From NEH: Second Humanities Infrastructure Grant Program Added for 2018

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will offer a second round of its new Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants, with an application deadline of August 1.

NEH announced the new grant program, designed to create and sustain humanities infrastructure, in January. Under this program, cultural institutions such as museums, libraries, archives, colleges and universities, scholarly associations, and historic sites are eligible to receive up to $500,000 for projects that build institutional capacity or infrastructure for long-term sustainability.

These challenge grants, which require a match of nonfederal funds, may be used toward capital expenditures such as construction and renovation projects, purchase of equipment and software, sharing of humanities collections between institutions, documentation of lost or imperiled cultural heritage, sustaining digital scholarly infrastructure, and preservation and conservation of humanities collections.

NEH’s first Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant awards will be announced in August. However, in response to marked demand for infrastructure support, the agency will offer the program for a second time in 2018. Updated application guidelines will be posted online this month.

“For decades, NEH has played a vital role in helping build the humanities infrastructure of the United States,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “These new grants expand that role by leveraging federal dollars to spur increased private investment in our nation’s libraries, museums, and cultural centers to ensure the long-term health and growth of these institutions. The result will be greater access to historical, cultural, and educational resources for all Americans.”

The grant program includes a special encouragement to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and two-year colleges.

The application deadline for the second round of NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants is August 1, 2018. Please direct questions about grant proposals to challenge@neh.gov.

Read the original news release.

Reflecting on Religion and Philanthropy

Giving to religion makes up a third of all giving in America, and over half of all Americans say their religious or spiritual values motivate their philanthropic giving. If this is the case, why do religion and money remain such taboo topics in our society?

The full philanthropic impact of religious communities goes far beyond finances. The story of religious philanthropy speaks to when, why, and how religious institutions engage their broader communities in volunteering, advocacy, and cultivating a civil society.

Is philanthropy primarily meant to take care of those within one’s own community or the larger society? Does philanthropy provide for basic needs or promote institutional change? Should religious giving develop an individual’s character or shape the morality of society, or are such purposes off limits in a pluralist society?

Two leading historians will share their reflections on what we can learn from the intersections of religion and philanthropy in the past and what issues might define the topic into the future: Jim Hudnut Buemler, Anne Potter Wilson Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Vanderbilt University, and David Hammack, Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History at Case Western University. The event will be moderated by David P. King and Philip Goff.

This public talk will be held on Thursday, May 17, at 5:30pm, at the Damenvervein Room of the Athenaeum, 410 E. Michigan Street.

IUPUI Welcoming Campus Initiative Project and Hospital Habits

Godwin Charles Ogbeide

Hundreds of IUPUI faculty, staff, administrators and students learned about the value of a smile, an expression of gratitude and kindness, at seminar luncheons that were part of a project funded by the Welcoming Campus Initiative.

Read the original article from News at IU‘s Rich Schneider.

The last of the luncheons this academic year took place April 25 at the Campus Center. The luncheons were free and open to faculty, staff, administrators, and students.

The Welcoming Campus Initiative provides internal grants of up to $25,000, with a match by the proposing unit, to support implementation of projects related to the overarching themes of communicating who we are, creating a vibrant and inclusive student experience, designing an accessible, inspiring urban campus, engaging and integrating with the community, and investing in faculty and staff.

Titled “The Habits of Hospitable People,” the luncheon seminars were led by Godwin Charles Ogbeide, an associate professor in the Department of Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management in the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management and director of the Events and Tourism Institute.

With his research focus on leadership strategy and the science of hospitality, he explores physiological changes that occur in people as the result of hospitable actions. Ogbeide is particularly aware of the importance of actions that make the campus welcoming. During the luncheon, Ogbeide shared scientific findings about the physiological impact of hospitable actions and discussed verbal and nonverbal hospitality communications.

Those hospitable habits include acknowledgement, friendliness, gratitude, empathy, and kindness, Ogbeide said. Acknowledgement can occur in several ways, including with a smile and eye contact, he said: “When you see me smile, don’t you already feel comfortable and welcomed?” When acknowledgement occurs, the reaction is, “I can talk to this person,” Ogbeide said.

