IU consortium awards faculty grants for work on ‘Wonder and the Natural World’

The Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society has awarded $51,248 to 11 faculty members from three IU campuses to further their research on the topic of “Wonder and the Natural World.”

This grant funding is the first phase of a two-year thematic initiative sponsored by the consortium on the theme of “Wonder and the Natural World.” The first phase will culminate in a daylong public symposium in May, at which funding recipients, along with invited guests, will present their works in progress.

“We received a truly impressive array of proposals, linking wonder to many facets of human and nonhuman life,” said IU Bloomington religious studies professor and consortium director Lisa Sideris. “The successful proposals reflect on the light and dark dimensions of wonder, as well as wonder’s ethical, emotional, cognitive, pedagogical, aesthetic and religious forms. It will be exciting to see the conversations that emerge from these diverse studies of wonder.”

The goal of the funding is to encourage faculty to engage with the idea of “wonder” in all its forms and in a variety of disciplines. The awardees cut across academic fields, including faculty in religious studies, English, bioethics and anthropology.

Heather Blair, assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at IU Bloomington, was awarded funding for her project “Super-Natural: Configuring Childhood Virtue in Contemporary Japanese Picture Books.”

“This project examines representations of the natural world in post-war Japanese children’s literature,” she said, “with a particular emphasis on contemporary picture books designed for children ages 3 to 6. Broadly speaking, it aims to introduce the study of Japanese children’s literature into ongoing conversations about childhood, character education, religion and ethics.”

Richard Gunderman, professor and vice chairman of radiology at the IU School of Medicine, will conduct research titled “Medicine: Wonder-less or Wonderful?” He seeks to explore the disconnect between what is taught at medical school, the dispassionate science of treating injury and disease, and the power of wonder for both the patient and the physician.

“Every time a physician sees a patient,” he said, “there is something awesome in bringing hidden things to light and assisting natural healing processes. Birth, death, illness, regeneration — these are the physician’s daily stock and trade, and they are pregnant with mystery.”

Other awardees and their projects include:

  • James Capshew, IU Bloomington Department of History and Philosophy of Science, “Bristlecone Pine: The Construction and Fate of a Scientific Wonder “
  • Edward E. Curtis IV, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Department of Religious Studies, “Elijah Muhammad’s World of Wonders: Astrophysical Disaster, Genetic Engineering, UFOs, White Apocalypse and Black Resurrection in the Nation of Islam”
  • David Haberman, IU Bloomington Department of Religious Studies, “Anthropomorphism without Anthropocentrism: Ritualized Ways of Enhancing the Experience of Wonder With Natural Phenomena in Devotional Hinduism”
  • Kelly E. Hayes, IUPUI Department of Religious Studies, “Intergalactic Space-Time Travelers: The Enchanted World of Brazil’s Valley of the Dawn”
  • Kelcey Parker, IU South Bend Department of English, “Living Nature: Surrealist Landscapes and Dreamscapes”
  • Phaedra C. Pezzullo, IU Bloomington Department of Communication and Culture, “‘Unprecedented, Unthinkable and Horrific’: Filipino Climate Justice Advocacy and The Sea Around Us”
  • Peter Thuesen, IUPUI Department of Religious Studies, “Wonder in the Whirlwind: Tornadoes as an American Sublime”
  • Michael Muehlenbein, IU Bloomington Department of Anthropology, and Vicky Meretsky, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, “Conservation Values, Personality and Motivations for Conserving Primate Populations”

The symposium, May 22, 2015, will provide a space for grantees to present their in-progress work to colleagues and the public. It will be followed in 2016 by an international conference to explore more deeply discussions of wonder and nature begun at the symposium.

About the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society

The Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society is an interdisciplinary association of scholars, academic programs and research centers from the eight campuses of Indiana University. The consortium’s mandate is to aid in the development of research to better understand religion, ethics, values and spirituality in society. The consortium receives support from the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington, which is dedicated to supporting ongoing faculty research and creative activity, developing new multidisciplinary initiatives and maximizing the potential of faculty to accomplish path-breaking work.

Related Links

Grant Opportunity: NSF Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity

NationalScienceFoundation

The National Science Foundation

This grant supports academe-industry partnerships, which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team with a least one industry partner to build technological, human, and service system innovation capacity. These partnerships focus on the integration of technologies into a specified human-centered smart service system with the potential to achieve transformational change in an existing service system or to spur an entirely new service system. These technologies have been inspired by existing breakthrough discoveries.

PFI:BIC funds research partnerships working on projects that operate in the post-fundamental discovery space but precede being on a clear path to commercialization. These projects require additional effort to integrate the technology into a real service system with human factors considerations, which in turn might spawn additional discoveries inspired by this interaction of humans with the technology.

