Herron art professor earns unprecedented $300,000 in prizes at sixth annual ArtPrize competition

Anila Quayyum Agha

Anila Quayyum Agha

Herron School of Art and Design professor Anila Quayyum Agha has won the two top prizes at ArtPrize 2014, earning a record $300,000 in the international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Her entry, titled “Intersections,” earned the ArtPrize 2014 Public Vote Grand Prize of $200,000 and split the Juried Grand Prize of $200,000 in a tie with “The Haircraft Project,” by artist Sonya Clark of Richmond, Va.

Agha’s wins mark the first time one entry has won both the ArtPrize grand prize awarded by popular vote and the grand prize awarded by a jury of international art experts. Her total prize is also the highest amount given to one individual in the competition, which awards the world’s largest art prize.

The professor’s unprecedented success was no surprise to Susan Scarafia, a 1983 IU Kelley School of Business graduate who traveled to Grand Rapids to join the thousands of visitors — including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder — who viewed the entries on display at venues within the three-mile square art district in downtown Grand Rapids.

“I thought Anila would win from my first look at ‘Intersections,’” Scarafia, who has attended the past four ArtPrize competitions, said Sunday in an email interview. “There was buzz about it online. … once I got to the city, ‘Intersections’ was the piece others recommended most when I asked what I should see.

“But the way I knew, really knew, that ‘Intersections’ would win was that I could see that everyone who saw it was so involved with it. They weren’t just passing by or taking a quick picture. They walked into the room, stopped talking, looked up, looked around and kept looking from different angles. It seemed to me that this art really hooked into people.”

The “hooked” included one man who, while viewing “Intersections,” dropped to his knees and surprised his girlfriend with a marriage proposal, according to a news report.

Agha is associate professor of drawing and foundation studies at Herron, the art school on the IUPUI campus.

The professor’s “Intersections,” completed under a 2012-13 New Frontiers Research Grant from Indiana University, is composed of a 6.5-foot laser-cut wooden cube created using Herron’s new computer numeric control router.

When illuminated by the single bulb installed inside, the wooden frieze casts patterns of light and shadows inspired by the geometric patterning of Islamic sacred places as found in the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. During the 19-day ArtPrize exhibit, which ended Sunday, the entry was on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

“This is a wonderful and well-deserved award for Herron professor Anila Agha,” Herron Dean Valerie A. Eickmeier said. “Her prize-winning installation presents a perfect example of how our new digital technology equipment has assisted the creative work of our faculty. Anila teaches drawing, and her artwork is usually made on paper or fabric. This is the first work that she has created with Herron’s new computer numeric control router. Anila’s achievement provides an excellent example for Herron students as well.”

A smaller version of Agha’s winning entry was on view in the Frank and Katrina Basile Gallery at Herron last fall.

ArtPrize 2014, an independent competition open to anyone 18 or older, included 1,536 entries representing 51 countries and 42 U.S. states and territories. Entries were submitted in 2-D, 3-D, time-based and installation categories.

The contest, which drew 400,000 visitors last year, awarded two grand prizes totaling $400,000 and eight awards in the four categories worth a total of $160,000. ArtPrize has a parallel awards structure, with half of the awards decided by public vote cast by mobile devices or online and half by a jury of international art experts.

“Intersections” was chosen for the popular grand prize by the 41,109 registered voters who cast 398,714 votes.

After three days of deliberation over the 20 finalists selected by category jurors, the grand prize jury of Susan Sollins, Leonardo Drew and Katharina Grosse decided to split the $200,000 prize between “Intersections” and “The Haircraft Project.”

“By the end of our adventure here and after much, much discussion, we came to the conclusion that there were two artists of equal caliber and talent who had risen to the top of our list,” Sollins said. “We felt strongly that both artists had to be recognized equally. In short, there was nothing for it but to declare a tie.”

The winners were announced in Hollywood fashion during an ArtPrize Awards ceremony Oct. 10 at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. A town hall recap of this year’s competition takes place Wednesday, Oct.15.

Agha’s acceptance speech is included in awards ceremony television coverage posted online.

An after-show interview on Grand Rapids television is also available online.