“How often do we show gratitude to one another, to our guests, to visitors and students?” he said. “If you thank a student or visitor for coming to IUPUI, the culture changes. Word of mouth will be good. People will say, ‘They’re nice at that university, and I want my son or daughter to go there.'”

Designed to help make IUPUI a welcoming campus, the luncheon seminars themselves were welcomed. The other part of the project that was approved by the Welcoming Campus Initiative was to develop IUPUI Welcome-365, a user-friendly mobile app to enhance orientation at IUPUI and navigation of campus as well as generate a welcoming feeling.

With the app, students have the campus in the palm of their hand, Ogbeide said. Its features include an interactive campus map that can guide students to buildings and parking; a university calendar and personal calendar; and access to IUPUI academic, financial, and health resources.

The app removes challenges of not knowing where buildings are located or how or who to ask for help, Ogbeide said. “IUPUI is a large campus, but we can make this big place the size of their phone.”

Author to Speak on Family Challenges at Commencement

A’Lelia Bundles

Fresh from practically defeating the Indiana Pacers by himself in the playoffs, Lebron James will ease some of the pain by helping pay tribute to one of Indianapolis’ most renowned women.

Read the original article from News at IU‘s Tim Brouk.

The star forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers has been attached as an executive producer, along with Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer, on a future Netflix series focusing on Madam C. J. Walker, the namesake for the Madam Walker Theatre Center near IUPUI and the nation’s first African-American female self-made millionaire. James and Spencer are connected through the William Morris talent agency.

“What I can say is that the writing process is tentatively scheduled to start during the summer,” said Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles via telephone from Washington, D.C. “Once the writers are assembled, they’ll map out the arc of the story. I’m a consultant on the series. If all goes well and the planets align properly, I will be involved periodically while they are developing the storyline.”

The series is based on Bundles’ best-selling 2001 book, “On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker,” which follows Walker’s life from a Southern cotton fields worker to a poor washer-woman in St. Louis to the employer of thousands of African-American women in her own hair care and cosmetics firm, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company, based in downtown Indianapolis. The book was optioned by Zero Gravity Management in 2016.

Bundles is finishing up another book, “The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance,” based on her great-grandmother and namesake, who was the daughter of Madam Walker. A’Lelia Walker was a major cultural influencer in New York while representing the family business in the Big Apple.

As guest speaker at IUPUI’s commencement on May 12 at Lucas Oil Stadium, Bundles will talk about those women and her own career as a former ABC and NBC news producer and journalist. Several thousand students and their families will be in attendance.

A North Central High School graduate raised in Indianapolis on Grandview Drive, Bundles received degrees from Harvard College and Columbia University before settling in Washington, D.C. Her father, S. Henry Bundles, was president of the Center for Leadership Development in Indianapolis and now lives in Florida. Her late mother, A’Lelia Mae Perry Bundles, was vice president of the Walker Company while being involved in Indianapolis politics.

Moving Image Archive Director Gains International Attention

Rachael Stoeltje

Rachael Stoeltje’s interest in film started when she was a child growing up in Austin, Texas, but now that passion has grown to international levels: The director of the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive has been named the 2018 Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations board chair, leading meetings in Paris, Bangkok, Prague and beyond.

Read the original article from News at IU‘s Allie Hitchcock.

“I love the collections. I love working with students; that’s been incredibly satisfying,” Stoeltje said. “I love my international work, and I think for libraries in general, it’s an exciting time.”

The Coordinating Council, a partially UNESCO-founded organization created in 1982, is the umbrella organization of the eight professional organizations supporting preservation of audio, video and film archives around the world.

Carolyn Walters, the Ruth Lilly Dean of Indiana University Libraries, has been a longtime supporter of Stoeltje’s work at the Moving Image Archive. Working together to harness the mounting interest in film preservation at IU, Walters and Stoeltje first transitioned the university film collection into a secure home at the Auxiliary Library Facility, formally created the Moving Image Archive, then imagined a community space in the ground floor of Wells Library to encourage access and use of the collection.