Award Amount:

Awards may be up to $1,00,000 with an award duration of three (3) years. In other words, the total budget request to NSF for the lead institution and all others participating in the project cannot exceed $1,000,000. Ten awards of $1,000,000 each are anticipated. Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Limited Submission URL:  http://limsub.iu.edu/limsub/LimSubDetail.asp?Number=2336

IU Internal Letter of Intent Deadline (required): 10/1/2014

IU Internal Application Deadline: (if needed) 10/13/2014

Required NSF Letter of Intent Deadline: 12/3/2014

NSF Full Proposal Deadline: 1/28/2015

IUPUI applicants must copy Etta Ward, emward@iupui.edu, on submissions.

Culp, Snell earn Fulbright awards

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Amanda Snell of the School of Liberal Arts | PHOTO COURTESY OF IU COMMUNICATIONS

Brian Culp will spend time in Montreal and Amanda Snell in Laatzen, Germany this school year. And despite the fact that Culp is a faculty member and Snell a student, both are helping build IUPUI’s growing role as an international campus.

Culp is a kinesiology expert from the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management. Snell is an English major from the School of Liberal Arts, and both are prime examples of the impact of the internationally focused Fulbright Scholar Program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Culp will work with Fulbright Canada partners to examine programs and policies in hopes of improving health and physical activity among youth and other under-represented populations in Montreal, Quebec.

Snell, meanwhile, will be part of an English Teaching Assistant Program in Germany and will teach English and Spanish classes at a high school in Laatzen.

Culp, who earned an American Fulbright Scholar Award, be a visiting research chair in The Person and Society at Concordia University in Montreal, studying social justice promotion in health and physical activity in Montreal, a “City of Design” as designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

“Amanda Snell’s recognition as a Fulbright awardee demonstrates the impact of IUPUI’s commitment to global engagement,” said Nasser Paydar, IUPUI executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. “Our students increasingly participate in international experiences during their time at IUPUI and are empowered to transform our community and the world after graduating.”

Culp believes he was chosen for his background in several national and international initiatives in addition to assisting with the design of needed programs and policies, and hopes to provide a Hoosier flavor to the international effort.

“Cities in America are becoming more diverse by the day,” Culp added. That creates both opportunities and challenges. “And cities like Montreal already resemble what Indianapolis could look like in 20 years. We would be remiss if we didn’t prepare to meet the needs of our communities from a health, social and economic standpoint.”

Like Culp, Snell’s work in Europe will connect back to her Indiana roots.

She’ll be part of a partnership in which German students learning English will email Indiana high school students studying German. Additionally, she’ll be doing community literacy projects, including working with immigrant adults trying to learn German.

She credited her IUPUI professors for her upcoming role as a Fulbright awardee.

“I am so grateful for my professors in the IUPUI English department, who mentored me inside and outside the classroom by challenging me academically and encouraging me to apply what I am learning in class to impact the community, in my case, through teaching immigrant and refugee language learners,” she said. “These professors have modeled what I strive to provide to my students: high expectations coupled with support and respect for learners.”

NEH Challenge Grants

NEH LogoNEH challenge grants are capacity-building grants, intended to help institutions and organizations secure long-term support for their humanities programs and resources. Through these awards, many organizations and institutions have been able to increase their humanities capacity and secure the permanent support of an endowment. Grants may be used to establish or enhance endowments or spend-down funds that generate expendable earnings to support and enhance ongoing program activities. Challenge grants may also provide capital directly supporting the procurement of long-lasting objects, such as acquisitions for archives and collections, the purchase of equipment, and the construction or renovation of facilities needed for humanities activities. Funds spent directly must be shown to bring long-term benefits to the institution and to the humanities more broadly. Grantee institutions may also expend up to 10 percent of total grant funds (federal funds plus matching funds) to defray costs of fundraising to meet the NEH challenge. Because of the matching requirement, these NEH grants also strengthen the humanities by encouraging nonfederal sources of support.
Award Amount:
NEH will offer successful applicants a matching grant. The requested grant amount should be appropriate to the humanities needs and the fundraising capacity of the institution. The federal portions of NEH challenge grants have ranged in recent years from $75,000 to $500,000. Requests for more than $500,000 are unlikely to be funded at that level. Note that the program encourages requests for smaller grants for sharply defined purposes.
 
