Two GWS professors are among the faculty whose research projects received funding from the Presidential Initiative on Expanding the Impact of the Arts and the Humanities, which was developed by U of I President Tim Killeen to enhance and celebrate the arts and humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and University of Illinois Springfield (UIS). Through a competitive process, GWS Professors Teresa Barnes and Karen Flynn were selected to receive funding to collaborate with researchers on two different projects.
Teresa Barnes, Associate Professor of History and Gender & Women's Studies and Director of the Center for African Studies, is part of a collaborative team exploring Africana World Studies at UIUC and UIC, which aims to help break down long-standing academic silos of African studies and African-American studies. Through a three-semester sequence, the project is expected to lead students to new opportunities for language learning and community engagement, and it will impact the curriculum at both universities. The project leaders anticipate that the primary participants will be undergraduate students.
Karen Flynn, Associate Professor of Gender & Women's Studies and African American Studies, will co-lead a project on Remembering Black Life in Color: Care, Memory, Community and COVID-19. Project leaders plan to work with organizations such as the Black Metropolis Research Consortium and the Chicago Chapter of the National Black Nurses' Association, recruiting students from a wide range of disciplines to help assemble a history of the human impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black communities. The project will gather oral interviews and create both digital and portable exhibits for presentation. Project leaders also anticipate that their work will expand the collections of the Midwest Nursing History Research Center at UIC and reach audiences outside the academy.
You can read more about the initiative and the LAS faculty who received funding in this round here: https://las.illinois.edu/news/2021-06-25/arts-and-humanities-initiative-offers-support-las-projects.