Proposal Development Grants 2016

Five research projects were awarded proposal development funding for work in May and June 2016.

19th Century Performance Reconstructions: African American and Women Artists

Our project converges historical research and artistic practice. The team will research and reconstruct performances by African American and women artists for presentation and display in 21st century formats. We view theatrical performance as a way in which women and people of color push back against stereotypes about gender, race and ethnicity. Collaborative research allows the team to aggregate scattered information about under-represented performers, then make this research publicly available through media recordings published in a digital archive. The project has the potential to generate scholarly works and recorded performances beneficial to both humanists and artists.
Team Members:  Anita Gonzalez, PI, Professor of Theatre and Drama; James W. Cook, Professor of History and American Culture; Naomi André, Associate Professor Women’s Studies and Residential College; Jason Geary, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, SMTD; David Malicke, Digital Education and Innovation Center; Stacey Bishop, Graduate Student and Brandon Rumsey, Graduate Student.

Audio-Visual Africa
This project is an interdisciplinary analysis of the present and future of the African audio and visual archive through the lens of three diverse archival collections: the audio and visual holdings of Ghana’s Manhyia Palace; photographic and cinematic creativity by female artists in Cameroon, Algeria, and Ghana; and the Leo Sarkisian Archive of live audio field recordings and radio programming to the African continent. The project interrogates the inherent significance of African audiovisual resources; employs digital technologies of preservation and access to enlarge their distribution and use; and rethinks the power of humanities inquiry beyond the centrality of text.
Team Members:  Kwasi Ampene, PI, Associate Professor, DAAS/SMTD/Director, CWPS; Kelly Askew, Professor, Anthropology, DAAS/Director, African Studies Center; Paul Conway, Associate Professor, School of Information; Frieda Ekotto, Chair/Professor DAAS/Comp Lit and Francophone Studies; Leigh Gialanella, Graduate Student; Semeneh Gebremariam, Graduate Student; Nina Jackson Levin, Graduate Student.

Hyecho’s Journey
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In 724, the Korean monk Hyecho (ca. 704–780) set out from China on a pilgrimage to India, the sacred land of Buddhism. Among the many pilgrims to India over the centuries, his travels were the most extensive. This project will trace his route over land and sea, focusing not on the texts he read but the art and architecture he encountered. It is a project that requires knowledge of Korea, China, Japan, and India, as well as their religious, literary, and artistic traditions. The geographical, linguistic, and disciplinary range of this project can only be encompassed through the collaboration of faculty, staff, and students.
Team Members:  Donald S. Lopez, PI, Arthur E Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies; Kevin Carr, Associate Professor of History of Art; Keiko Yokota-Carter, Research Librarian; Rebecca Bloom, Graduate Student; Chun Wa Chan, Graduate Student; Ha Nul Jun, Graduate Student.

Karanis: Multidisciplinary Approaches to an Egyptian TownKaranissatellite

This project will unite researchers to study the ancient village of Karanis in Egypt from multidisciplinary perspectives. This village, excavated by the University of Michigan between 1924 and 1935 is one of the best documented archaeological sites from the Roman world. Tens of thousands of the finds from this excavation (objects and texts) are present on the U-M campus, as well as thousands of documents, maps, and photographs produced during the excavations. The ensemble of these data has never been studied together. The Collaboratory Grant will allow an holistic approach to and study of these data and lead to the creation of the Karanis Research Portal, an online discovery tool containing digitized maps, plans, artifact records, photographs excavation notebooks, and other records in the University’s archives. We envision the Research Portal as a tool that could be used by scholars, by students in undergraduate or graduate classes, and, due to the popularity of both archaeology and ancient Egypt, by the general public.  The project has launched a website, Karanis-Collaboratory.
Team Members:  Arthur Verhoogt, PI, Professor of Papyrology and Greek; Brendan Haug, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies; Sebastian Encina, Museum Collections Manager; Laura Motta, Research Specialist; David Stone, Research Scientist; Caitlin Clerkin, Graduate Student; Alesandra Creola, Graduate Student; Lizzie Nabney, Graduate Student.

Precarious Networks and Digital Inequalities: A Massively Multiauthor Monograph and Critical Mapping ProjectPrecarity Image

“Precarious Networks and Digital Inequalities” brings together and draws from the active research agendas of five faculty and two American Culture doctoral students with expertise in digital studies, programming, performance, and infrastructure who will collaborate on a massively multiauthor open-access monograph for web distribution.   We propose to trace the uneven experiences of digital life by mapping out digital inequalities as well as practices of resistance to dominant values and understandings of digital technology in and between the U.S., China, Mexico, Palestine, and on indigenous lands, over historical periods and differing scales.
Team Members:  Lisa Nakamura, PI, Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor of American Culture and Screen Arts and Culture; Silvia Lindtner, Assistant Professor of Information; Tung-Hui Hu, Assistant Professor of English; Irina Aristarkhova, Associate Professor of Art and Design; Anna Fisher, Assistant Professor of American Culture and RC; Ivan Chaar-Lopez, Graduate Student; Meryem Kamil, Graduate Student.