NEH awards IUPUI-Ivy Tech partnership $119,009 grant to create world religions curriculum

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will work in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College faculty to create 150 course modules on world religions for Ivy Tech humanities classes.Photo courtesy of Center for Interfaith Cooperation.

The NEH, in Washington, D.C., recently announced it has awarded IUPUI $119,009 to conduct “World Religions in Greater Indianapolis,” a two-year study program on contemporary religious traditions in greater Indianapolis for 15 faculty members at the Indianapolis campus of Ivy Tech Community College.

Led by IUPUI professors Edward Curtis and Arthur Farnsley and Ivy Tech humanities chair Jack Cooney, the program will help the Ivy Tech faculty develop course modules on five world religions for the existing Ivy Tech humanities core, including courses on history, literature and cultural anthropology.

“This NEH grant for ‘World Religions in Greater Indianapolis’ exemplifies all we reach for at Ivy Tech Community College as we provide our students with learning opportunities which lead them to flourishing lives as well-educated citizens and as resourcefully nimble employees,” Cooney said. “We are both honored and proud to partner with our teacher colleagues at IUPUI whose vision for this substantial NEH grant is not without regard to our possibilities.”

The Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, a unit of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, will operate the program, which will connect Ivy Tech faculty to experts on Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism at IUPUI, Indiana University Bloomington, Butler University and Marian University.

The program seeks not only to bolster humanities content at Ivy Tech but also to create more understanding of Central Indiana’s religious diversity, especially of recent immigrant communities.

“This project will aid faculty in helping students understand the breadth of religious traditions in America and in central Indiana,” IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said. “At a time when there are far too many examples of misunderstandings about religions, this is a vital project. I am pleased that the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, one of our outstanding research and public outreach centers, is willing to lead this project.”

Ivy Tech faculty in the program will be introduced to world religious traditions and their sacred texts, and study their significance to U.S. history and culture. After their study of a particular tradition, the faculty will then arrange discussions with members of a recent immigrant community from that tradition. The faculty will create the Ivy Tech course modules as capstone projects based on their comprehensive studies.

Participating religious communities from Central Indiana include Jews from the former Soviet Union, Russia and Ukraine; Spanish-speaking Roman Catholic Christians from Latin America; Muslims from West Africa; Hindus from India; and Buddhists from Vietnam.

“We are grateful to all of our community partners for making it possible to bring together Central Indiana’s academic experts and its rich immigrant cultures in a program for Ivy Tech faculty,” said Bill Blomquist, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts.

NEH grants are among the most prestigious research awards in the humanities. The “World Religions in Greater Indianapolis” program received one of only four grants awarded in the NEH’s “Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges” category, for which there were 46 applications.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the NEH supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

Competition for 2016-17 Core Fulbright Scholar Program

The competition for the 2016-17 Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is now open. The http://www.cies.org/program/core-fulbright-us-scholar-programCore Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program sends approximately 800 American scholars and professionals annually to approximately 130 countries, where they lecture and/or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Visit the CIES website for application details.

Below are a few facts to keep in mind:

Grant lengths vary: applicants can propose projects for a period of two to 12 months, as specified in the award description.
Grant benefits vary but generally include travel and living expenses for the awardee and accompanying dependents.
Open to all U.S. citizens (permanent residents are not eligible)
Application deadline: August 3, 2015

The Catalog of Awards is available at http://catalog.cies.org. You may also join the My Fulbright online community for updates and to access helpful resources for applicants.

For more information, visit the CIES website, and contact the Fulbright representative on your campus:

IU Bloomington: Professor Marissa Moorman moorman@indiana.edu
IU Kokomo: Professor Kathy Parkison kparkiso@iuk.edu
IUPUI: Professor Ian McIntosh imcintos@iupui.edu
IU South Bend: Professor Joseph Chaney jchaney@iusb.edu

Conference: DPLAfest 2015

On April 17th and 18th, Indianapolis Central Library, Indiana State Library, IUPUI University Library, and the Indiana Historical Society will host DPLAfest 2015.http://dp.la/

DPLAfest 2015, presented by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), brings hundreds together to discuss everything from technology and development, to (e)books, law, genealogy, and education. DPLAfest 2015 will appeal to teachers and students, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, developers and technologists, publishers and authors, genealogists, and members of the public alike who are interested in an engaging mix of interactive workshops, hands-on activities (including scanning stations to digitize your family treasures), discussions with community leaders, hackathons, fun events, and so much more. DPLAfest 2015 is open to the public; registration is required.