Grant opportunities from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now inviting applications for three new Grand Challenges:

  •   Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development
  •   Creating and Measuring Integrated Solutions for Healthy Birth, Growth, and Development (part of the All Children Thriving platform)
  •   New Interventions for Global Health

 

Applications for these new challenges will be accepted beginning on November 4, 2014. Please also note that we are still accepting applications for six Grand Challenges Explorations topics.

For links to more information on these challenges, please visit the grant opportunity page which features a new homepage to support the next phase of Grand Challenges launched today with international partners at the 10th annual Grand Challenges meeting.

The Grand Challenges Team
———————————————————————–
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.

More information:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org

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http://www.gatesfoundation.org/privacy-policy

Transfer transformation: IUPUI to study the transfer student experience

Transfer Transformation

Transfer Transformation

 

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has embarked on its first self-study to better understand the way it facilitates the transfer student experience.

Based on its commitment to transfer students and nationally recognized success in enhancing students’ first-year experience — for which the campus has been honored by U.S. News & World Report for 13 consecutive years — IUPUI was one of two institutions nationwide selected to participate in the Foundations of Excellence® Transfer Focus project sponsored by the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.

The Foundations of Excellence initiative will engage IUPUI transfer students, faculty and staff in honest, candid and meaningful discussions about how to improve the transfer experience.

The initiative launched with a faculty-staff survey and will be followed in November by a transfer student survey. Although the students will not have experienced an entire first year, there are obvious advantages in better understanding the first impressions of transfer students, as well as their pre-enrollment experiences such as admitting, orienting, supporting and advising.

From November through February, various committees will review the survey data, which will be followed by reports in March and April. The project will culminate with an institutional improvement plan designed to achieve higher levels of transfer-student learning, satisfaction and graduation. A report to the campus community is expected in June 2015.

The successful integration of transfer students is central to IUPUI’s mission. Transfer students, who make up more than 1,000 students on campus each academic year, are defined as full- or part-time students who entered IUPUI in the prior academic year with credit from another higher education institution. More than 40 percent of IUPUI’s bachelor degree recipients are transfer students.

“Transfer students are a critically important part of the IUPUI student body,” said Cathy Buyarski, IUPUI’s executive director of student success initiatives. “As indicated in the IUPUI Strategic Plan, we must ensure that students who do not start their college careers with us have every opportunity to become fully engaged in the campus, make connections with our outstanding faculty and staff and participate in innovative learning opportunities including undergraduate research, international study, service learning and internships.”

Research has long indicated that students who are successfully integrated into college are much more likely to succeed. The Foundations of Excellence initiative expands the conversation on student retention and focuses directly on the quality of the transfer experience.

Through this initiative, IUPUI will ensure the continued development of transfer students’ knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors that are consistent with the campus’s philosophy and mission: to advance the state of Indiana and the intellectual growth of its residents to the highest levels nationally and internationally through research and creative activity, teaching and learning, and community engagement.

The Foundation of Excellence project was developed and piloted with the support of The Atlantic Philanthropies and Lumina Foundation for Education.

2014 Herron School of Art and Design Distinguished Alumni Award Presentation

Steve Mueller speaking at a gathering in March Image credit Herron staff

Steve Mueller speaking at a gathering in March
Image credit Herron staff

The Herron Alumni Association has announced that Stephen Mueller (B.F.A. ‘76 with High Distinction) is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes outstanding alumni who have brought honor to their alma mater by distinguishing themselves professionally or through extraordinary service to the school and university. Mueller has done both.

At a special gathering in the Basile Auditorium in Eskenazi Hall on Wednesday, October 8, Dean Valerie Eickmeier and Herron Alumni Association President Sara Love will present the award. The evening, which begins with a reception from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., will include a conversation about entrepreneurship and public art led by the dean, Chicago artist John Himmelfarb and Mueller from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Artist and entrepreneur Mueller is the co-founder of Vector Custom Fabricating, Inc., a Chicago company that specializes in the fabrication of architectural metals and monumental sculpture. Over the past 31 years, Vector has worked on the fabrication of large-scale works for renowned artists, including Vito Acconci, Mike Baur, Donald Gummer, John Himmelfarb, Terrence Karpowicz, Stephen Luecking, Neil Goodman, Martin Puryear, Christine Rojek and Bruce White.