Along the way, the strength of IU’s commitment to preservation, and the intensity of Rachael’s passion for film — especially as a primary source for learning — caught the attention of both national and international colleagues.

“Rachael sparks enthusiasm when she speaks about nearly any film or related preservation project,” Walters said. “With her new leadership role at this international level, Indiana University’s extensive collections will be incredibly visible to a worldwide community. The talents of our experts here at IU, already well known, will be illuminated in a way that greatly strengthens our efforts to preserve and share film with scholars everywhere.”

The term “everywhere” means just that. Stoeltje became chair of the Coordinating Council through her work serving on the International Federation of Film Archives Executive Committee; she also serves as the head of the training and outreach program in the federation. Through this work, which she is extending to the Coordinating Council’s mission, she has worked with the federation’s training and outreach coordinator and secretariat to find new ways to meet requests for assistance from Mexico to Myanmar.

Some countries’ archivists deal with standard needs to find new preservation methods, while others have larger issues like natural disasters occurring at the same time. On one visit to Sri Lanka, for example, the expert volunteer in the field dealt with badly deteriorating films in a storage unit. In Tunisia, members of the federation are helping open a cinema.

“It’s been a pretty enormous range,” Stoeltje said. “Trying to meet all those needs with volunteer workforces is challenging.”

Traveling all over the world to work with an international member base helps Stoeltje stay connected. The Coordinating Council and the other federations within it also try to keep an international viewpoint. The Federation of Film Archives, for example, runs its conferences in three languages simultaneously.

Another universal task Stoeltje is working on is collection digitization among changing digital platforms. Concerns that the Coordinating Council and archivists in general had 20 years ago are completely different today, so she is seeking new platforms to best serve everyone.

Back home in Indiana, Stoeltje continues to expand IU’s Moving Image Archive, a collection that has tripled in size over the past nine years. On top of her international concerns, Stoeltje stays busy by hosting regional and national visitors interested in the archive, mentoring student interns, leading film-related areas of the Media and Digitization Preservation Initiative and contributing to IU’s international presence and prominence in film studies.

“The archive has been an invaluable partner to IU Cinema since opening,” said Jon Vickers, founding director of IU Cinema. “In a short amount of time, Rachael has led the transformation of the archive and brought international prominence to IU’s moving image collections. Now she is essentially leading the organization that serves as the umbrella for preserving the world’s motion picture heritage. This speaks well to her leadership and good work, but also for all of us at IU who work in film and media.”

She credits the impressive growth and impact of the archive to support from IU Libraries and university-level leaders, who clearly understand that today’s libraries can offer more than ever before. Stoeltje said it’s exciting to play a part in the evolution.

“There’s been a shift from 10 years ago when people wanted to know, ‘How many books do you have in the library?’ to a better understanding of the diverse and relevant services and materials that IU Libraries provides.”

From Humanities: Environmental Prophet Rachel Carson Cultivated a Culture of Wonder

More than a half century after the publication of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s book about the ecological dangers of pesticides, she endures as a writer few Americans recall with a smile.

Silent Spring, which drew its name from the prospect of a poisoned world in which no birds sing, sparked the modern environmental movement and the banning of DDT. It was a profound and important book, although not, because of its subject matter, a fun read. In spite of what it asked of readers—or perhaps because of it—Silent Spring became a runaway best-seller, cementing Carson’s place in literary history. She’s fixed in the public mind as a kind of hair-shirted prophet, full of dire but compelling predictions about the fate of the earth if humanity doesn’t change its ways.

But Carson (1907–1964) had a lighter, lyrical side, as Library of America has reminded readers with Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment, a new selection of her prose.

About Silent Spring, many already know. But the other writings in this LOA project, including letters, speeches, and articles, reveal a writer who could be hopeful, happy, even funny.

