IUPUI Professor Andrea Jain named editor of Journal of the American Academy of Religion

The original press release is available here.

Professor Andrea Jain

Andrea Jain, an associate professor of religious studies in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, has been appointed editor of the prestigious Journal of the American Academy of Religion. With around 9,000 members, the American Academy of Religion is the largest organization of religious studies scholars in the world, and its quarterly journal is the most prestigious in the field.

Jain is a leading scholar of South Asian religions and yoga studies. Her 2014 book, “Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture,” was published by Oxford University Press and is a top seller in the field of comparative religions. She has co-chaired the Yoga in Theory and Practice unit of the American Academy of Religion, and her work is featured regularly in newspapers, magazines, and the scholarly blog Religion Dispatches. Her areas of interest include contemporary spirituality and the history of modern yoga; the yoga industry’s relationship to capitalism and consumer culture; the intersections of gender, sexuality, and yoga; religion and politics in contemporary society; and methods and theories in the study of religion.

“I am honored to serve as editor of such an important journal and look forward to helping share the work of colleagues around the world while fostering important conversations,” Jain said. “I am also grateful to work with so many talented scholars at IUPUI, all of whom have made our department a valuable asset to the campus and to the field of religious studies.”

The IUPUI religious studies department will serve as the journal’s editorial office, which is also noteworthy for IUPUI, the School of Liberal Arts, and the department. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at IUPUI has allowed release time for Jain’s work as editor, while the Office of the Vice President for Research at Indiana University is contributing funding for two IU Bloomington graduate students to serve as editorial assistants.

“These collaborative investments are foundational to the first-rate humanities scholarship recognized by professor Jain’s selection as editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion,” said Thomas J. Davis, dean of the School of Liberal Arts. “The journal will continue to be a key publication in religious studies, and we’re delighted that IUPUI will have such a significant role.”

A celebration of Jain’s appointment, in conjunction with Indiana Humanities, will take place from 4 to 5pm on October 10th in Room 409 of the IUPUI Campus Center. IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson will speak along with Davis, while Jain will speak about her vision for the journal and for humanities research at IUPUI.

Indiana Humanities seeking experts for Frankenstein-themed speakers bureau

Next year, Indiana Humanities is sponsoring an ambitious statewide read of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, which turns 200 in 2018. They’re looking for scholars and experts in the humanities and sciences to take part in a Frankenstein-themed speakers bureau. Like any enduring work of fiction, Frankenstein has been studied by generations of scholars and continues to inspire conversation and creativity in the present. The speakers bureau aims to offer talks that can help ordinary Hoosiers delve into the many layers of interpretation of the book, appreciate its extraordinary history, and consider the specific ways it may provide reflection and insight in our increasingly technological and interconnected world. Each talk should be about 45 minutes plus time for questions and/or discussion with the audience. Talks can be delivered with or without additional media such as slides, images, film clips, etc. Talks for adult, teen, or youth audiences are welcome. Scholars will earn $400/talk + mileage. See the full call for scholars, including how to apply, here (link PDF).

Expertise comes in many forms, but typically Indiana Humanities is looking for people with advanced training in relevant humanities fields or STEM fields as they relate to Frankenstein. They are open to full-time and adjunct faculty as well as graduate students. 

Indiana Humanities seeking scholar-facilitators for Quantum Leap field trips

Blue Square

As part of Quantum Leap, Indiana Humanities is taking Hoosiers inside fascinating sites of scientific discovery and innovation to think, read, and talk about how new frontiers of inquiry reshape our understanding of what it means to be human. During each QL Field Trip, a humanities scholar will co-lead a tour, pausing periodically to read aloud short humanities texts that help participants consider the meaning of the research conducted at the site from a humanistic perspective. The tours will also be co-led by an expert from the site or facility—someone who can help make connections between the readings and the science at play. Each trip will conclude with a hearty discussion over food and drink for an indelible, once-in-a-lifetime adult field trip.

