Research and creative collaboratives represent some of the most innovative work at the University. These self-initiated groups come together with the idea of working on a project of common interest—be it the development of a performance piece, the exploration of a concept or research area through different disciplines, or the creation of a supportive intellectual community. With the research and creative collaboratives, the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) promotes synergistic interdisciplinary activity transcending departmental structures. View the 2014-15 Research and Creative Collaboratives here.
A collaborative may include faculty, students, staff, and community members, and each defines its own agenda, plan of work, and outcomes. Collaboratives organize roundtables, public discussions, workshops, presentations, and conferences, and engage as a group in research, curricular planning, grant writing, and intellectual exploration.
The IAS offers modest funding and administrative support to the collaboratives, allowing participants to focus on their intellectual and creative work without having to worry about myriad details of scheduling, ordering books, or making travel arrangements for visiting scholars.
The funds and the space are designed to facilitate conversations within collaboratives, across collaboratives, and to the larger public that might not otherwise occur. Each collaborative also has a public dimension—a presentation of research in progress, a performance, or a conversation.
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2006-2007 — Art, Design, and Social Engagement
Art, Design, and Social Engagement
The Art, Design, and Social Engagement Collaborative seeks to identify, generate, and promote research, scholarly work, creative work, and teaching that explores the potential for art and design as tools for social change; to promote collaborative interdisciplinary approaches to university-based social engagement; to further the research of participants and the interdisciplinary conversations to which their work contributes; and to identify, generate, and promote university/community partnerships for teaching, internships, creative work, and research.
Conveners: Christine Baeumler (Department of Art, CLA), and Kristine Miller (Department of Landscape Architecture, CALA).
2005-2007 — Art as Knowing
Art as Knowing
The Art as Knowing Collaborative comprises a working group of artists and scholars from across the arts, sciences, humanities and social sciences engaged in conversation about artistic practice and ways of knowing. Questions engaging the group include: How does art work as a way of producing, negotiating, and communicating knowledge? And how is that way of knowing of value across the disciplines as well as beyond the University? How do art theory and practice help us think about the forms of creativity, improvisation, visceral pleasure, and non-deliberative thought that inspire and occur in scholarship in every discipline? How can the arts stimulate new insights into recurrent problematics in the humanities, sciences and social sciences? And how can such a discussion be sensitive to cultural difference when the very category of “art” is itself an artifact of Western history?
Conveners: Lynn Lukkas (Department of Art, CLA) and Margaret Werry (Department of Theatre Arts, CLA).
2005-2006 — Asian/Asian American Bodies in Performance
Convener: Josephine Lee, Department of English
The Asian/Asian American Bodies in Performance Research Collaborative focuses on the uses and representations of the Asian/Asian American body in both historical and contemporary settings. The group’s questions include the following: How do particular stagings of Asian/Asian American bodies intervene into the mainstream representations of Asian/Asian Americans? What are the shifts from “Asian” into “Asian American” bodies, and how do they complicate national and racial boundaries? How do these performances get produced, how do they circulate, who consumes them, and why? How does scholarly work on Asian and Asian American performance intersect with theories of nationalism, transnationality, and globalization?
2005-2007 — Asian Film Collaborative
The Asian Film Collaborative considers the historically produced concept of Asian film with an eye toward the ways in which it has both guided and limited the production and reception of film from Asia through bi-weekly screenings, workshops, an Asian Film Collaborative website, and panel discussions. The collaborative has organized DocuLens Asia, a forum and film series of Asian documentary films.
Convener: Christine Marran (Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, CLA).
2007-2008 — Atlantic Worlds: Art and Globalization
The Atlantic Worlds collaborative addresses the topic of globalization and visual culture in the Atlantic world. From slavery and the slave trade to race politics and free trade, from first contact and exchange with indigenous cultures to the current role of the indigenous within the global art market, from the formation of empire to the emergence of the modern nation state, the Atlantic has served as a space for globalization. The collaborative organized a conference on visual culture and globalization within the Atlantic world, held in conjunction with a spring 2008 interdisciplinary graduate seminar on the same topic.
Conveners: Michael Gaudio and Jane Blocker (Department of Art History, CLA).
2011-2013— Black Environmental Thought
Environmental and agricultural philosophy and ethics deeply inform the practice of Black environmental thought, sustainable agriculture, and Black relationship to the land. Yet, the literature base and primary figures are predominantly European American. For African American environmentalists, farmers and those who have forged a relationship with the outdoors, there is little research or social learning opportunities available to gather together, learn more about how Black environmental thought can and does influence sustainable agriculture both as practice and social movement.