[read more]

The Human Library at IUPUI: Educational & Thought-provoking

The Human Library at IUPUI, a campus-funded Welcoming Campus Initiative, was designed to provide a safe place for conversations around difficult subjects and help advance understanding among a community of diverse people.

Read the original article from News at IUPUI.

Responses to the event, which took place April 2 in the Campus Center, captured the positive reactions of both “books” and “readers,” said Andrea Copeland, associate professor and chair, Department of Library and Information Science at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, and lead organizer of the event.

Among responses from participants: “This was a wonderful experience! Loved it!” “It’s wonderful to take the time to slow down, connect and learn from one another.” “A great experience and opportunity to learn, to listen, and to be introspective.” “Unexpected, educational, thought-provoking, great experience overall!” “Excellent opportunity to engage in dialog and to learn about people’s lives. I learned so much, thank you!”

The IUPUI Human Library featured people as “books” who could be checked out by readers. “Usually, the knowledge vessel is a book. In this case, the knowledge vessel was a human,” Copeland said.

About 30 people volunteered to be books, including a recovering addict, an individual who was a survivor of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, a person who was overweight and chose to have bariatric surgery, a rape survivor, a person who became deaf at age 30 as a result of a neurological disorder, a transgender individual, and a Palestinian immigrant who is Muslim.

“Conversations people get to have around difficult topics is what’s so valuable about a human library. It really creates a safe place for that,” Copeland said.

The event drew people from Columbus, Muncie, Franklin College, and Eli Lilly and Company who want to have human libraries in their community and came to IUPUI to witness the one here, Copeland said.

As the number of human libraries in Central Indiana grows, Copeland said, it would be possible to build a book depot, a sort of shared library, making it easier to facilitate hosting human library events and enable really good books to reach more people.

From IndyStar: A Business with a Buzz

Photo provided by The Bee Corp

All her life Ellie Symes had been taught to fear bees. Then, she peered into a hive after her freshman year of college and her life changed.

When she returned from her summer internship with a beekeeper to classes at Indiana University, Symes made a mission of sharing her newfound passion with others on the Bloomington campus.

Now, nearly five years later, Symes and two classmates are making a career out of their mutual love of bees. With seed money from a university competition, the three IU grads started a Bloomington-based company, The Bee Corp, which focuses on ways to use technology to support the beekeeping industry.

Earlier this year the agribusiness startup received a $225,000 small business innovation research grant from the National Science Foundation.

About 15 customers currently use the company’s Queens Guard system, which monitors temperatures inside the hive to alert beekeepers at the earliest sign something has gone amiss with a hive, said Wyatt Wells, a co-founder who serves as the company’s chief marketing officer.

[read more]

‘Hash It Out’ Podcast Explores & Debates Social Issues

Social Justice Education scholars Judith Atibil, left, and C. Elizabeth Duff, right. Photo by Tim Brouk, IU Communications.

IUPUI’s newest podcast tackles serious social issues while showcasing its hosts’ passion for debating topics like reproductive rights, incarceration, and abortion.

Read the original article from News at IUPUI‘s Tim Brouk.

Judith Atibil and C. Elizabeth Duff show good chemistry on “Hash It Out,” which debuted in October on SoundCloud.com. The Social Justice Education scholars create an outline for each episode. Some portions are scripted, but there is also room for spontaneous debate.

Last summer, the students did not foresee themselves as podcast hosts, let alone gaining hundreds of listeners after the program got bumped up to iTunes status. Duff and Atibil only met a couple times before recording their first full episode, “Discrimination in the Doctor’s Office.”

“We were both so nervous and trying not to show it,” Duff said. “It was nerve-wracking. But now we love it.”

The final “Hash It Out” episode for the academic year dropped Friday, April 20, with a focus on labor unions to commemorate the Ludlow massacre of April 20, 1914. The podcast is expected to return for 2018-19, but the students aren’t sure if they will return as hosts. No matter who is at the mic, “Hash It Out” has brought a new element to the varied programs Social Justice Education promotes.