Price: $75/two-day, $50/one-day (open to the public)

Register here.

The Digital Public Library of America offers a single point of access to millions of items from libraries, archives, and The The Digital Public Library of America offers a single point of access to millions of items from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. Users can browse and search DPLA’s collections by timeline, map, virtual bookshelf, and faceted search; save and share customized lists of items; explore digital exhibitions; and interact with DPLA-powered apps in the app library. DPLA currently provides free and open access to some 8.4 million digital items.

Exhibition: Dontrell: Think and Drink

http://www.sunkingbrewing.com/

On Monday, April 13 from 5:30-8:00 pm, Nathan Alan Davis and cast-members will kick off the 2015 “Think and Drink” series at Sun King Brewery. This event will be subtitled “Think and Drink: Brews, Beats, and Rhymes,” and will feature DJ Kyle Long and Tatjana Rebelle (host of Lingo and Vocab). This event will feature some of the top beat poets and spoken word artists who will perform along with attendees and Sun King employees to create and spit their own rhymes. DJ Kyle Long will be spinning an eclectic fusion of international music throughout the evening. Donations will be taken at the door to benefit the Starfish Initiative.

Dr. Stephen Selka presents “Mapping the Moral in African Diaspora Tourism in Brazil”

Photo courtesy of Dr. Stephen Selka At 12:00pm on April, 30th the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute will host Dr. Stephen Selka.  His lecture will explore African diaspora tourism in Bahia, Brazil, particularly African American “pilgrimages” to the Afro-Catholic festival of Our Lady of the Good Death (or simply Boa Morte) celebrated every August by women of African descent involved with the Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomblé. Although recognized as part of the official heritage of Bahia, Boa Morte occupies a complicated position on the Afro-Brazilian moral landscape. To evangelical Christians, for example, Boa Morte and Candomblé are diabolical; from this perspective, Afro-Brazilian religion is something to leave behind. By contrast, to the extent that the festival of Boa Morte is understood as a celebration honoring the ancestors, it is particularly appealing to African Americans seeking to “recover” their ancestral past. Nevertheless, ancestors are understood to be dangerous and morally unpredictable in Candomblé; therefore Boa Morte is something morally ambiguous for many Candomblé practitioners, contrary to what most African American visitors might expect. Accordingly, this talk focuses on the contested links between heritage, personhood, and morality that are enacted at the festival of Boa Morte.

Stephen Selka is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. A cultural anthropologist, he researches religion, politics, and cultural heritage tourism in Afro-Brazilian communities in northeastern Brazil, where he has conducted ethnographic fieldwork since 1999. His first book, Religion and the Politics of Ethnic Identity in Bahia, Brazil (University Press of Florida, 2007), explores the various ways that Afro-Brazilians in both Christian and African-derived religious communities construct their ethnic identities and struggle against racism.

This public program is part of the Religion and Ethics Roundtables series of the IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society. 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.

Indiana University statement on changes to Religious Freedom Restoration Act

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University expresses its appreciation and support for this clarifying language, which ensures that nothing in the227604_w296will provide legal protection for, or in any way promote or permit, discrimination in any form on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or their race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity or military service. We are grateful for the hard work and good intentions of those who have earnestly labored in recent days to address this problem.

Indiana University asks all Hoosiers to remember that religious liberty and equal protection under the law are both cornerstones of our democracy and they should not be in conflict with each other. Our system of government works best when people of good will come together to reconcile their differences and find common ground.

We are pleased that this has happened in this situation, and it is our hope and expectation that this clarification will now allow all Hoosiers to put this matter behind us and work together to promote a better image and indeed a better future for the State of Indiana.

Dontrell: Talkback

Immediately following the April 12th performance of Dontrell, Who Kissed the SeaLogo of Phoenix Theatre, the Phoenix Theatre and the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute will co-host a talkback session to discuss some of the “big ideas” that emerge from the play, including the influence of historical events in shaping our experience, the importance of family in molding our identity, and the role of free will in determining our life’s journey.

This conversation will be moderated by Dr. Ronda Henry Anthony, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies and Public Scholar of African American Studies and Undergraduate Research in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. She is the author of Searching for the New Black Man: Black Masculinity and Women’s Bodies, published by the University Press of Mississippi in 2013. She writes on African American literature, gender, and race.

Tickets for the April 12th performance of Dontrell can be purchased here.

