Developing Diverse Researchers with InVestigative Expertise (DRIVE) Applications Available Now

imagesThe DRIVE program is designed to enhance the diversity and research and creative activity mission of IUPUI. Faculty from historically underrepresented populations, usually defined as African-American, Latino-American, Native American, Pacific Islanders, and women are particularly encouraged to apply. The DRIVE program supports projects that have the potential for sustainability through external funding.

Deadline: March 2, 2015 (SLA Internal Deadline February 23), 5 pm

Guidelines and Application

Release Time for Research (RTR) Applications Available Now

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IUPUI maintains a robust research enterprise. To support faculty in having adequate time to prepare competitive proposals, the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research has developed the Release Time for Research (RTR) internal funding mechanism. This funding program allows IUPUI faculty a “buy out” of teaching time to prepare high quality grant/contract proposals for submission to external funding agencies. It also supports non-tenure track faculty who are full-time senior lecturers or clinical track faculty possessing terminal degrees relevant to their fields, and who have a desire to engage in research or creative activity in an area that directly relates to their teaching or service mission.

Deadline: February 2, 2015 (SLA Internal January 26), 5 pm

 Guidelines and Application

New Frontiers Exploratory Travel Fellowships Applications Available Now

imagesIndiana University New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities
Indiana University is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities seed funding program. The objective of this opportunity is to help Indiana University faculty members by supporting the initial stages of path-breaking and transformative programs of scholarly investigation or creative activity.

Exploratory Travel Fellowship funding up to $3,000 is available to support national and international travel for scholars and researchers pursuing new and innovative research or artistic projects in the arts and humanities. The grants will allow travel to museums, libraries, laboratories, art galleries, and cultural sites; travel and participation in conferences, workshops, symposia, and performances; and visits to collaborators. Exploratory travel fellowships prioritize travel that is a crucial element of new projects which are themselves potentially significant to the larger scholarly or creative community.

Travel to present or support work that is already well advanced is not eligible for support; travel to give short conference presentations of exploratory work, or to participate in conferences that have limited impact in the field have low priority for New Frontiers. Because overall New Frontiers funding is limited, multiple fellowships for the same project are not possible, and funding is not available for projects that have already been supported through other New Frontiers programs. For the same reason, faculty members are limited to one Exploratory Travel Fellowship award every 18 months (calculated from the submission deadline of the most recent award).

Deadline: February 15 (SLA Internal Deadline February 8), 5 pm

Guidelines

IUPUI Arts and Humanities Internal Grant (IAHI) Applications Available Now

iahi-logo-2-mediumThe IAHI Grant Program exists to support campus-wide attainment of excellence in research and creative activity in arts and humanities. It is designed to enhance the research and creative activity mission of IUPUI by supporting research projects and scholarly activities that are conducted by arts and humanities faculty. The program is intended to stimulate existing and new research and creative activity, and to support faculty in becoming competitive in securing external funding and sponsorship.

The three funding programs are:

  • Category A (up to $15,000). This program is designed to enhance research projects conducted by arts and humanities faculty. It allows for things such as up to one month of salary, release time, research assistant support or conference or workshop participation. This grant requires a 1 to 2 match by the faculty member’s department, center or school.
  • Category B (up to $5,000). This is a travel and research support grant that covers travel, equipment, materials, etc. and does not require a match.
  • Category C (up to $30,000). This is a collaborative research grant to support projects conducted by a teams of two or three faculty from different units on campus. May be used for release time, summer salary, research assistant support, etc. This does not require a match.

Deadline: February 15, 2015 (SLA Internal Deadline February 8), 5 pm

Guidelines and Application

NEH Creates New “Public Scholar” Grant Program Supporting Popular Scholarly Books in the Humanities

thThe National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced a new grant opportunity that encourages the publication of nonfiction books that apply serious humanities scholarship to subjects of general interest and appeal.

The new NEH Public Scholar awards support well-researched books in the humanities conceived and written to reach a broad readership. Books supported through this program might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Most importantly, they should open up important and appealing subjects for wider audiences by presenting significant humanities topics in a way that is accessible to general readers.

“At the Endowment we take very seriously the idea, expressed in our founding legislation, that the humanities belong to all the people of the United States,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams.  “In announcing the new Public Scholar program we hope to challenge humanities scholars to think creatively about how specialized research can benefit a wider public.”

The NEH Public Scholar program represents a long-term commitment at NEH to encourage scholarship in the humanities for general audiences. The grant program forms part of a new agency-wide initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, which seeks to demonstrate and enhance the role and significance of the humanities and humanities scholarship in public life.

The Public Scholar program is open to both independent scholars and individuals affiliated with scholarly institutions. It offers a stipend of $4,200 per month for a period of six to twelve months. The maximum stipend is $50,400 for a twelve-month period. Applicants must have previously published a book or monograph with a university or commercial press, or articles and essays that reach a wide readership.