Conveners: Rose Brewer (African American & African Studies), Seitu Jones (City of Minneapolis, Department of Community Planning & Economic Development )
2012-present — Childhood and Youth Studies
Childhood and Youth Studies across the Disciplines
The emergent field of Childhood Studies (encompassing pre-adult phases of the life cycle more generally) is developing as an interdisciplinary conversation among a wide range of scholars. The field augments traditional disciplinary scholarship in sociology, history, anthropology, education, psychology, and other fields. Beginning with an understanding of “growing up” as a set of historically-bound practices neither naturally given nor entirely constructed, Childhood Studies traces various connections and processes through which childhood and youth come into being as categories and experiences. Some of the questions that Childhood Studies asks include: How do our conceptions of children govern what we do to/with them? How do these conceptions vary across time and cultures? How do we conceptualize children’s agency at different ages?
Conveners: Kysa Hubbard (Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature), Mary Jo Maynes (History)
2009-present — Choreography of the Moving Cell
Over the past two years, the Moving Cell Collaborative developed and deepened a fruitful creative and scientific relationship between biomedical engineer David Odde, choreographer Carl Flink and his performance group Black Label Movement (BLM). The collaborative primarily focused on illuminating Odde’s scientific research into the cell’s microtubules and the catastrophic system in which they exist; using these theories as source material in the creation of a choreographic event; and exploring if this relationship can substantively inform Odde’s and other scientists’ research. Moving Cell: 1) worked with composer John Toejnes to develop a sound and sensory system for its “Cellular Catastrophe Arena,” 2) planed “Bodystorming” trips to 2 sites beyond Minnesota that sent Odde, Flink and the BLM movers to work with scientists interested in examining how highly facile and daring dancers can substantively impact their research.
Conveners: Carl Flink (Dance) and David Odde (Biomedical Engineering)
2007-2009 — Creating Culturally Informed Trauma Research
Creating Culturally Informed Trauma Research: An Interdisciplinary Approach
How can practitioners better respond to and treat individuals suffering from the effects of trauma? What role does culture play in how trauma is understood and responded to? How do traumatic life events affect different cultural groups, particularly non-Western groups, and particularly for this study, immigrants to the Twin Cities from Somalia and Oromo? And how can we better respond to the needs of these groups with respect to trauma?
Convener: Patricia Frazier (Psychology, CLA)
2012-present — Crisis Economics
Crisis Economics: Inciting Economics and Economy as Sites of Change
Crisis Economics operates from the premise that we inhabit a moment of crisis that is, at once, a socioeconomic crisis that has exacted a steep human toll and an epistemic crisis, where the self-assigned guardian of the economy, the discipline of economics, has proven abjectly inadequate or unable to anticipate, prevent, and diagnose this crisis. While there are different opinions about what ails mainstream economics, only diehard defenders of the discipline will claim that it is healthy. We approach the crisis as a moment of opportunity to rethink how economics is taught at institutions of higher education, to foreground heterodox approaches to the economy that have been sidelined by the discipline’s mainstream, and to reinvent pedagogy about the economy within the university and beyond. Embracing an experimental, action-oriented mode of engagement, we propose to orient the collaborative around the development of new curricular resources, teaching strategies, a writing initiative that will ideally result in a publishable compilation of mini-essays around the theme of “crisis economics”, and a large-enrollment undergraduate course.
Conveners: Karen Ho (Anthropology), Vinay Gidwani (Geography, Institute for Global Studies)
2012-present — Critical Asian Studies
Critical Asian Studies
This collaborative seeks to develop a new model for Asian Studies for our current epoch often referred to as “the Asian century.” We intend to develop new intellectual, pedagogical, and outreach models for Asian Studies. Our consideration of Asian studies will include the geographical areas of South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and diasporic Asia. Our work will be interdisciplinary and consider the ways in which an approach that favors discipline-based methodology over nation-state based empiricism can enliven the field of Asian studies in the US. In other words, we will use the collaborative to develop an intellectual vision for the field of Asian studies suited to concerns of this century. The collaborative intends to focus on three directions for the study of Asia: Intra- Asian dynamics and movement – the movement of media, technology, and capital; environmental studies in Asia; and a critical examination of the category, “Asia.” In developing these thematic areas of inquiry, we will challenge established theoretical paradigms commonly used in the study of Asia; namely, postcolonial studies and the orientalist approach to the study of Asia that aligns theory with “the West” and empirical case study with “the East.” Conversation with the Collaborative.