Scholar-facilitators lead each field trip and facilitate conversation that ties together the themes and big ideas of Quantum Leap. The scholar-facilitator will also select the texts for his/her field trip destination. Some Field Trip destinations have already been set, while others are still in the works. Scholar earns $500 + travel plus all the non-financial benefits of taking part in this exploratory public humanities program! Read the full call for scholars, including how to apply, here (link PDF).

States of Incarceration Exhibit opens April 13

Indianapolis Central Public Library Atrium

States of Incarceration is a traveling exhibit and website created by over 500 students and others deeply affected by incarceration in 20 cities across the United States. These students grew up in a country that incarcerates more of its people, including immigrants, than any country in the world – and at any point in its history. Recently, they have witnessed a new bipartisan consensus that the criminal justice system is broken and yet there is intense conflict over how to fix it.

The exhibit will be open from April 13 to May 14 at the Indianapolis Central Library, 40 E. St. Claire Street.

States of Incarceration explores the roots of mass incarceration through stories rooted in our own communities, and its goal is to open national dialogue on what should happen next. More information and specific exhibition hours can be found on the exhibition website.

The exhibition will also include several public events, including the screening and panel discussion of the documentary “13th”, a conversation on the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, the Pages to Prison book drive, an opening reception and panel, a spoken word performance, a mental health first aid certification class, and a public conversation. Some of these events require registration to attend; please click on the links provided to see event details.

Support for this exhibition has been provided by The New School Humanities Action Lab, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Indiana Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Netflix, Circle City (IN) Chapter of Links, Inc., Create Forward, LLC, Mental Health First Aid, Midwest Pages for Prisoners, the IUPUI Museum Studies Program, the Cultural Heritage Research Center, the IU School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI Social Justice Education, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, the Inside-Out Center, and the Indianapolis Public Library.

INcommon Grants Call for Applications

Indiana Humanities is pleased to announce INcommon grants, a special one-time funding opportunity offered as part of the NEH’s Humanities and the Legacy of Race and Ethnicity initiative. INcommon grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded for programs that take place between March and October 2017. The deadline to apply is January 20, 2017.

We’re looking for creative and thoughtful ideas that use humanities ideas, readings, and scholars to spark in-depth conversation, insight, and consideration of others’ points of view on the persistent social, economic, cultural and racial issues that divide our communities. These issues often in today’s news: immigration, gentrification, incarceration, policing, institutional racism, the legacies of segregation in housing and education, and more. This grant opportunity invites Hoosiers to take a step back and use the humanities to look at the longer histories driving contemporary debates.

Yet as the name INcommon suggests, we’re very eager to support proposals that demonstrate how the tools and methods of the humanities are a resource for dialogue, understanding and the stitching together of our social and civic fabric. We know these histories can be difficult to talk about. We believe the humanities can create a space for people to come together to learn, consider different points of view, model respectful disagreement and discover shared values.

We welcome diverse projects from across Indiana, addressing different themes and using a variety of public humanities formats. INcommon grants can be used to support new or ongoing public humanities programs that align to the key themes outlined below. Such projects may include reading series and civic reflection discussions; public lectures or panels; film screenings and discussions; or the creation of exhibits, web projects, walking tours, or documentary films.

Special priority will be given to projects that include community discussion and conversation at the heart of their proposed activities. Successful proposals will include input from humanities scholars, including as advisers or facilitators.

For more information or full directions on how to apply, please visit the Indiana Humanities Website.

Voices from Central State to feature a conversation with Nanny Vonnegut

Blue Square

The artist Nanny Vonnegut, daughter of the acclaimed author Kurt Vonnegut, will read her maternal grandmother Riah Cox’s brief memoir, “I Remember Jones,” written about Cox’s hospitalization at Central State in the 1940s. Along with IUPUI Professor of English Jane Schultz, Vonnegut will discuss her family, the history of mental health care, and the healing power of the arts. Vonnegut will be sharing some of her own artwork, as well as family photographs.

The program will be held at the Indiana Medical History Museum on September 26th and 27th, 2016, at 6pm. It is presented with funding support from IU’s New Frontiers Program, Indiana Humanities, and the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute.