Application guidelines and a list of F.A.Q.’s for the Public Scholar program are available online at www.neh.gov. The application deadline for the first cycle of Public Scholar grants is March 3, 2015.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or pwasley@neh.gov

Mitchell Douglas’s Sabbatical Lecture Examines a Pivotal Time in Rock History

Mitchell Douglass

Mitchell Douglass

The Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway in December 1969 was marred by an alcohol-fueled security force of Hells Angels and the gang’s murder of a Berkeley teen. This year, Dec. 6, marked the 35th anniversary of the Altamont free concert. While Meredith Hunter’s killer, Hells Angel Alan Passaro, is long gone, Hunter’s story has never been fully explored. Mitchell Douglas, assistant professor of English at IUPUI, will explore the events of that night through lyric and persona poetry. Douglas will present his sabbatical talk December 9, 2014 to discuss his process for creating poems based on historical events, writing persona poems in the voices of historical figures, and how research can be an integral part of a creative project.

About the Liberal Arts Sabbatical Series Lectures

The Sabbatical Speaker Series was established to provide a venue for sharing research completed by Liberal Arts faculty while on sabbatical leaves. It is a sampling of the diverse work and excellence of IUPUI faculty, and an opportunity to come together for an hour of intellectual exploration with students, alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and friends from the community.

About the speaker

Mitchell Douglas is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts. His areas of academic interest include the Black Arts Movement, ethnic poetry collectives, and art for social change. He received the Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award and has been a finalist for the NAACP Image Award (Outstanding Literary Work-Poetry), thee Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Wick Poetry Prize, the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award for his debut book, Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem, and was a Pushcart Prize Nominee in 2006. Douglas is also a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem fellow, and Poetry Editor for PLUCK!: the Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. Mitchell L. H. Douglas’s second book of poems, \blak\ \al-fə bet\, is available from amazon.com.

IU School of Informatics and Computing faculty member explores story telling in e-book

Susan Tennant

Susan Tennant

Telling stories has been an integral part of culture, history and the human experience. That’s not changing any time soon, even if technology affects the way stories reach audiences, said an Indiana University faculty member who explored storytelling in a recently published e-book, “Once Upon a Digital Story, A Modern Approach to an Ancient Art.”

Susan Tennant, a clinical associate professor in human centered computing in the IU School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, believes storytelling will remain an important part of the human experience even in the digital age, because it is the foundation of everything. “You can make an animation, a game or website, but what is it about? Without a story as the foundation, you’re just making stuff with no substance.”

Tennant’s e-book explores the role of storytelling through time from traditional to digital. The book covers the concepts, principles and construction of storytelling across a variety of digital formats and platforms.

Her e-book was also printed, but it was meant to be an e-book because it contains hyperlinks that immediately lead the reader to additional material, something that can’t be accomplished with the printed page.

Asked by the publisher, Cognella.com, to write the book, Tennant said she decided to seize that opportunity because it offered a chance to put her “thumbprint” on the page on the subject of storytelling.

Technology will continue to have impact, Tennant said. “The way we read stories will probably be more condensed on an electronic device, like a mobile phone. I hope books won’t go totally away.”

She also expects more transmedia — taking a book or a play and adapting it to another media. An example is “Superman,” which started as a comic book and then was adapted into graphic novels, a television series, movies, games, clothing and merchandise, she said.

Because of the mobility of technology, short-form webisodes are likely to increase as well.

“I see students all the time that are always on their phones,” Tennant said. “Many of them don’t read stories, but I think they would identify with a story if it were put into a context where it was interesting and multimedia could be added.”

But while the manner in which a story is told may change, its structure won’t, Tennant said.

“There are unique ways of telling a story that have been developed, whether it’s telling a story forward or backward, like the ‘Star Wars’ prequel and sequel, but the actual structure of stories hasn’t changed, nor will it ever,” Tennant said.

“Since the days of Aristotle and Shakespeare and all the way back to Homer,” the structure of stories has remained constant, she said. “They have to have a beginning, a middle and an ending.”

IUPUI professor’s new book examines ‘Islam in the African Diaspora’

'The Call of Bilal' cover

‘The Call of Bilal’ cover

A new book by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Edward Curtis examines Islam in the global African diaspora, showing the many ways Islam is practiced by people of African descent while looking at the ways those practices have been influenced by their experience and interpretation of diaspora.

Bilal, whose mother was Ethiopian, is the historical figure whose rise from slavery inspired future Muslims of African descent to “claim his heritage as proof of their legitimate role as moral leaders for Muslims worldwide,” Curtis writes in “The Call of Bilal: Islam in the African Diaspora,” published by the University of North Carolina Press. Bilal not only rose to become Muhammad’s companion but was asked by the Prophet to call Muslims to prayer. He issued the adhan — the call to prayer — for the remainder of his life.

Curtis is the Millennium Chair of Liberal Arts and professor of religious studies at IUPUI. The concept for “The Call of Bilal” began for Curtis while he was visiting villages along the Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley.

“In Jordan on one of my study abroad trips there for IUPUI, I met and spoke with many Muslims of African descent,” he said. “These encounters made me want to learn some of their stories, and to learn those of other Africana Muslims in the diaspora.”

