outside of CLA and the University of Minnesota.

In doing so, we seek to create a space where people can collectively reflect on and proactively respond to current and future events and processes that have and will have an impact on migration and migrants in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and the rest of the country.

Team Members Affiliation
Jack DeWaard Department of Sociology
Erika Lee Department of History, Department of Asian American Studies, and Immigration History Research Center
Ryan Allen Humphrey School of Public Affairs & U of M Extension
Cawo Abdi Department of Sociology and Institute for Global Studies
Bruce Braun Department of Geography, Environment & Society
Fernando Burga Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Bianet Castellanos Department of American Studies
Linus Chan James H. Binger Center for New Americans (Law School)
Vichet Chhuon Curriculum and Instruction (College of Education and Human Development)
Giovanna Dell'Orto Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Marissa Hill-Dongre International Student and Scholar Services & U of M Immigration Response Team
Douglas Hartmann Department of Sociology
Jessica Hellmann Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (College of Biological Sciences) & Institute on the Environment
Karen Ho Department of Anthropology & Race, Indigeneity, Gender and Sexuality Studies


Memory, Trauma, and Human Rights at the Crossroads of Art and Science

This workshop brings together team members from the University, community, and research institutions abroad to better understand the impacts of traumatic memory upon individuals and societies and to critically engage the issues of how we come to terms with and heal from trauma, seek accountability for human rights abuses that led to severe trauma, and mitigate future traumatization.

Together we will explore the long-term effects of traumatic experiences as varied as war and dictatorship, terrorist attacks and state terrorism, genocide, captivity, and sexual abuse. We will explore how a more interdisciplinary understanding of memory and traumatization can illuminate the pathways between artistic production and healing. A full understanding of trauma and its implications in modern society needs to address its individual and social dimensions, and place 1) therapeutic and artistic work, 2) critical cultural analysis and scientific modelling/experimentation, and 3) sociological as well as historical study and medical practice in dialogue.

Our project brings together, for the first time at the University, recognized leaders in all these fields in a sustained manner in a project that will lead to vigorous intellectual exchange and important peer-reviewed publications, curricular development that foments co-teaching across departments, community outreach, and internationalization of the University.

Team Members Affiliation
Ofelia Ferrán Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Brian Engdahl Neuroscience (Medical School) and Minneapolis VA Health Care System
Alejandro Baer Department of Sociology
Ana Forcinito Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies and Institute for Global Studies
Janet Dubinsky Neuroscience (Medical School)
Jan Estep Department of Art
Francisco Ferrándiz Politics of Memory, Memories of Violence at the Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain
Ana Paula Ferreira Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies 
Rosa García-Peltoniemi  Center for Torture
Patrick McNamara Department of History
Leslie Morris Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch
EmmaLee Pallai Community University Health Care Center
Francesc Torres Artist 
Bill Viestenz Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies
Elizabeth Wieling Family Social Science (College of Education and Human Development)
Gary Christenson Psychiatry (Medical School) and Boynton Health Service
Stephen Engel Department of Psychology
Mary Jo Maynes Department of History
Patricia Shannon School of Social Work (College of Education and Human Development)


Mini Grant Awards Fall 2017

Effects of Parental Incarceration on Family and Child Wellbeing: Informing Best Practices Through an Investigation of Caregiver Experiences

Incarceration rates in the United States have reached unprecedented proportions. Over two million people are incarcerated in prison, jail, on probation, or on parole. This is nearly a 500% increase over the last forty years (i.e., 1976-2016).

Over one million inmates are parents of children under 18 years of age. In other words, 1-in-28 minors in the United States have a caregiver in jail or prison. The effects of parental incarceration are devastating and vary by developmental stage. Infants may not form an attachment bond with their parent, and as a result, develop behavioral problems. Disruption of the parent-child relationship is associated with an inability to form or maintain interpersonal relationships and cognitive impairment (i.e., attention, memory, logic and reasoning, auditory processing) in young children. Internalizing (i.e., anxiety, depression) and externalizing (i.e., conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder) problems lead to poor academic achievement in school-age children. Parental incarceration also increases the likelihood of being arrested as an adult.

