25 IU faculty from five campuses earn New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities grants

IU Vice President for Research Jorge José | Photo by Indiana UniversityOn the heels of President Michael A. McRobbie’s announcement as part of Indiana University’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan of continued funding for the New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program, Vice President for Research Jorge José has named 25 more faculty members to receive New Frontiers grants.

Considered one of the largest internally funded university arts and humanities programs supporting scholarship and creative activity, the New Frontiers program has awarded more than $9.3 million to 451 faculty members in the past 10 years.

The new five-year extension was the second made by McRobbie after the Lilly Endowment’s Excellence in Indiana Initiative funded an initial five years beginning in 2004-05. This latest round of awards provides up to $50,000 each in Creativity and Scholarship Awards to 19 faculty members from four campuses and up to $15,000 each in Experimental Fellowship Awards for six faculty members from three campuses.

New Frontiers has helped define IU’s commitment to support innovative and creative scholarship with the potential for transformative achievement, McRobbie noted.

“New Frontiers has repeatedly fostered exciting new opportunities for our faculty by integrating the arts, scholarship and creativity, and empowering that relationship with a strong commitment of support,” he said. “This program has allowed our faculty to expand the breadth and depth of their research and creative activity and led to the development of innovative works across a wide range of disciplines. In doing so, it has guaranteed that IU’s longstanding tradition of excellence in the arts and humanities continues to thrive and enrich our quality of life.”

José said continued support of the program validates IU’s commitment to the arts and humanities as a sustaining stakeholder in IU’s mission set down in the Bicentennial Strategic Plan.

“The New Frontiers program, which is unique among major research universities, fosters and strengthens the university’s commitment to transformative innovation, outstanding scholarship, and creative and intellectual achievement,” José said. “More broadly, New Frontiers helps demonstrate the importance of the arts and humanities in contemporary life and is truly a signature program for the university.”

In addition to these grant programs, New Frontiers also supports outstanding and topical scholarly symposia through the New Currents program, and faculty travel for research and creative activity through the Exploratory Travel Fellowship program.

Jean Robertson, the Chancellor’s Professor of Art History at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’ Herron School of Art and Design, has been a New Frontiers grant recipient and later a member of the IU faculty panel that reviews new grant applications. She said receipt of the award provided her the support, motivation and freedom to attain new levels of academic achievement.

“Beyond the practical benefits, New Frontiers funding has given me moral support and strong motivation. I want to justify the confidence Indiana University has expressed in me, thus I aim even higher than I would on my own,” she said. “I don’t know of another university in the country that provides such generous financial support for faculty who specialize in arts and humanities disciplines, and the sheer volume of research that IU faculty members have been able to accomplish as the outcomes of New Frontiers grants is jaw dropping.”

Recipients of 2014-15 New Frontiers grants are:

New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship

  • Heather Blair, Department of Religious Studies, IU Bloomington, “The Gods Make You Giggle: Finding Religion in Japanese Children’s Picture Books”
  • Purnima Bose, Department of English, IU Bloomington, “Intervention Narratives: Afghanistan, the United States, and the War on Terror”
  • Judith Brown, Department of English, IU Bloomington, “Passive States: India and Global Modernism”
  • Maria Bucur-Deckard, Department of History, IU Bloomington, “The Century of Women”
  • Konstantin Dierks, Department of History, IU Bloomington, “Globalization of the United States, 1789-1861: An Interactive Digital Atlas”
  • Jeffrey Gould, Department of History, IU Bloomington, “Port Triumph”
  • Patricia Ingham, Department of English, IU Bloomington, “A Cultural History of Curiosity: Part 1, Monkey Business”
  • Sarah Knott, Department of History, IU Bloomington, “Mother: the past in our present”
  • Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, Department of Anthropology, IUPUI, “An Investigation of Stakeholder-Defined Value at Two Contested Cultural Heritage Sites in Indiana”
  • C. Thomas Lewis, Department of Human-Centered Computing, IUPUI, “Participatory Filmmaking Confronting HIV Stigma”
  • Eden Medina, School of Informatics and Computing, IU Bloomington, “How Data Become Law: Computer-Mediated Evidence in Cases of Human Rights Violations”
  • Jonathan Rossing, Department of Communication Studies, IUPUI, “Humor, Race, and Rhetorical Agency in Post-apartheid South Africa”
  • Kelly Alisa Ryan, Department of History, IU Southeast, “Violence, Self Presentation and Power”
  • R. Matthew Shockey, Department of Philosophy, IU South Bend, “The Bounds of Self: An Essay on Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time'”
  • Ruth Stone, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, IU Bloomington, “Ebola in Town: Critical Musical Connections in Liberian Communities during the 2014 Ebola Crisis in West Africa”
  • Alberto Varon, Department of English, IU Bloomington, “Textual Citizens: Literary Manhood and the Making of Mexican Americans, 1848-1959”
  • John Walsh, Department of Information and Library Science, IU Bloomington, “CoBRA: Comic Book Readership Archive”
  • Brenda Weber, Department of Gender Studies, IU Bloomington, “Gendered Modernity and Mediated Mormonism”
  • Gregory Witkowski, Lilly Family School of Philanthropic Studies, IUPUI, “Donors in a Dictatorship”