Vector Fabricating’s architectural, sculptural and conservation services have benefitted Soldier Field, the University of Illinois, University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University and Governor State University, creating an inspiring environment for students, faculty and staff and the broader public alike at these institutions. Architectural works by Vector Fabricating can be found in the highest echelons of Chicago-area businesses.

Vector Fabricating donated its services to create and install the grand, ornamental staircase in Eskenazi Hall at Herron School of Art and Design. Mueller also has made significant gifts of art to the IU Art Museum, and to Herron in the form of Stacked, a sculpture by the late Professor Emeritus Gary Freeman.

Mueller and his wife, Deborah, are the creators of the High Lake Sculpture Garden, a private, one-acre sculpture park in West Chicago. This collection of monumental works focuses on contemporary Midwest artists.

Mueller’s work has been featured in 11 solo or group exhibitions since 2002. He joins recent recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award, including Lois Main Templeton (B.F.A. ‘81 in Painting), 2013; Garo Antreasian (‘48 in Fine Arts), 2012; Mike Garber (B.F.A. ‘97 in Visual Communications), 2011; David Bowen, (B.F.A. ‘99 in Sculpture), 2010; Leah Traugott (B.F.A. ‘46 in Painting), 2009; and Lois Davis (‘47 in Painting), 2008.

Art 21 Season 7 Screenings

Leonardo Drew. Number 77, 2000. Found objects, paper, paint, and wood; 168 x 672 x 58 inches. Installation view: Directions: Leonardo Drew, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2000. Photo: Ansen Seale. Courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co. © Leonardo Drew.

Leonardo Drew. Number 77, 2000. Found objects, paper, paint, and wood; 168 x 672 x 58 inches. Installation view: Directions: Leonardo Drew, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2000. Photo: Ansen Seale. Courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co. © Leonardo Drew.

Herron School of Art and Design is proud to partner with PBS and Art 21 to once again provide screenings of some the upcoming episodes of the new season of Art in the 21st Century.

On Wednesday, October 22 we will screen Investigation and Secrets and on October 29 we will screen Legacy. Both screenings will start at 6:00 p.m.

The screenings are FREE and open to the public.

Limited parking is available in the Sports Complex Garage just west of Herron. Park in the visitor side of the garage and bring your ticket to the Herron Galleries for validation. Complimentary parking courtesy of The Great Frame Up.

Parking in the surface lot next to Herron School of Art and Design requires a valid IUPUI parking permit at all times.

Internal Funding: Collaborative Research Grants (IUCRG)

imagesIndiana University is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Collaborative Research Grants program (IUCRG). This opportunity is open to faculty on all Indiana University campuses. The goals of this competition are to facilitate and support outstanding research and cutting edge discoveries by teams of experts who have not worked together previously in the project’s subject matter. Teams should include experts from different campuses, schools, departments, or disciplines. The maximum funding per project will be $75,000.

The intent of this initiative is to support research which will significantly advance a research field and in doing so, impact the lives of Indiana residents, the U.S. and the world. The program as a whole is designed to help increase Indiana University’s competitiveness for external funding involving innovative and transformative research; proposals must therefore include explicit plans for securing external funding for projects extending from the findings of the IUCRG. IUCRG recipients are required to submit a proposal for external funding within 18 months from the date that IUCRG funds are available. Applicants should make explicit their plans for targeting external funding including but not limited to the funding agency, their RFAs, and institute/program.

IUCRG will fund projects in emerging fields of study, innovative or multidisciplinary research with the potential to significantly increase Indiana University’s research competitiveness, reputation and funding. Proposals should fit at least one of the following subject areas:

Social and Behavioral sciences: innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues of local, state, national or international significance; educational research including but not limited to effective approaches to K‐12 STEM education (not curricular development)

Biological and Health Sciences; innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues in neuroscience, -omics, biological, biomedical or chemical sciences

Physical, Applied, and Computer Sciences: innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to compelling issues in physical and applied sciences including material sciences, engineering research, or approaches to other areas of research that rely upon innovative uses of technology, engineering, or computer and applied sciences

All proposals should indicate which category or mix of categories from this list of areas best describes the proposed research. Arts and Humanities proposals that do not fit into these categories should be submitted to Indiana University’s New Frontiers seed funding program.