Conveners: Hiromi Mizuno (History), Teri Caraway (Political Science), Timothy Gitzen (Anthropology)
2011-2013— Digital Humanities 2.0
This project established a collaborative group, open to all interested parties at the University of Minnesota, to investigate and create new ways of advancing humanities research through advanced digitization and Web 2.0 technologies. Digital Humanities 2.0 will build on the strengths of existing scholarship both national and international to envision the next generation of digital humanities tools, techniques, and approaches. We gathered areas of research already in place at the University of Minnesota; brought in leading DH researchers from both the public and private sectors; and charted a path toward next-generation DH that leveraged our strengths and opened possibilities for key investments in new areas.
Conveners: Laura Gurak (Writing Studies) and Michael Hancher (English)
2006-2007 — Disability Studies Initiative
Disability Studies is a broadly construed, interdisciplinary line of study and scholarship. Disability Studies explores the complex dynamic of individual, family, social, economic, cultural, and historial phenomenon which converge in the construct of “disability.” The purpose of the Disability Studies Initiative Research Collaborative is to develop an interdisciplinary, cross-college set of courses aimed initially at undergraduate education.
Convener: Patrick McNamara (Department of History, CLA).
2008-2009 — Dubai, Inc.
How can the visual arts be used to raise critical questions about identity, economics, and sustainability with respect to the rapid growth of this global mega-city? How can art help communities to understand the benefits and consequences of rapid growth?
Convener: Andréa Stanislav (Art, CLA)
2009-2011 — Embodying Gilgamesh
Recreating ancient texts as modern performance and incoprorating a careful study of ancient Sumerian culture and religion provides the basis for this cooperation between Theatre Arts and Dance and Classical and Near Eastern Studies. Taking inspiration from Jungian ideas about mythic archetypes and the “shadow aspect” of human consciousness, we have begun a search for a way to seamlessly link characters — from their shadow/mythic manifestation rooted in ancient forms, to their contemporary character’s physicality that is inspired by that shadow. To that end, we have structured the piece to take place in five distinct times and locations; ancient Uruk, Victorian England, the Vietnam war, the Iraq war and the Near Future. The completed piece will include layered video projection to create simultaneous but distinct “physical time signatures” for the multiple characters played by the twelve performers and a final performance will play at the Southern Theater September 24-October 3, 2010.
Conveners: Lisa Channer (Theatre Arts and Dance) and Eva von Dassow (Classical and Near Eastern Studies)
2011-2012 — Failure
This collaborative seeks to construct an intellectual history of failure. A thorough investigation of failure as a fundamental element of human thought will allow for a more rigorous theorization of certain attendant concepts, such as success, progress, creativity, and ethics. While seemingly an enormous task, this project will be limited by a practical goal: to better understand the work of failure as it operates within humanistic inquiry, from scholarly writing to research to pedagogy. This collaborative will take on three modest goals: 1) trace a genealogy of failure; 2) begin an account of methodologies of failure in research and pedagogy; 3) offer a platform for sharing resources to make manifest the presence of failure in creative and research practices.
Conveners: Juliette Cherbuliez (French and Italian), Bruno Chaouat (Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies), Margaret Werry (Theatre Arts and Dance)
2006-2008 — The Film Collaborative
The Film collaborative seeks to foster the research and creative work of its members, which is a coalition of scholars, critics, artists, and filmmaking professionals devoted to the appreciation, study, research, and practice of cinema. Its aim is to create an environment within which cinema can be valued and recognized as a strong disciplinary partner, with its own historical paths and techno-artistic know-how. Its members also wish to intervene in the “disciplining” of cinema studies. Traditionally, cinema as a discipline has been divided between production and study; the former is subcategorized into studio and independent films, and the latter structured around divisions between formalism and theoretical approaches, and nationalist and auteurist biases. Their goal in 2007-2008 was to seek new paths cutting across such entrenchments. Film Collaborative members contribute to the University’s E-Center for Film.
Conveners: Rembert Hüser (Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch, CLA), Siobhan Craig (Department of English, CLA), Christine Marran (Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, CLA), and Hisham Bizri (Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, CLA)..