New Frontiers Experimentation Fellowships

  • Jim Ansaldo, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, IU Bloomington, “Exploring the Impact of Improv Classes for Teens on the Autism Spectrum”
  • Lesley Baker, Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI, “Digital Clay — Extrapolation”
  • Andrew Hopson, Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance, IU Bloomington, “Using Motion Tracking to Control Audio Playback”
  • Gregory Schrempp, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, IU Bloomington, “Science the Second Time Around”
  • Susan Skoczen, Department of Humanities, IU Kokomo, “Electroformed Metal Mesh as New Material in the Creation of Wearables”
  • Rachel Wheeler, Department of Religious Studies, IUPUI, “Songs of the Spirit: Building Bridges between Eighteenth and Twenty-first Century Mohican Music”

Health Communication Ph.D. launched

The Department of Communication Studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is now accepting applications for its newest post-graduate degree: a doctorate in health communication.

The new degree program opens in fall 2014. Academically well-prepared and highly motivated individuals interested in the study of health communication are invited to apply. A master’s degree is required for admission. The application deadline is Feb. 1.

Health communication is defined as the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence decisions that affect health issues such as individual access to and use of health information; the dissemination of public health messages; consumer education on health issues; patient-health professional relationships; and health disparities. It is increasingly being recognized as a necessary element of efforts to improve both personal and public health.

The new degree program will help prepare the workforce needed for an ever-changing health care environment in which communication is becoming more vital to building relationships between patients and health care providers; encouraging people to adopt healthy behaviors; promoting public health initiatives; and helping society as a whole adapt to emerging technologies, according to Professor Jennifer Bute, director of graduate studies for the Department of Communication Studies.

“Health communication scholars and professionals are uniquely suited to aid not only their academic departments, but also the medical profession and the broader community in recognizing the critical role that communication plays in achieving health-related goals,” Bute said. “From supporting lifestyle changes to encouraging adherence to treatment plans to navigating changing health policies, communication is at the very heart of today’s most pressing health issues.”

A minimum of 90 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required to complete coursework for the IU advanced degree in health communication. Credit hours required include coursework in communication theory and research methods, along with seminars in content areas such as health provider-consumer communication, intercultural communication and group communication. Students will also complete comprehensive exams and perform research in the field.

Students in the doctoral program will have opportunities to obtain competency for teaching and research in various areas, including health interpersonal relationships, intercultural health and mediated communication in health care such as health campaign development. Students will also participate in research on health and medical communication issues and develop skills necessary to translate research on clinical problems in practice.

Employment opportunities for degree recipients will include positions in academia as well as health care.

“We are proud to add this new Ph.D. program to our degree offerings in the IU School of Liberal Arts,” Dean William Blomquist said. “These doctoral students will work with faculty in the Department of Communication Studies and in other departments and schools across the IUPUI campus to improve research and practice in the growing and vital field of health communication. The graduates from this program will comprise the next generation of scholars helping to make health care, disease prevention and risk management in the United States and around the world more effective.”

‘Woman President’ authors examine factors that have kept women out of the White House

In Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Kristina Horn Sheeler and Colorado State University professor Karrin Vasby Anderson examine the 2008 candidacies of Clinton and Palin, and presidential campaigns of other women, along with campaign public addresses, political journalism and punditry, political humor, and television and movie depictions of female presidents. The authors uncover a political and popular culture backlash against women that has kept the White House a man’s place.

“When media depictions of female candidates are based on sexist stereotypes, or worse yet, pornographic and misogynistic framing, we have not just a political culture that discredits political women, but a larger cultural undercurrent that demonstrates a backlash against the gains women have made in the last decade,” Sheeler said.

Sheeler is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Anderson is an associate professor of communication studies at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. The duo also co-authored “Governing Codes: Gender, Metaphor, and Political Identity.”

In “Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture,” Sheeler and Anderson provide a discussion of U.S. presidentiality as a unique rhetorical role. Within that framework, they review women’s historical and contemporary presidential bids, placing special emphasis on the 2008 campaign. They also consider how presidentiality is framed in candidate oratory, campaign journalism, film and television, digital media and political parody.

“Everyone seeking a more complete understanding of the presidency, campaign rhetoric, gender studies and the role of the media in the portrayal of women in the White House and in coverage of women in campaigns, including the election of 2008, will find the scholarship and analysis in this book of value,” said Janet M. Martin, author of “The Presidency and Women: Promise, Performance and Illusion in the White House” and professor of government at Bowdoin College.

“Examining women’s historical and recent presidential campaigns, television and movie depictions of women presidents, and the 2008 Clinton and Palin candidacies, Sheeler and Anderson reveal the hegemonic power wielded by an essentialist white masculinity. Their argument is uncompromising and compelling, controversial and persuasive; their book engages and challenges readers across the disciplines,” said MaryAnne Borrelli, author of” The Politics of the President’s Wife” and professor of government at Connecticut College.

Sheeler’s and Anderson’s book, published by Texas A & M University Press, hit bookstore shelves last month.