Eligibility: All faculty and staff whose appointments allow them to submit external proposals are allowed to apply. A minimum of two faculty members from different campuses schools or departments, or different disciplines from the same campus must collaborate as co-principal investigators on the proposed project. Projects must be for NEW areas of research for the investigators, within their areas of expertise, but not a continuation of previous or current research activities. Faculty previously submitting together for external funding (NIH, NSF, DOD, etc.) are not eligible unless the IUCRG proposal represents a new area of research, or a new collaborator(s) is added to enhance the breadth of the proposed research.

Submission Deadlines: Grant proposals must be submitted electronically by the close of business day (5pm) on December 3rd, 2014 via http://research.iu.edu/funding_collaborative.shtml.

For more information see Request for Proposals (PDF)

2014 IUPUI Harvey Milk Dinner

Milk

IUPUI to host 5th annual Harvey Milk Dinner.

The Fifth Annual IUPUI Harvey Milk Dinner celebrates LGBT inclusion on the IUPUI Campus by inviting the entire Indianapolis community to join in our celebration. This year’s event will be held on National Coming Out Day – Saturday, October 11, 2014 – at the Indianapolis Marriott, 350 West Maryland Street, Indianapolis.

Faculty Staff and Community Tickets are $55. Student tickets (IUPUI, Ivy Tech, and high school) are $25. Guests can also support students by purchasing student tickets for those students who might not be able to attend the event due to financial constraints. The dinner planning committee will distribute those to students who might need extra help. Registration for this year’s event closes on October 3.

Registration

IUPUI Students can also purchase their tickets in the Office for Student Involvement (CE 370) using their JagTag student identification card.

Campus or community organizations interested in purchasing a table for this year’s dinner can contact Jayme Little at jtlittle@iupui.edu or 317-274-1345.

Our keynote address will be actor Lea DeLaria. DeLaria is a comedian, actress, and jazz musician; DeLaria plays the role of “Big Boo” in Orange Is the New Black. She was the first openly gay comic to break the late-night talk-show barrier with her appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1993. DeLaria has performed stand-up comedy for more than 25 years and is a prominent figure in the world of LGBT comedy. She began her career billing herself as “That [expletive] Dyke,” explaining that when she walked down the street, people would yell that at her.

DeLaria integrates musical performance into her stand-up comedy, focusing on traditional and modern be-bop jazz. In 2001 she released a CD of jazz standards called Play It Cool. This was followed by the album Double Standards in 2003 and by The Very Best of Lea DeLaria in 2008.

DeLaria has appeared in a number of TV and film roles, including Edge of Seventeen, The First Wives Club, and One Life to Live. She has appeared in a number of on and off-Broadway shows, including: The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and On the Town. She currently plays Carrie “Big Boo” Black in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.

For more information on this year’s keynote speaker, visit her website.

 

 

Popular Combat Paper workshops return to Herron School of Art and Design in November

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Paper making at a combat paper workshop Image courtesy of Combat Paper project

This November, Drew Cameron will return to Herron School of Art and Design with his internationally successful Combat Paper workshops, where veterans or anyone touched by war may bring uniforms or other cloth to be turned into paper and then made into works of art.

Established in 2007, the Combat Paper Project has grown from its San Francisco base to an international phenomenon that has helped to heal war-torn people from Canada to Kosovo.

In his own post-combat search for meaning, Cameron, the project’s co-founder, discovered that papermaking could be a transformative process that broadens “the traditional narrative surrounding the military experience and warfare.” The workshops are returning to Indiana at the urging of Juliet King, director of Herron School of Art and Design’s Art Therapy Program.

With the support of faculty and students from bookbinding, other fine arts programs and art therapy, the workshops will take place on Thursday and Friday, November 6 and 7, at the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center, 1410 Indiana Avenue, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Attendance is free, but reservations are required. Anyone interested in attending the workshops may reserve a seat by contacting Juliet King at kingjul@iupui.edu or 317-278-5466 by October 30.