This event is the second of a three-part series of programs called “Voices from Central State,” all featuring writings by patients at Indiana’s flagship mental hospital during its 150-year history. Visit http://www.imhm.org for more information, and be sure to register in advance for your free tickets.

Entanglement Series | How Do We (re)Make Our Planet?

Date: April 12, 2016Professor James Syvitski Image
Time: 7:30PM-9:00PM
Location: Indianapolis Central Library, Clowes Auditorium

The IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute presents The Entanglements Series:

How have humans reshaped our planet?  Professor Stephanie Kane Image
How do we address the social and environmental consequences of our carbon economy?
What will the future of planet earth look like?

James Syvitski and Stephanie Kane visit Indianapolis on April 12 for the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute’s Entanglements Series. Entanglements brings together scientists, humanists, and artists to discuss “big questions” that affect all of us.

James Syvitski , Executive Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System and the former Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, will join Stephanie Kane, ethnographer and ecologist of the IU School of Global and International Studies, in a conversation that will take us on a journey to answer one of humanity’s most pressing questions: “how do we (re)make our planet?”

Over the course of this evening, Syvitski and Kane will discuss climate change, environmental justice, and how the relationship between biology, society, culture, and technology determines the future of humanity. This will be an event that changes the way you think about your place in the world.

James Syvitski

Professor James (Jai) Syvitski received doctorate degrees (Oceanography & Geological Science) from the University of British Columbia in 1978. James held various appointments within Canadian universities (1978-95) and while working as a Senior Research Scientist within the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (1981-95). James was Director of INSTAAR – a University of Colorado Institute from 1995-2007, and presently holds CU faculty appointments in Geological Sciences, Applied Mathematics, Atmosphere & Ocean Sciences, Hydrological Sciences, and Geophysics. Professor Syvitski is presently Executive Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System, an international effort in 68 countries to develop, support, and disseminate integrated computer models to the broader Geoscience community.  Jai chaired ICSU’s International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (2011-16) which provided essential scientific leadership and knowledge of the Earth system to help guide society onto a sustainable pathway during rapid global change. Professor Syvitski received the Royal Society of Canada 2009 Huntsman Medal for Outstanding Achievements in Marine Science, is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and will accept the SEPM Francis Shepard Medal and an Honorary Doctor of Science in Sustainability from Newcastle University in 2016.

Stephanie Kane

Professor Stephanie Kane received her doctorate degree in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. Previously an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Gender Studies at IU Bloomington, Professor Kane is currently a Professor in the Department of International Studies in the School of Global and International Studies. Stephanie is a cultural anthropologist and ecologist whose ethnographic work brings social science and humanities perspectives into the domains of science and technology. She researches, writes, and teaches about environmental and social justice with a focus on urban water issues. Her current work in the Port City Water Project focuses on urban water ecology, infrastructure, and culture in Latin America and Asia. Her recent scholarly writing has been published by Temple University Press (Where Rivers Meet the Sea: A Political Ecology of Water, 2012), as journal articles (in Human Organization, PoLAR: Journal of Political and Legal Anthropology, Crime Media Culture, Journal of Folklore Research) and as chapters in edited volumes (Comparative Decision Making, Oxford; Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology). Kane also experiments with modes of visual representation that combine text with photography and drawing.

This event is a collaboration between the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, IUPUI School of Science, Indiana Humanities, and the Indianapolis Public Library.

Presentation: Renowned Indiana historian tapped for inaugural ‘History Talks!’

INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana historian James Madison, author and Thomas and Kathryn Miller James Madison ImageProfessor of History Emeritus at Indiana University Bloomington, will launch the new “History Talks!” series, designed to “engage the past, in the present, about the future.”

His presentation, “Two Centuries of Hoosiers,” will take place Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Indiana Landmarks Cook Theater, 1201 N. Central Ave. in Indianapolis. The interactive presentation and conversation begins at 4:30 p.m. Madison will sign copies of his books from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

“History Talks!” is a new series offering insightful conversations featuring leading historians who will shed light on the rich complexities of the past and help spark conversation on how the past is shaping Indiana’s present and future.