“It brings the work of Social Justice to the virtual realm, especially since the rest of our programming is all physical,” said Atibil, a junior studying public safety management. “It gives people more access to us.”

Atibil and Duff’s studio is anywhere they can meet on campus due to heavy spring semester class schedules, multiple part-time jobs, and the numerous hours dedicated to various other Social Justice Education initiatives. Duff utilizes a voice-recording application on her iPhone to capture each episode. The file syncs up with Google Drive. The content is then downloaded to Duff’s laptop computer, where she edits each episode on Audacity. The episodes are posted about twice a month and clock in between 30-45 minutes, on average.

Moving the podcast outside of a campus communications studio lab to different parts of campus made the student hosts more relaxed, they said. “We are both flexible and not linear. We needed the mobility,” Duff said.

While both students share a passion for social issues, their viewpoints aren’t identical. The “Are Prisons Obsolete?” post in February offered lively discussion. “We’re pretty liberal, but Elizabeth is an abolitionist whereas I’m a reformist,” Atibil explained.

The topics are brainstormed at the beginning of each semester, concentrating on hot issues in the news as well as subjects of personal interest. The students attach reference material and articles of inspiration to each episode for their listeners. “It’s really fun to sit down and just blurt it out to each other,” Duff said.

Although she is graduating in May, Duff will be returning to IUPUI as a graduate student in museum studies, and she sees the podcast continuing and growing in audience and accessibility. Transcripts for the hearing-impaired are a goal. She also hopes “Hash It Out” will receive more audience interaction and feedback.

Both students are proud of what they’ve established. Passion for the issues made up for the lack of podcasting experience.

“I think it’s one of the coolest experiences I’ve had,” Duff said. “I just showed up with no knowledge. I get sappy about it, but we’ve built this program from the ground up. We started from not knowing how to record, where to record, how to edit, how to do anything. Now we’re on iTunes and have hundreds of listeners. I love it, and I had no idea I’d enjoy it as much as I do. It’s my baby now.”

Center for Ray Bradbury Studies Receives NEH Grant

Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at IUPUI, one of the most extensive single-author archives housed at a university, has received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Read the original article from News at IUPUI.

On April 9, the NEH announced $18.6 million in grants for 199 humanities projects across the country, including a number of humanities collections and reference resources grants.

The grant will allow the center to prepare a preservation plan and operational procedures that will help it to eventually expand into a museum and archive with gallery space, all open to the public.

“Ray Bradbury’s archives are a treasure not only for this campus but for all scholars and fans of Mr. Bradbury and his work everywhere,” said Thomas J. Davis, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, which hosts the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. “This generous grant will eventually allow more people to study and enjoy his life’s work and personal items.”

The center was founded in 2007, and the collection, housed in Room 121 of Cavanaugh Hall in the heart of the IUPUI campus, spans the lifetime of the science fiction master (1920-2012). His literary works, art, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, audiovisual materials, and more are all preserved — nearly 15 tons of materials in all. His home office has also been meticulously recreated with its original contents.

“He kept everything — everything was a memento to life for him,” said Jonathan R. Eller, director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies and Chancellor’s Professor of English. “All his life, he was learning and observing. When he was beginning to dream about human beings going to outer space, the moon, and Mars, that was his dream before it was popular. His dreams became our dreams through books like ‘The Martian Chronicles.'”

Bradbury’s work continues to inspire millions today, from astronauts to statesmen to children. Literary and Hollywood legends such as Herman Wouk, Steven Spielberg, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, and Walt Disney, among many others, wrote letters to Bradbury during his lifetime — those are also housed in the collection.

The NEH grant will allow for the hiring of two graduate interns — at least one from the School of Liberal Arts’ Museum Studies program — devoted to coordinating all the work required to expand into a museum and gallery.

“We will be learning best practices for preservation and for inventory and accessioning, as well as the kind of activities that a gallery or archive or museum does to make sure the public has access to these items,” Eller said. “Once we’ve benefited from this grant, a lot of doors will open.”