Cameron also will be providing a lecture series to graduate art therapy students where they will engage in an interactive discussion on the similarities and differences between therapeutic art experiences such as Combat Paper and the clinical profession of art therapy.

Guest Post: Global Archaeologies and Cultural Landscapes in Northern Europe by Professor Paul Mullins

In the foreground, the Keminmaa Old St. Michael’s Church was built between 1519-21. Besides being a fascinating medieval building, it holds one of the most interesting spectacles in northern Finland: when Lutheran priest Nikolaus Rungius died in 1629 he was buried under the church and is on display in the church floor today. The church in the background, the new Saint Michael’s, was built in 1827.

In the foreground, the Keminmaa Old St. Michael’s Church was built between 1519-21. Besides being a fascinating medieval building, it holds one of the most interesting spectacles in northern Finland: when Lutheran priest Nikolaus Rungius died in 1629 he was buried under the church and is on display in the church floor today. The church in the background, the new Saint Michael’s, was built in 1827.

I knew absolutely nothing about Finland in November, 2010: I had the general impression that Finland was a snow-covered tundra peopled by reindeer and cross-country skiers. That changed at a conference in Scotland where I met some historical archaeologists from northern Finland, and their research on material life on the northernmost colonial reaches of Europe itself was fascinating and ambitious. I was keen to develop an international dimension to my research on the emergence of consumer culture, and Finland was a compelling if unexpected comparison to Indianapolis: my Finnish colleagues at the University of Oulu championed an historical archaeology of Finland that encompassed medieval trading centers, a rich history as Swedish and then Russian territories, and a 20th century heritage that witnessed independence, a civil war, and a distinctive if not unique World War II experience.

In 2011 I submitted an IUPUI Arts and Humanities Initiative Travel and Resource Support Grant to explore the material evidence of emergent capitalism in Finland over three centuries. Oulu is one of the world’s northernmost urban centers, a subarctic community settled by the Swedes in 1605 but part of a region in which people have lived for millennia. The grant proposal simply aspired to meet with my Finnish colleagues, inspect their excavated collections, share my own research, and perhaps craft a collaborative project in a discipline that is overwhelmingly focused on North America. The grant had a sound research agenda, but it also left some room to listen to my Finnish colleagues tell me what is important about their scholarship and heritage, and it allowed me to listen to my own curiosity.

The heart of my visit to Oulu was simply seeing the place, visiting the archaeological sites, and looking at the rich material culture the Finns had excavated from regional sites. One of the sites they had excavated was a merchant’s home in Oulu that burnt in a town-wide 1822 blaze. The merchant’s household contained an astoundingly massive assemblage of English ceramics that had been intended for trade in Oulu and into Arctic Lapland and east to Russia. During my Arts and Humanities grant visit we did some material analysis and started a paper on the assemblage that examined marketing and consumption on the margins of Europe. The paper compared the Finnish assemblage to marketplace patterns in the Atlantic World, which were in some ways very similar and in others quite different. That paper, “The Creamware Revolution on the Northern European Periphery: Creamware Marketing in 19th Century Northern Finland,” has since been published in 2013 in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology.

What may have been most important about the Finland trip were the projects that have followed despite not being part of the original research design: We subsequently have published a series of papers on colonial landscape surveillance, World War II landscapes, and medieval marketing, all of which would never have been research questions for me if I had not ventured beyond Indianapolis. The Arts and Humanities project provided sufficient preliminary research to support a Fulbright Finland proposal, and I received a Fulbright Scholar and returned to the University of Oulu in Fall 2012. I became a Docent in American Historical Archaeology at the University of Oulu in Fall 2013, an associate faculty appointment; my colleague Timo Ylimaunu is now an International Scholar at IUPUI.

It turns out that Finland is indeed covered by snow for much of the year and has lots of reindeer and skiers, but there were lots of intellectual and cultural surprises. Oulu, for instance, is home to the Air Guitar World Championships, whose astoundingly cheeky ambition is “to promote world peace – according to Air Guitar ideology, wars will end, climate change stops and all bad things disappear if all the people in the world play the Air Guitar”; at the edge of the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi todays bills itself as the home of Santa Claus, with numerous Kris Kringles entertaining a host of tourists; and the legion of saunas covering the Finnish landscape are profoundly consequential cultural spaces and not simply sweaty showers. Much of what the grant aspired to do was successful, but some of the longer term research implications probably came from the experience of having good local colleagues and a bit of IUPUI support to start the project at all.

 

Paul R. Mullins is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at IUPUI; Past-President of the Society for Historical Archaeology; and author of The Archaeology of Consumer Culture and Race and Affluence: An Archaeology of African America. For more on his research see his blog Archaeology and Material Culture.

 

Guest Post: In Search of Annie Parker by Professor Jack McKivigan

UntitledThanks to support from the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, the IU New Currents program, and several campus offices and departments as well as Indiana Humanities (the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities), the Frederick Douglass Papers will sponsor a gathering of scholars, teachers, students, and the general public to examine the historical and literary significance of Douglass’s novella, “The Heroic Slave” (1853), on our campus in October.

In preparation for this symposium several members of the Douglass Papers staff have been engaged in a small piece of literary detective work. Douglass’s “Heroic Slave” was originally published as a contribution to the short “gift book” entitled Autographs for Freedom, published in Boston by the firm of John P. Jewitt. Besides Douglass, this collection of essays, poems, and short fiction features many well-known mid-nineteenth century writers and political and reform leaders including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Sumner, Horace Greeley, John G. Whittier, and Caroline Dall.

Among the diverse collection of black and white, male and female, American and British contributors to Autographs is the writer Annie Parker who published a poem “Story Telling” and the separate story, “Passages in the Life of a Slave Woman.” In the latter, the narrator, a slave woman, recounts the tragic outcome of a master/slave sexual relationship. In the past few decades this piece has been anthologized several times as one of the earliest works of fiction by an African American author. But who was Annie Parker? None of the anthologies or scholars writing about the story have ever been able to supply any biographical details about her.

Project assistant editor Jeffrey Duvall, graduate research assistant Rebecca Pattillo, and I have been at work trying to answer that question this summer. Frederick Douglass’s own Rochester-published newspaper contains a piece under Parker’s byline in the early 1850s and two other short journalistic pieces by her appear in a Geneva, New York-based temperance newspaper in that same era. Then the trail gets cold, very cold.

Genealogical sources turn up a few possible “Annie Parkers” in the upstate New York region but none of them has any known connection to the antislavery movement and all were white. Perhaps Annie Parker was not a runaway slave as others have speculated. This raises the possibility that “Annie Parker” was a pen name–but whose?

The most intriguing possibility is that Parker is none other than Harriet Jacobs, the author of the famous 1859 autobiography of her horrifyingly abusive career as a South Carolina slave. Jacobs had escaped slavery in the early 1840s and worked as a maid for the Massachusetts journalist Nathaniel Parker Willis, who is referred to twice obtusely in Parker’s own writings. In 1849-50, two years before the publication of the Autographs, Jacobs lived in Rochester and actually worked in the same building where Douglass edited his newspaper. While Jacobs had returned to working for Willis in Massachusetts by the time Autographs was compiled, those earlier connections might have led the gift book’s editor, Julia Griffiths, to have solicited a piece by Jacobs, although no evidence of such a solicitation has yet been found. The same year, Harriet Beecher Stowe also asked Jacobs to write a summary of her slave experiences to include in her Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a response to critics of her condemnation of slave mistreatment in her earlier novel. The Douglass staff is exploring whether Jacobs might have wanted to tell her personal story herself in a safer fictional form in the pages of Autographs.

The product of this research will just be a small part of the upcoming symposium, where Douglass papers staff will be joined by seven widely-published scholars from several disciplines to explore various contexts of “the Heroic Slave.” The event is free and open to the public and we hope will be well-attended by many persons from the central Indiana community interested in Frederick Douglass and his campaign against slavery.

by Jack Kaufman-McKivigan

Dr. Kaufman-McKivigan is Mary O’Brien Gibson Professor of History at IUPUI; Co-Director, annual Madame C.J. Walker/Frederick Douglass Public Lecture and Workshop Series and Past-Director, annual Midwest Peace & Justice Summit (2005-2011); and Project Editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers Edition.