Free massive open online course to explore public libraries

INDIANAPOLIS — The Department of Library and Information Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will launch on April 6 a massive open online course exploring public libraries.informatics logo

The free, four-week course is open to anyone anywhere, but RSVP required. Persons interested in the course are encouraged to register in advance, but registration will continue after the class begins.

The course will cover four topics, one each week. The topics are: the “Customer Service and the User Experience,” “Youth Librarianship: Best Practices to Serve our Youngest Patrons,” “Technology: Improving Library Services by Managing Technology,” and “Community Engagement,” said Andrea Copeland, an assistant professor in the department. Copeland, who developed the course, will teach the Community Engagement section.

Given the central role of information technology in libraries and the transition of the Master of Library Science to an entirely online program, creating the massive open online course was a natural step for the department, Copeland said. The Department of Library and Information Science is in the IU School of Informatics and Computing.

“Our degree is open to a national audience in a way that it was never before,” she said. “The library community is national and international and I thought this would be a good way to let people know we’re here and what we’re really good at.”

One of the department’s strongest areas is public libraries, Copeland said. “The course is a digital open house where people can, at no cost, and with as much energy as they wish to expend, learn about our program and what’s going on in public libraries.”

An equally important goal is to explore the feasibility of using the online site for the course for professional development of Hoosier librarians.

As of March 31st, 206 people have registered for the course from 20 states and three countries. About half of the people who registered for the course are librarians. The Indiana State Library will award 12 educational credits for the course.

The course will feature instructional video as well as resources to read, explore and view. Participants, have freedom to work at their own pace, will have the option to participate in weekly discussions, take quizzes on the week’s lectures and readings.

INconversation with Nathan Alan Davis

Join us, on April 9th, for an INconversation with playwright Nathan Alan Davis, Nathan Alan Davis.  Photo courtesy of inside.iub.eduwhose play “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea” will be featured at the Phoenix Theater April 9-26. Nathan received his MFA in playwriting from Indiana University in 2014 and is currently a Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at Julliard.

The discussion, moderated by Modupe Labode, IUPUI’s Public Scholar of African American History and Museum Studies, will center around themes of memory, identity, African-American history, and the different ways we understand these ideas–through history, through theater and art, through material culture and family stories.

Nathan’s plays have also been produced, presented or developed at Baltimore Center Stage, Chicago Dramatists, San Diego Rep. and Source Festival (DC). Other honors include: Jerome Fellowship finalist, Heideman Award finalist and Bay Area Playwrights Festival finalist. Learn more.

INconversation is an Indiana Humanities program. This event has been supported by the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, and is held in partnership with the Phoenix Theater

Chinese public scholar Na Li discusses state of public history in China

Na Li, a Research Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities 8fb17ab0ab2b7b82969e5788675af52eand Social Sciences (IAS) at Chongqing University in China working to establish public history in China as an organizer of a Public History Faculty Training Institute, will be visiting Indianapolis April 7- May 1 doing research in the National Council on Public History (NCPH) archives housed in the IUPUI Special Collections and Archives.

Na Li, or Lina as she calls herself in English, earned a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Toronto and a Masters from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she also earned a Graduate Certificate in Public History. Her research focuses on public history and urban preservation. Her first book, Kensington Market: Collective Memory, Public History, and Toronto’s Urban Landscape (University of Toronto Press, 2015) incorporates collective memory in urban landscape interpretation, and suggests a culturally sensitive narrative approach (CSNA) to urban preservation. Her articles have appeared in The Public Historian, Public History Review and The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning. She contributes to a better understanding of public history on an international scale.

Na Li is also the International Affiliate of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University (Canada), and Research Fellow of Australian Centre for Public History at University of Technology Sydney (Australia). In her role as a Research Fellow at Chongqing University and Adjunct Professor at Shanghai Normal University (China), Na Li is pioneering to establish public history in China. She has organized the first National Conference on Public History in China (2013) and the first Public History Faculty Training Program in China (2014). She is completing her second book An Introduction to Public History (Chinese).

As part of her stay in Indianapolis, she will be presenting a talk about the “state” of public history in China, the goals of her public history faculty training program, and what she hopes to accomplish with her research in the U.S. Her talk, which is an official Intern Seminar, will be Friday, April 10, 2:00-3:15 pm, Faculty Lounge, Cavanaugh Hall, Room 508. Seating is very limited, so please RSVP to Philip Scarpino by April 9.