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Forum Grant Recipients

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Forum Grant Recipients 2016-2017 and 2015-2016

Nadia Villafuerte and Julie Ward bilingual reading - September 2016

Details on the "Outcasts and Outlands" Forum Grant Recipients 2016-2017

The Forum Fellows writing on our center's 2016-2017 theme "Outcasts and Outlands" were John Harris, Aparna Nair, Chie Noyori-Corbett and David Moxley, Andrew Porwancher, and Julie Ann Ward -- from Regional & City Planning, History of Science, Social Work, Classics & Letters, and Modern Languages, Literatures, & Linguistics, respectively.

John Harris

Assistant Professor of Regional & City Planning

John Harris OU

Forum Fellow Dr. John Harris, Assistant Professor of Regional & City Planning, is working on a project entitled "Northeast Oklahoma City Photovoice Project: Race, Gender, and Security at the Margins of our Urban Fabric." Women of color from Northeast Oklahoma City will use photography to critically examine spaces or places in their neighborhoods that impact the community. The project looks to explore the intersection of longstanding patterns of racial and gender oppression with spatial patterns of urban neglect and decay, particularly where these patterns impact women’s safety and their everyday enjoyment of their neighborhoods. The project will culminate with a presentation by the women of their images and stories to local government officials, policy makers, and nonprofit groups.

Aparna Nair

Assistant Professor of the History of Science

Aparna Nair OU

In her project "Invalid Bodies: Histories of Disability in South Asia, 1850-1950," Forum Fellow Dr. Aparna Nair, Assistant Professor of the History of Science, will compile and create a set of sources including photographs and oral histories that illuminate the historical shifts in the lived experience of disability in South Asia. With the emphasis on the non-normative body and mind as marking the social outcast, her project aims to provide a platform for those whose disabilities have rendered them silent and invisible in their own families, communities and worlds and who are therefore comparably silenced and intangible in the archive. Dr. Nair will flesh out the meanings ascribed to disability in South Asia in the twentieth century in a manner that is true to the message of disability studies: ‘Nothing about us without us.’

Chie Noyori-Corbett and David Moxley

Assistant Professor of Social Work; Professor of Social Work

Chie Noyori-Corbett OU
David Moxley OU


Forum Fellows Dr. Chie Noyori-Corbett (Assistant Professor of Social Work) and Dr. David Moxley (Professor of Social Work) are collaborators on the project “From the Margins to the Mainstream: Myanmar Women’s Use of Art and Narrative to Portray Their Hopes for Successful Resettlement in a Southern American City.” The purpose of the Myanmar Women’s Research Project in Dallas,Texas, is to facilitate the resettlement of women refugees from Burma through cultural preservation and accommodation within Dallas-Fort Worth. This project will use the arts and narrative so participants can make explicit their images of successful resettlement they now hold at tacit levels. Given the folkways, traditions, and heritage of Myanmar people, the arts and narrative are useful methods for enabling refugees from Burma to communicate what they seek for themselves to achieve success as Myanmar Americans.

Andrew Porwancher

Assistant Professor of Classics & Letters / Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage

Andrew Porwancher OU

Forum Fellow Dr. Andrew Porwancher, Assistant Professor of Classics & Letters / Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage, is currently under contract with Harvard University Press for his book project, "The Jewish Founder: Alexander Hamilton's Hidden Life." Alexander Hamilton's unlikely journey from Caribbean obscurity to American founder captivates our modern imagination. Yet Hamilton's connections to the people, language, and faith of Judaism remain unexplored. This book project investigates Hamilton's Jewish ancestry and his singular role in championing American Jewry amid the forces of anti-Semitism.

Julie Ann Ward

Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Julie Ann Ward OU

Dr. Julie Ann Ward, Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, has been awarded a Forum Grant for her project, "The Forgotten Frontier: Contemporary Literary Representations of Mexico’s Southern Border.” Dr. Julie Ann Ward is researching migrants and South-South border policing along Mexico’s southernmost border with Guatemala and Belize, especially how these aspects are portrayed in contemporary Mexican author Nadia Villafuerte’s short stories. Through Villafuerte’s depiction of migrant bodies in this border zone, Dr. Ward will analyze this author's stories as a challenge to North-South, US-Mexico border dichotomies. A highlight of the year will be the hosting of author Nadia Villafuerte on the OU campus, where she will give a talk and reading of her work.

Carnegie Building, North Oval, OU - October 2015

Details on the "Humanities & the Environment" Forum Grant Recipients 2015-2016

The Forum Fellows on the environmental humanities were selected from among the OU faculty by the members of the Forum's Faculty Advisory Committee. The recipients were Robert Bailey and Todd Stewart, Jennifer Saltzstein, Laurel Smith, Peter Soppelsa, and Zev Trachtenberg -- who are in three of OU's colleges - the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Jennifer Saltzstein

Jennifer Saltzstein

Forum Fellow Dr. Jennifer Saltzstein, Associate Professor of Music, was also recently awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship 2016-2017 for her book project, Medieval Learning and Vernacular Music: The Songs of the Cleric Trouvères.  Her book project is one of the very first to boldly bring together ecocriticism with medieval musicology.

Jennifer Saltzstein video:

Zev Trachtenberg

Zev Trachtenberg

Dr. Zev Trachtenberg, Associate Professor of Philosophy, is working on a project in environmental political theory, which focuses on the ideal of good habitation in the era of the Anthropocene, i.e., how a community can aim to live well in its physical surroundings and act accordingly through its political institutions. He also continues his interdisciplinary faculty initiative on the Anthropocene (Inhabiting the Anthropocene).

Zev Trachtenberg video:

Laurel Smith

Laurel Smith

Dr. Laurel Smith (Associate Professor of Geography & Environmental Sustainability) worked on a project which facilitates the participation of an indigenous media maker from South America at OU’s Native Crossroads Film Festival and Symposium (April 7-9, 2016). The festival screened his film Owners of the Water: Collaboration and Conflict over Rivers and also invited a cultural anthropologist at the University of Iowa, a co-producer of the film. The filmmakers contributed to a roundtable discussion to visualize cross-cultural strategies that help heal troubled waters and create more resilient communities and ecosystems.

Laurel Smith video:

Peter Soppelsa

Peter Soppelsa

Dr. Peter Soppelsa (Assistant Professor of the History of Science) has been documenting a major shift in the environmental history of the City of Lights. This shift reveals how human relationships with technology and nature were reconfigured during the modernization of Parisian infrastructure: "Nature, Technology, and Water Access in Paris, 1870-1914." 

Pete Soppelsa video:

Robert Bailey and Todd Stewart

Robert Bailey
Todd Stewart

Art and Art History faculty Robert Bailey and Todd Stewart received a Forum Grant for their collaborative book and exhibit project on the Mojave Desert and Great Basin region: "Erratic Fieldwork: Doing Art and Art History in the Anthropocene." Their art exhibit at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in April and May 2016 was highlighted by a panel discussion and tour of the exhibit.

Robert Bailey and Todd Stewart video: