Meeting the Grand Challenges
University of Minnesota Provost Karen Hanson recently announced 29 Grand Challenges Research grants to advance the research goals of Driving Tomorrow, the TC Campus Strategic Plan. The Driving Tomorrow research investments total $3.6 million, including $1.48 million for 21 exploratory research grants and $2.15 million for 8 collaborations shaped by interdisciplinary work groups convened to build on earlier GC Research "Call for Ideas" process.
The 29 funded Driving Tomorrow research collaborations address the University's five interrelated Grand Challenges areas of special focus, with one integrative initiative spanning multiple areas. The areas of focus are wide-ranging—e.g., high-tech strategies to mitigate water pollution, understanding the human stories behind the global immigration crisis, and precision medicine to fight cancer. The investments are one milestone in advancing Strategic Plan recommendations to seed and support interdisciplinary research addressing Grand Challenges through a bottom-up, faculty-driven process.
Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies Associate Professor Luis Ramos-Garica along with Co-PI Associate Professor David Feinberg (Art) has won a $55k GC Exploratory Research Grant including a $15k international enhancement award for "Social justice through collaborative artistic expression: The state of Iberoamerican Studies Series: human rights across the disciplines and Voice to Vision project".
Team members include: Beth Andrews (Associate Director of Voice to Vision), Patricia Ariza (co-founder & Director of el Teatro La Candelaria), Nelsy Echavez-Solano (Professor of Hispanic Studies, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University), Carlos Satizabal (Theater Director and Associate Professor, National University of Colombia).
Providing a forum for interdiscursive theoretical discussions and dialogue, The State of Iberoamerican Studies Series: Human Rights Across the Disciplines, founded in 1995 at the University of Minnesota Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, supports a number of critical symposia that bring together not only the monologues of traditional scholarly disciplines, but also the powerful, struggling and often unarticulated voices, postures and assumptions of contemporary non-canonical cultural discourses.