2006-2008 — Global Sexualities
Global Sexualities: Methodologies and Spaces — Transgressing National and Disciplinary Boundaries
The Global Sexualities Research Collaborative comprises an interdisciplinary group committed to breaking new ground in the understanding of sexualities in a comparative and historical perspective. The group is committed to a comparative exploration of the meanings of sexuality, how discourses of gender and sexuality intersect in different ways over space and time, how sexualities function in different cultures and historical eras, and how globalization affects sexual discourses. The collaborative explores the range of methodologies and theoretical approaches most useful for addressing such problems. While some aspects of sexuality have been heavily theorized, this collaborative wishes to examine theoretical assumptions and explore fresh approaches.
Conveners: Anna Clark and Kevin Murphy (Department of History, CLA).
2009-2011 — HumanNonhuman
The HumanNonhuman Research Collaborative
This collaborative has as its goal the sustained contemplation of the complex interconnections among humans, animals and their environment. The collaborative promotes the discussion, presentation and publication of scholarly and artistic work on the social, cultural and representational aspects of human-nonhuman relationships. Its members discuss and consider new ways for thinking through ecological concerns and relations among humans and nonhumans (plants and animals).
Conveners: Christine Marran (Asian Languages and Literatures), and Bruce Braun (Geography)
2008-2009 — The Making of Global Cities
What are the economic, political and social processes that are shaping how mega-cities of the global South are being transformed, as they seek to become global cities? What are the implications of these changes for addressing important social issues such as expanding slums, insecure land rights, unequal access to public goods (such as water or health care), and environmental problems? What alternative theories and practices of development are emerging in the global South that could foster more socially and ecologically sustainable cities?
Conveners: Michael Goldman (Sociology, CLA), Helga Leitner (Geography, CLA), Eric Sheppard (Geography, CLA), Ragui Assaad (Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs), and Joe Allen (Asian Languages and Literatures, CLA).
2007-2008 — Mapping the Determinants of Health and Behavior
The health and well-being of people—and the societies to which they belong—rest on a complex set of relations that connect biological, psychological, social, cultural, and environmental systems, but to date efforts to promote health and alleviate disease have focused primarily on the operations of a single system or level of analysis. There is emerging consensus among both researchers and practitioners that future innovations in efforts to improve dietary behavior critically depend on the development of new models that capture the interdependencies among the biological, psychological, and environmental systems that regulate people’s health and health practices. The formation of a multidisciplinary research collaborative is a critical first step toward the design of innovative multi-level models that will facilitate the development of an evidence base that can guide new approaches to improving people’s dietary practices and, in turn, improve their health.
Conveners: Alexander Rothman (Department of Psychology, CLA) and Simone French (Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, AHC).
2012-2013— Mapping Spectral Traces
Mapping Spectral Traces: A Dakota Place
Mapping Spectral Traces (MST) is an international network of scholars, artists, and community leaders who work with and in traumatized communities, contested lands, and diverse environments. We value a socially engaged creative practice, to ‘map’ the unseen and unacknowledged difficult pasts that continue to structure present-day social relations. We share our work through workshops/projects/publications/exhibitions. The MST network is convening in Minnesota in October 2012 for a special event, workshops, and exhibitions to be held at the University of Minnesota and the Mill City Museum. We are organizing with our community partners, an innovative event to listen, and only listen, to Dakota elders and artists as they share stories and knowledge of their homeland. Through follow up workshops and ongoing dialogue, MST members and invited community members (Dakota and not-Dakota) will reflect and exchange thoughts on the role of history, story and land in contested places. The MST Collaborative will facilitate all of this work and the production of a catalogue to document and reflect on Mapping Spectral Traces: A Dakota Place.
Conveners: Rebecca Krinke (Landscape Architecture), Christine Baeumler, Joyce Lyon, Gulgun Kayim, Mona Smith, Pat Nunnally (Institute on the Environment), Karen Kinoshita (Institute for Advanced Study)
2006-2007 — Markets in Time: Capitalism and Power
Markets in Time: Capitalism and Power
This collaborative seeks to bring together scholars engaged in conceptualizing and explaining capitalism and its highly variable expressions. The common effort of these scholars is to explore conceptions of capitalism and markets as a constructed set of relationships among people and places, over time and space, in contradistinction to capitalism or markets as pre-given, self-augmenting powers.
Conveners: Tracey Deutsch (Department of History, CLA), George Henderson (Department of Geography, CLA), and Karen Ho (Department of Anthropology, CLA).
