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Neubauer Collegium Selects Faculty Research Projects for 2024–2025


Dan Peterman, Archive for 57 People (1998–Ongoing), on view as part of The Chicago Cli-Fi Library, Neubauer Collegium, Feb 22 – June 11, 2023. Installation photography by Robert Heishman.

News Summary

The Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society has selected eight new faculty-led research projects to launch July 1, 2024.

“These new faculty research projects bring together an extraordinary range of scholars from across the University and around the world,” said Tara Zahra, the Roman Family Director at the Neubauer Collegium. “They reflect the creativity and originality of our faculty, as they seek to new approaches to research that transcend disciplinary and institutional divides.”

Arts Labs
Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (Theater and Performance Studies), Theaster Gates (Visual Arts), David Levin (Germanic Studies; Cinema and Media Studies; Theater and Performance Studies), Tina Post (English; Creative Writing; Theater and Performance Studies), Srikanth “Chicu” Reddy (English; Creative Writing), Julia Rhoads (Theater and Performance Studies)

Six independent but linked initiatives will shape and support a culture of experimentation and critical analysis around arts research on campus. The labs will create space for individuals to develop creative projects while fostering dialogue among scholars and arts professionals about the opportunities and challenges of artistic research.

The Case of the Human: Co-Producing Plural Knowledge on the Body, the Social, and the Subject
David Meltzer (Medicine; Harris School of Public Policy), Seth M. Holmes (University of California, Berkeley; University of Barcelona; ICREA), E. Summerson Carr (Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice; Anthropology), Julie Orlemanski (English), Eugene Raikhel (Comparative Human Development), Brian Callender (Medicine), Michele Friedner (Comparative Human Development), Mirko Pasquini (Uppsala University, Sweden), Scott Stonington (University of Michigan)

Medical and humanistic understandings of health and well-being have intersected in recent decades, but the category of “the human” continues to be defined and applied in different ways. This project will identify a more holistic understanding of “the human” that is neither primarily medical nor humanistic, generating critically and clinically innovative knowledge.

The Diversity of Color: Safeguarding Natural Dye Sources and Practices in Michoacán and Oaxaca
Claudia Brittenham (Art History), Sonia Hernandez (Medicine), Oscar Pineda-Catalan (Biological Sciences), Michael Rossi (History)

Recent international interest in dyes extracted from plants and insects in Mexico is putting pressure on the local communities that manage these culturally significant natural resources. This project will facilitate local efforts to study the organisms and improve their cultivation, conservation, and ongoing use.

Hidden Abodes of the “Great Acceleration”: Fossil Metabolism, Infrastructure, and the Climate/Nature Crisis
Neil Brenner (Sociology; CEGU), Aaron Jakes (History; CEGU), Jason W. Moore (Binghamton University)

This interdisciplinary collaboration will bring sociologist Jason Moore to campus as a Visiting Fellow to help develop new theories about the veiled historical and geographical dynamics that have intensified global energy and resource use since World War II.

Imagining a Sanctuary City: Chicago’s Current Migration Wave in Anthropological, Historical, and Legal Contexts
Lindsay Gifford (Pozen Family Center for Human Rights), Ania Aizman (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Nicole Hallett (Law)

Nearly 20,000 asylum seekers have been transported from Texas and Florida to Chicago since August 2022. This project will employ ethnographic research, legal case study, and oral history to record and analyze the experiences of asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants as well as volunteers, city workers, and activists across Chicago.

Migrations in Literature
Josephine McDonagh (English), Hadji Bakara (University of Michigan), Charlotte Sussman (Duke University)

Applying insights from political science, geography, English, classics, comparative literature, area studies, and the digital humanities, this initiative will study texts about migration from antiquity to the present. By assembling and examining a vast archive, the research team will learn what is shared and what is distinctive about efforts to represent migration across genres, time, and space.

Negotiating Identities, Constructing Territories: Pre-Roman Iberia (900-200 BCE)

Carolina López-Ruiz (Divinity; Classics), Michael Dietler (Anthropology), Manuel Álvarez Martí-Aguilar (University of Málaga, Spain), Esther Rodríguez González (Institute of Archaeology of Mérida; National Research Council, Spain)

Long before Hispania became part of the Roman Empire, a trans-continental network of merchants and settlers forged economic and cultural connections across the Iberian peninsula. This project will advance recent scholarship on pre-Roman Iberia by shifting the focus from colonial relations to the interactions that led to hybrid cultures, new territorial formations, and resilient environmental practices.

SummerSALT: Translation Theory, Translation Practice
Rachel Galvin (English; Comparative Literature; Creative Writing), Jason Grunebaum (South Asian Languages and Civilizations), Daniel Hahn (Independent writer, editor, and translator), Annie Janusch (Creative Writing), Daisy Rockwell (Independent writer, translator, and visual artist), Arunava Sinha (Ashoka University, India)

A series of workshops will enable scholars to study the impact of authors’ participation on the process of translating their works. The research team will investigate the inherently collaborative nature of literary translation, and will foster a global network of translators working with South Asian literature.