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”

Taylor Symposium at IUPUI shares city’s religious diversity through performances

2015 Joseph T. Taylor Symposium Flyer

2015 Joseph T. Taylor Symposium Flyer

The practice of one’s religion isn’t limited to beliefs and sacred texts, according to contemporary religious studies scholars.

The 2015 Joseph T. Taylor Symposium at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis offers participants the opportunity to explore Indianapolis’ religious diversity through performances inherent in the practices of various religious groups.

The symposium, “Encountering Religions Through Performance,” takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, in the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd.
“Much of the recent scholarship on religion has emphasized that religious traditions are not just about beliefs and texts,” said IU School of Liberal Arts professor Peter Thuesen, event co-organizer and chair of the Department of Religious Studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

“Religions are also expressed through performances. These performances may involve such activities as singing, dancing, drumming or chanting, but they can also consist of devotional rituals observed either publicly or privately,” Thuesen said.
Symposium presenters include:

  • Light of the World Gospel Ensemble
  • Mohamad Saltagi, an IU School of Medicine student who has memorized the entire Quran
  • Anil Bajpai, Hindu Temple of Central Indiana board of trustees member

In lieu of a luncheon speaker, Sancocho Music will perform and participate in a facilitated discussion. Sancocho is dedicated to researching and performing African-derived music and dance from Spanish-speaking cultures of the Caribbean.

“We’re thrilled with the lineup of speakers and performers. … And we’ve paired each guest with one of our own religious studies professors, who will serve as moderator and interviewer,” Thuesen said. “Each session will be like a mini introduction to what we study in the field of religious studies.”

The 2015 Taylor symposium is presented by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI in partnership with its Department of Religious Studies. The annual event honors the late Joseph T. Taylor, the first dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, for his many contributions to the university and to the greater Indianapolis community. The event highlights topics of interest to urban communities, particularly communities of color.
“Indianapolis is a city of remarkable cultural diversity, but many local residents are unfamiliar with the range of religious groups represented here,” Thuesen said. “We hope through this year’s symposium to highlight the ways performance factors into several of the religious traditions that thrive in our city. In seeking to understand other people and traditions, we build community, which was one of Dr. Taylor’s goals as an educator.”

Morning symposium sessions, held in the theater on the lower level of the Campus Center, are free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested.

The noon luncheon will take place in Campus Center Room 450. Luncheon seating is limited and requires registration and pre-payment. Luncheon tickets are $35 each, if purchased by Jan. 26, or $40 after Jan. 26. Organizations are also invited to become table patrons for the luncheon ($550 for a table of 10).

For symposium registration and additional information, visit the Taylor Symposium website.

Study: “The Bible in American Life”

UntitledThe year 2011 marked the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. It also marked the beginning of a three-year Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI ) study of the Bible’s place in the everyday lives of Americans.

With a $507,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture – a program of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI – set out to answer questions of how, where, when and why ordinary Americans use the Bible.

According to findings made public online in the 44-page “The Bible in American Life” report, the four-centuries-old King James Version of the Bible is far from dead. Despite its archaic language and a market flooded with newer, more modern English translations, more than half of the individuals and two-fifths of the congregations surveyed still prefer the King James Bible.

And of those surveyed, African Americans reported the highest levels of Bible engagement.

Seventy percent of all blacks said they read the Bible outside of public worship services, compared to 44 percent for whites, 46 percent for Hispanics and 28 percent for all other races.

Bible memorization is highest among black respondents, 69 percent, compared to 51 percent among white conservative Protestants and 31 percent among white moderate/liberal Protestants.

“There are no measures, individually or in congregations, where ‘black’ is not strongly correlated with the most conservative, most active, most involved level of scriptural engagement, no matter which other group comes closest,” the report says.

“If one wanted to predict whether someone had read the Bible, believed it to be the literal or inspired Word of God, and used it to learn about many practical aspects of life, knowing whether or not that person was black is the single best piece of information one could have.”

The report first looks at the practice of scripture reading in the United States, and then explores eight measures among those who read the Bible, such as Bible translation used; scripture memorization habits; favorite passages; and race.

Roughly half of Americans have read religious scripture outside of a public worship service in the past year. For 95 percent of those, the Bible is the scripture they read.

What did the study reveal about Bible readers?

Most of those people read at least monthly, and a substantial number – 9 percent of all Americans – read every day.

Women were more likely to read than men; older people were more likely to read than younger; Southerners were more likely to read than those of any other region.

The percentage of verse memorizers among Bible readers (48 percent) equates to roughly a fourth of the American population as a whole, or nearly 80 million people.

Psalm 23 – which begins “The Lord is my shepherd” – was the most popular Biblical passage.

Younger people, those with higher salaries and, most dramatically, those with more education among the respondents read the Bible on the internet or an e-device at higher rates.

The written report, based on survey questions on both the General Social Survey (1,551 individuals) and the National Congregations Study III (denominations represented among the General Social Survey respondents), is the first stage of the study and offers sociological data about the role of the Bible.

“Historians and sociologists have been working for years to understand how religion is lived out on a daily level,” said Philip Goff, executive director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture and one of the three principal investigators who led the study. “This gives us a good snapshot of the practice of Bible reading. That should also help ministers understand the people in their pews.”

Goff’s co-investigators are Arthur Farnsley, associate director of the center; and Peter Thuesen, chair of the Department of Religious Studies at IUPUI.

full article found here