The purpose of this proposed study is to better understand the experiences of families with an incarcerated caregiver, and in doing so, suggest future directions for research and policy.

Team Members Affiliation(s)
Joshua Page Department of Sociology
Damir S. Utržan Pediatrics (Medical School)
Caitlin Curry Department of Sociology
Julie Matonich Children of Incarcerated Caregivers
Barbara Frey Human Rights Program (Law School)
Perry Moriearty Child Advocacy and Juvenile Justice Clinic (Law School)


Blackness and Disability Studies: Interrogating Anti-Black Racism and Disablement

This collaborative reading group and symposium explores new directions in Black disability justice. Beginning as a reading group in early 2018, our dialog will culminate in a symposium in April 2018, inviting national disability scholars and activists to converse about Black disability activism, resistance, and power.

According to the Ruderman Foundation, over half of people killed by police have a disability. Disabled people of color are seen as doubly “unruly,” threatening, and recent examples of disabled Black people being shot for not following police instructions include Charleena Lyles, shot by police in Seattle in 2017; Keith Lamont Scott, shot in Charlotte, Virginia, in 2016; Mario Woods, shot in San Francisco, California in 2015, and many, many more. Black disabled activists have responded to this crisis in policing with a call to acknowledge the role of ableism in state violence. “Blackness and Disability Studies” gathers activists and scholars working on responses to state violence against Black disabled people to converse with Critical Disability Studies Collaborative members and interested stakeholders across the University.

Team Members Affiliation(s)
Aren Aizura Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Jigna Desai Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Jennifer Pierce Department of American Studies
Patrick McNamera Department of History
Jay Wilson  Disability Resource Center
Angela Carter Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Nancy Herther Disability Studies
Haley Kimmet Disability Resource Center
David Perry CLA Advising


Narrative/Medicine: Personal Narrative Analysis across the Liberal Arts and Medical Practice

A two-day Narrative/Medicine Workshop in August, 2018. This workshop will be the culmination of the first year of our IAS-funded research collaborative that explores the emerging field of narrative medicine, with a focus on illness narratives in particular. The summer workshop will involve local, national, and international participants who all work with personal narrative analysis from the various perspectives represented in our group – from history, the social sciences, literature, law, narrative medicine, and psychoanalysis.

Team Members Affiliations
Mary Jo Maynes Department of History
Leslie Morris Department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch
Susanna Blumenthal Law and History (Law School)
Alejandro Baer Department of Sociology
Steven Borowsky Park Nicollet
Kyle Cedermark Prairie Care
Shelley Cross Mayo Clinic 
John Davidson Mayo Clinic
Andrew Elfenbein Department of English
Jan Estep Department of Art
Ofelia Ferrán Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies
Shirley Garner Department of English
Jennifer Gunn History of Medicine (College of Science and Engineering)
David Homans Park Nicollet
Rebecca Krinke Landscape Architecture (College of Design)
Richard D. Lentz Park Nicollet and Psychiatry (Medical School)
Gloria Burgess Levin Minnesota Psychoanalytic Institute
Scott McRae Park Nicollet
Krista Nelson Family Circle Counseling
EmmaLee Pallai Community-University Health Care Center
Jennifer Pierce Department of American Studies
Laurence Savett Medical School
Svetlana Simovic Psychiatry (Medical School) and Minnesota Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
Madelon Sprengnether Department of English
Karen-Sue Taussig Department of Anthropology
Dominique Tobbell History of Medicine (College of Science and Engineering)
Barbara Welke History and Law (Law School)

ICW Mini Grants - Spring 2017

Exploring the Future of Embodied Technologies

Recent development in computing has moved devices increasingly closer to our bodies; as a result, significant work with wearables and embodied technology is well underway across UMN. Funding of this mini-grant will provide for a foundational step in connecting and leveraging scholarship and artistic practice across the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Design, Education and Human Development, and Science and Engineering as a means to explore the future of embodied technologies. As interdisciplinary scholars, and together with graduate and undergraduate student scholars, we will extend existing theory and/or create new frameworks, and through emergent use cases, investigate what it means to technologize ourselves through immersive and embodied devices.