The professor said that as he looked to African diaspora in Europe, the Middle East and South Asia, he came to understand better how Muslims of African descent sometimes dismiss the idea that they are part of an African diaspora. Others cherish the connections they have to African-descended people around the globe, though their political and cultural ideas about what binds them together differ.

He realized that the idea of diaspora was also sometimes interpreted in a religious fashion to emphasize the theological, ethical, aesthetic and ritualized elements of the African diaspora, orientations that linked the destiny of the black diaspora as much to the heavens as to the Earth.

Most Muslims in the African diaspora are Sunni Muslims, Curtis said, meaning that they identify with the majority tradition in Islam that makes incumbent certain basic interpretations of Islam (sometimes called the pillars of faith) and the “five pillars of practice” (the declaration of faith, daily prayer, fasting during Ramadan, pilgrimage to Mecca and alms for the poor).

“But what it means to be a religious Muslim beyond these shared traditions shatters any facile, American-based assumptions about the practices of black Muslims,” he said. “For example, I studied the prayers, healing rituals, instrumental music, singing, spirit possession ceremonies and dancing performed by some Siddi and Habshi Muslims in Pakistan and India at shrines devoted to their African ancestor saints, Bava Gor (or Gori Pir) and his sister, Mai Mishra. These saints are not household names among African American Muslims. (Generally speaking, the veneration of Muslim saints is not very popular in the Americas as opposed to in Africa and Asia.)”

Curtis encountered many surprises during his research, despite his long history of studying Islam.

“In the end, what seemed most important to me is that by studying Islam in the African diaspora, you can develop a very thorough understanding of Islamic tradition,” he said. “Since they have been part of so many Muslim countries and regions, their experience offers a wide view on what it means to be Muslim.”

Consecrating Science Wonder, Ethics, and the New Cosmology: a Roundtable with Dr. Lisa Sideris

Lisa Sideris

Lisa Sideris

What is the role of wonder in contemporary environmental discourse? Come join Dr. Lisa Sideris on Friday, December 5 at 1:30 p.m. in the IUPUI University Library, Room 4115P, as she examines a constellation of movements referred to as the New Story/Universe Story/Epic of Evolution/Big History—forms of science-based ecospirituality that have emerged in recent decades. One of her central claims is that these narratives encourage awe and wonder at scientific information and expert knowledge as that which is most “real,” over and above lived encounters with the natural world. She questions whether these new myths are likely to engender the environmental values and ethics they seek to cultivate. This privileging of abstract information is pronounced in iterations of the new cosmology that take inspiration from the work of E. O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins—who promote a mythopoeic rendering of science as a superior rival to religion—but many of the same criticisms can be made of the new cosmology as it has come to dominate the broad discipline of “religion and ecology.” Dr. Sideris’s talk will draw comparisons between the forms (and objects) of wonder celebrated in these movements and accounts of wonder as an enduring orientation, such as Rachel Carson defends in The Sense of Wonder and other writings.

LISA SIDERIS is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society (CSRES) at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research interests include environmental ethics, religion and nature, and the science-religion interface. She is author of Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection (Columbia, 2003) and editor of Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge (SUNY, 2008). Her current research focuses on the role played by wonder in discourse at the intersection of science, religion, and nature, and the turn to science for a common sacred narrative.

This is a public program open to all. An RSVP to Abby Gitlitz agitlitz@indiana.edu is appreciated but not required. Religion and Ethics Roundtables highlight the work of scholars at IUB, IUPUI, and beyond, with the goal of engaging the IU community and the public in dialogue about important issues at the intersection of religion, ethics, and society.

Marc Lamont Hill to keynote IUPUI dinner honoring Martin Luther King’s legacy

Marc Lamont Hill

Marc Lamont Hill

Journalist, educator, hip-hop generation intellectual and Ebony Power 100 honoree Marc Lamont Hill will deliver the keynote address during the 46th annual Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner.

Hill, distinguished professor of African American studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, was included among Ebony magazine’s annual list of the 100 “most influential and intriguing men and women in Black America” and celebrated as such during a Hollywood ceremony Wednesday. The 2014 Ebony Power 100 list is featured in the magazine’s December issue.

The IUPUI Black Student Union will host the annual IUPUI King Dinner, one of Indianapolis’ longest-running events honoring the slain civil rights leader, at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington St.

Hill, the host of HuffPost Live and BET News, will address the dinner’s theme of “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.”

“Today as one of the world’s leading hip-hop intellectuals, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill enjoys sharing his teachings as well as his experiences with audiences all around the world, and we truly look forward to having him share them with us as well,” said Karina Garduño, coordinator for social justice education in the IUPUI Office of Student Involvement.

Individual dinner tickets are $25 for IUPUI students, $65 for IUPUI faculty and staff and $75 for general admission community guest tickets. They are on sale now at the Office of Student Involvement at the IUPUI Campus Center, Suite 370, 420 University Blvd.

Sponsorship packages are also available for $1,000, $850 and $435 and include respectively, 10, 10 and five dinner tickets, along with advertisement space in the dinner program and sponsorship of student tickets.

The deadline for ticket purchases is Dec. 19.

For additional information, contact the Office of Student Involvement at 317-274-3931 or dinner@iupui.edu .