Fund-raising:
NEH challenge grants assist institutions in developing sources of support for humanities programs, and fundraising is an integral part of the long-term planning that challenge grants require. Persons raising the funds as well as those who will be directly responsible for the humanities programs should be fully involved in the planning from the outset. Grant recipients must raise, from nonfederal donors, three times the amount of federal funds offered. HBCUs, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and two-year colleges, however, are required to raise only two times the federal amount.
Eligibility:
With the exception of elementary and secondary schools (public or private) and school districts, any U.S. nonprofit institution (public agency, private nonprofit organization, federally recognized Indian tribal government) working wholly or in part with the humanities may apply for a challenge grant. Affiliated institutions (for example, a university museum) should consult with NEH staff on questions of separate eligibility. Institutions that support research, education, preservation, and public programming in humanities disciplines are eligible to apply for an NEH challenge grant.
 
Limitation:  One per campus  
Institutions may apply for only one NEH challenge grant in a calendar year.
To apply for IU Internal competition:
For consideration, submit the following documents electronically to Etta Ward, emward@iupui.edu, by October 1, 2014 for internal competition.
·         1-2 page research statement briefly describing the proposed project, especially its humanities content, and the humanities credentials of the scholars and other staff who would be involved in planning and implementing the project. Also include plans for raising matching funds. Limitation does not include references.
·         A Letter from the Chair or Dean
·         2-3 page abbreviated CV for the PI
NOTE: Since this program requires a substantial fund raising activity, it is recommended that each Center or unit (department or school) works with the IU Foundation prior to the internal competition.

IU Internal Deadline: 10/1/2014

Preliminary Draft Deadline: 3/24/2015
Prospective applicants who wish to submit a preliminary draft proposal should do so four to six weeks before the application deadline.
NEH Proposal Deadline: 5/5/2015
Brief Description:
NOTE UPDATED INTERNAL DEADLINE: The NEH Program Officer indicated that selected applicants should begin raising required matches as early as December.
Updated guidelines will be posted at least two months in advance of the deadline listed. In the meantime, please use the guidelines for the previous deadline, to get a sense of what is involved in assembling an application.

IUPUI Africana Studies Program receives award from National Council for Black Studies

385606_w296INDIANAPOLIS — The Africana Studies Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has received the Mary McLeod Bethune and Carter G. Woodson Award for Outstanding Service in the Promotion of Social Responsibility in Africana Studies from the National Council for Black Studies.

The award was presented at the 38th annual National Council for Black Studies Conference in March in Miami, Fla. IUPUI’s Africana Studies Program served as the local co-host of the council’s 2013 conference, along with IU Bloomington, Notre Dame and Purdue universities.

“This award acknowledges the collective efforts of Africana studies faculty, students and staff who played strategic roles in the local conference planning as well as their active participation in the NCBS conference that was held in Indianapolis last year,” said Bessie House-Soremekun, director of Africana studies and professor of political science and Africana studies. “We are deeply humbled to receive this prestigious award named in honor of two great exemplars of social responsibility, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. Carter G. Woodson.”

The 2013 National Council for Black Studies conference, at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, had the second highest attendance in the organization’s history. The conference, which featured more than 400 concurrent sessions, drew on the diverse talents of IUPUI Africana studies faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the Indianapolis community. Professor Monroe Little served as chair of the local arrangements committee, and IUPUI senior Kendrea Williams and graduate assistant Juhanna Rogers provided invaluable service as members of the local arrangements committee.

IUPUI and Indianapolis community members also presented papers and served as volunteers at the conference. House-Soremekun presented a welcome speech at the opening reception at the Madame Walker Theatre Center. Three IUPUI students — Stella Brown, Leon Bates and Gregory Efiom — were inducted into the National Council for Black Studies National Honor Society.

The National Council for Black Studies was founded in 1975 by African American scholars who believed in the importance of providing scholarly information on the historical contributions of Africa and the experiences of African descended people in the African Diaspora. It has emerged as one of the most respected professional organizations in the United States dedicated to engendering an ongoing respect for people of African descent.

Book Prize: Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies

The $10,000 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies seeks the best book in European studies that transcends a focus on any one country, state, or people to stimulate new ways of thinking about contemporary Europe as a whole.  We welcome nominations for books published in 2011 and 2012 for the humanities cycle (philosophy, theology, cultural studies, modern languages and literatures, and the arts) by Friday, January 25, 2013.  Nominations, which can be submitted electronically, may be made by authors or publishers and require only two copies of each nominated work.  There is no entry fee.  Publishers may submit up to three titles per imprint.  Additional details about the prize and the entry form are available at the website: http://nanovic.nd.edu/shannon-prize/. Please know that contemporary is construed broadly, and books about particular countries or regions have done well in the process so long as there are implications for the remainder of Europe.  If you have any questions, please contact Monica Caro atmcaro@nd.edu or 574-631-3547.