With the approach of Indiana’s bicentennial in 2016, Madison will present an overview of the state’s past, from Hoosier pioneers through the Civil War to the 21st century. His illustrated talk will highlight connections between past and present and help us think about the future.

Madison’s books include “Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana”; “Eli Lilly: A Life, 1885-1977”; “The Indiana Way: A State History”; and “A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America.” He serves on the boards of Indiana Humanities and the Indiana Historical Society and is a member of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. He began teaching history in 1976 and has lectured and consulted widely on Indiana topics.

“Jim Madison knows who we are because he knows who we, as Hoosiers, have been,” said David Bodenhamer, professor of history and executive director of the Polis Center in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. We are excited that he will be our inaugural History Talks! speaker, especially as we approach Indiana’s 200th anniversary. I cannot imagine a better guide to understanding what we might become as a state.”

The presentation is free and open to the general public. Request additional information or RSVP by contacting history@iupui.edu.

The “History Talks!” inaugural program is a collaboration between the Department of History in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the Spirit & Place Festival and Indiana Landmarks.

Spirit and Place Festival | 1971: Paranoia, Surveillance, and the American Dream

1971 Film FlyerThe IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute presents the Spirit and Place Festival Event 1971: Paranoia, Surveillance, and The American Dream.

Date: November 10, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
Location: Indianapolis Central Library, 40 E St Clair St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Free tickets available here

During the 1960s and 70s, thousands asked why the American Dream was out of reach to so many. They organized. They protested. They sought to make America more equal—and entrenched interests fought back. The FBI, led by J. Edgar Hoover, spread paranoia and distrust by use of surveillance, infiltration, and misinformation. The documentary film 1971 tells the story of the protesters and the journalists who exposed COINTELPRO, a secret FBI surveillance program that targeted Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Angela Davis, and others.

Spirit and Place Festival Logo

After a screening of 1971, join in discussion with filmmaker Johanna Hamilton and Bonnie and John Raines, two of the individuals who broke into FBI offices in 1971 to bring truth to light.

Supported by the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial LibraryIndiana Humanities, and the Indianapolis Public Library.


Talking About Freedoms without Freaking Out

An IUPUI discussion series powered by Spirit & Place, a legacy project of The Polis iupuiCenter, part of IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, with support from the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, Indiana Humanities, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Center for Interfaith Cooperation, and The Center for Civic Literacy.

Where do individual rights begin and end? Which religious liberties are protected by the Constitution? Who decides what is “right” when our ideals about religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom from discrimination clash? How do we get past media sound bites and sensational opinions to really talk about our freedoms without freaking out? Explore which freedoms the First Amendment does – and does not – protect in our summer discussion series.

June 19, 12-1 p.m.
Hate Speech and the First Amendment: Values in Conflict
Scottish Rite Cathedral – FREE
At what point, if at all, should so-called “hate speech” become illegal? During the monthly luncheon of the League of Women Voters ‎of Indianapolis, hear attorney and civic leader Don Knebel discuss hate speech and the First Amendment.

June 24, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (reception to follow)
Can We Talk about RFRA without Talking Past One Another?
IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law Wynne Courtroom – FREE (register at mckinney.iu.edu)
It’s fair to say that the controversy over RFRA raised more heat than light. This panel aims to model thoughtful conversation on the constitutional and philosophical questions raised by the RFRA debate. Hear from executive director of the ACLU of Indiana Jane Henegar, IU McKinney Professor of Law John Hill, and attorney and IBJ columnist Peter Rusthoven. Moderated by IU McKinney Professor of Law Robert Katz. 1.5 hours of CLE credit available.

July 13, 5-7 p.m.
Trivia Night
Sun King Brewery – FREE
We’re redefining the meaning of “bar exam” with a night of First Amendment trivia and conversation at Sun King. Grab a beer and your thinking cap and join Indiana Humanities and Spirit & Place for quiz night! Open to anyone 21+, there will be prizes for the night’s sharpest legal eagles.

More info at www.spiritandplace.org.