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Imagining America announces 2009 grant recipients
Imagining America announces 2009 grant recipientsApril 29, 2009Jemeli Tanuijetanui@syr.edu
Several Syracuse University professors will receive grants from Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life to help their creation of new course work or expansion of existing classes that emphasize public scholarship and practice, incorporate the arts, humanities or design, and serve a democratic purpose.
Imagining America (IA), based at SU, is a national consortium of more than 80 colleges and universities committed to public scholarship in the arts, humanities and design. The annual IA grants are awarded to SU courses that exemplify the above criteria and demonstrate the likelihood of being sustainable. The money can be used toward supporting community members facilitating components of the course; administration and planning expenses incurred by part-time employees and/or contractors; modest honoraria for guest lecturers; special and necessary course materials; and transportation.
The 2009 Imagining America grant recipients and their respective courses are:
- John Burdick, professor of anthropology in the Maxwell School, and Steve Parks, associate professor of writing in The College of Arts and Sciences, for “Strategizing with Syracuse: Engaging Community Through Collaborative Action Research”: The course will train five teams of undergraduate researchers in collaborative action research and place them in projects with the following community-based partners: the Detainment Task Force, the Syracuse Alliance for a New Economy, the Center for New Americans and the Onondaga Nation. The fifth team will work with the Service Workers’ International Union to improve relations with SU undergraduate students.
- Marjorie DeVault, professor of sociology in The College of Arts and Sciences, and Michael Schwartz, assistant professor in the College of Law, for “Social Action Research: Campaign for Access” (DeVault) and “Disability Rights Clinic” (Schwartz): Students in the course will participate in research and outreach activities concerned with the legal, social and organizational foundations of access to health care for the deaf community.
- Marilyn Plavocos Arnone, associate professor in the School of Information Studies, for “Digital iCreation in the Context of Community”: Students will strive to meet information needs of underfunded Syracuse-based community organizations by addressing “information gaps” and producing digital media designed to resolve these gaps. Final products will be mounted on Digital iCreation for Community, a website that will provide participating organizations with a conduit for their newly developed information products and support materials. The site will become a showcase for the students and the community.
- Brian Lonsway, associate professor in the School of Architecture; Matthew Potteiger, a professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Kathleen Brandt, an environmental artist; and Jonnell Allen, a community geographer, for “Syracuse Eats: Designing the Urban Food System”: This course will engage the local community in interdisciplinary design thinking aimed at a more sustainable and democratic food landscape in Syracuse. The course seeks to resolve the serious problems of lack of access to healthy, affordable food choices in many neighborhoods, the loss of regional food infrastructure and the environmental consequences of an increasingly global system of food production and distribution.
- Anda French, assistant professor in the School of Architecture, for “Spatial ConTXTs: Mobile Technologies as a New Medium for Spatial and Art Practices”: The course will address the cultural and spatial potential of ubiquitous portable technologies. Students will explore the use of text messaging in downtown Syracuse, examining historical and contemporary shifts in social organizations and cultural narratives, and then develop projects in multidisciplinary groups, based on the 160-character limit of the text message, through which they might design, map and produce different events (stories, informational campaigns, atmospheric installations) to produce public engagement in the community.
- Marion Wilson, director of community initiatives in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), for “Social Sculpture: 601 Tully”: This is a collaborative course involving the Partnership for Better Education and fifth-year architecture student Zachary Seibold. The course will be cross-listed in VPA and Architecture. Students will learn how to practice community-based, collaborative and interdisciplinary design-build work through engagement in the design and construction of a sustainable storefront and art/literacy community center on Syracuse’s Near Westside. Students and faculty of Fowler High School Business Academy will serve as clients, design partners, building collaborators and eventual co-managers of the small business to be housed in the storefront. Participation in the project may serve as college or high school credit.