Components of the proposed Interdisciplinary Collaborative Workshop will include support for bringing scholars together to experience and collaborate within multiple studio spaces; development of an ICW event to showcase those who are exploring the intersections and juxtapositions of embodied technologies: and support for research groups to complete grant proposals for further funding. In short, the primary goal of this mini-grant is to spur development of this signature interdisciplinary area of study at the University of Minnesota.

Team Members Affiliation
Ann Hill Duin Department of Writing Studies
Diane Willow Department of Art, Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Lucy Dunne Department of Design, Housing & Apparel (CEHD), Wearable Reseach Collaboratory
Brad Holschuh Department of Design, Housing & Apparel (CEHD), Wearable Reseach Collaboratory
Aaron Doering Curriculum and Instruction (CEHD) and Learning Technologies Media Lab
Maki Asaka Department of Asian Languages & Literatures
Juliana Abel Department of Mechanical Engineering (College of Science and Engineering)

Sonance: Musical Performance in/of/as Cultural Research

Music scholars are increasingly adding composition and performance to their methodological toolkit. Faculty distributed across University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts have taken a lead in that movement, exploring musical questions through participant observation, ethnography, experimentation, action research, and applied work. Each of the scholars involved in this project use musical improvisation, composition, and performance in their research and we have been asking interrelated questions about performativity, sound, and culture. Now we seek to exchange that knowledge via a monthly symposium, performed near campus, gain new insights into performance-based research via that exchange, and use our critical mass at the University of Minnesota to lead the national conversation around engaged musical research.

Team Members Affiliation(s)
Mark Pedelty Department of Communication Studies
Scott Currie School of Music
Tim Gustafson Department of Writing Studies
Sumanth Gopinath School of Music
Matthew Sumera Department of American Studies and Office of Student Affairs
Additional faculty in the School of Music and Department of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature  

City as Commons: Municipalism in America

The Municipalism Research Group requests funding for an interdisciplinary collaborative workshop to occur during AY 2017-2018 on the topic of the “City as Commons: Municipalism in America”. Municipalism is a form of political organization that has recently gained popularity across Europe, based on assemblies of neighborhoods, practicing direct democracy, which are organized into a system of municipalities, as an alternative to the centralized state. A primary goal of the workshop will be to develop collaboration among academics, activists, and artists interested in urban governance and social reproduction in the Twin Cities and to put them in conversation with colleagues across North America, Europe, and South America who are studying, or experimenting with, Municipalist forms of governance. We envision a series of monthly meetings culminating in a conference at Minnesota in June 2018, an edited book on the topic, and further identification of external funding sources to support additional activities by the collaborative.

Team Members Affiliation
Bruce Braun Department of Geography, Environment & Society
Daniela Sandler Department of Architecture (College of Design)
Jenny Schmid Department of Art
Michael Gallope Department of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature
George Henderson Department of Geography, Environment & Society
John Kim Macalester College
Sam Gould Beyond Repair & Red76
Diane Mullin Weisman Art Museum
Nisa Mackie Walker Art Center
Ross Elfline Carleton College
Fernando Canteli De Castro Parsons School of Design Strategies & Barcelona en Comu
Alan Moore CoLab & ABC No Rio
Charmaine Chua Oberlin College
Seth Kim-Cohen School of the Art Institute Chicago
Marc Allen Herbst Journal of Aesthetics and Protest
Ed Marszewski Lumpen Magazine and Lumpen Radio Chicago
Tana Hargest Black Market
Graduate students in the Departments of Geography, Environment & Society; Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature; Political Science, Sociology; Art; and Architecture