2009-2013— Mediterranean Identities/Mediterranean Exchange
In its fourth year, the Mediterranean collaborative will to focus on the broad theme of Mediterranean exchange, collaborating in an ambitious series of lectures on Venice in fall 2012 and organizing a video conference with the Santa Cruz Mediterranean seminar. We also hope to bring in three international speakers from diverse Mediterranean backgrounds for a symposium in April 2013. We wish to establish ties with institutions abroad, and attendance by our members at Mediterranean Studies Association meetings is facilitating these aims, as is the TASI summer seminar that may again be held at Minnesota in the near future.
Conveners: Kathryn Reyerson (History), Patricia Lorcin (History), John Watkins (English)
2008-2009 — Mexico-Minnesota Dialogue
How can we understand Mexican-Minnesota migration through historical, contemporary, and future perspectives, and what does this migration mean economically, educationally, and politically for Minnesota? How can the U of M better serve the Mexican and Mexican-American communities in Minnesota?
Conveners: Patrick McNamara (History, CLA), Joan Dejaeghere (Educational Policy and Administration, CEHD), and Kristi Rudelius-Palmer (Human Rights Center, Law School).
2012-present — Music and Sound Studies
Music and Sound Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Group
Since the inception of the Music and Sound Studies Initiative as an IAS collaborative in 2008, dozens of scholars from all over the world have come to the University of Minnesota to share their research in the burgeoning area of sound studies. Now known as the Interdisciplinary Music and Sound Studies Graduate Group, the initiative has developed an international profile, afforded its participants valuable opportunities for scholarship, creative activity, and professional development, and set up an online clearinghouse for relevant abstracts and video content at https://wiki.umn.edu/MusicAndSoundStudies. Now reestablished as an IAS collaborative, we continue with our mission: to bring leading sound studies experts to the University of Minnesota and promote interdisciplinary research that unites specialists in music theory, historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music cognition, communications studies, and cultural theory, among other disciplines.
Conveners: Laura Schmitz (Music) and Eloise Boisjoli (Music)
Music and Sound Studies Initiative 2008-2009
How are new technologies and research interests changing the way we understand the category “music”? How should the institutional study of music at U of M respond to the emerging interdisciplinary field of “sound studies,” which brings together researchers who focus on sound from such perspectives as media; linguistics; speech and language; space, environment and architecture; sensory perception; physics, etc.?
Convener: Sumanth Gopinath (Music, CLA)
2010-2011 — No Boundaries
The No Boundaries project is a collaborative research and performance project between the African American Studies, Dance & Theater, and History Departments that investigates racial construction, embodiment, performance, and identity. Through multiple venues and media, we will conduct a series of activities, including master classes, a lecture, a concert, and audience driven panel discussions that explore the utility and consequences of racial categories, aesthetic choices, and knowledge practices. Convener: Diana Dinerman (History)
2010-2011 — The Origin of Image Making: Behavioral Ecology of Cephalopods and Art
The Origin of Image Making: Behavioral Ecology of Cephalopods and Art
Why do we make images, where do they come from and what is their primary function? Human image production and image distribution systems have made rapid growth to the level of unimaginable saturation in urban contemporary life through design, architecture, city planning, Internet, fine arts, and other media. The Origin of Image Making: Behavioral Ecology of Cephalopods and Art brings together scientific, humanistic and artistic attempts to investigate these ever critical existential questions by examining the cognitive and interpretive systems of the adoptive coloration of cuttlefish as a model to code and to re-map visual information such as paintings, photographs and video.
Convener: Ryuta Nakajima (Art & Design, Fine Arts-UMD)
2007-2013— Performance and Social Justice
Performance and Social Justice: A Corporeal Creative Research Project about Women and Violence
In this phase of the Performance and Social Justice Collaborative’s anti-violence quartet, we will create and produce Mohona/Estuaries of Desire, a performance project investigating the multiple impacts of violence through the paradigm of water. Working through an intersection of traditional scholarly research, and improvisation-based embodied knowing, we seek to foreground multiple epistemologies in seeking understanding and sharing knowledge about specific contexts of gendered violence and the harnessing of a natural resource such as water through corporate monopolies, and how they collude in devastating multiple communities. Working with bodies and movement to both investigate and produce knowledge, this project will emphasize in particular the materiality of women’s struggles in these contexts and the ways in which women have reimagined their lives in response. Other events marking our process will be workshops for project participants, workshops for community and youth groups, showings, dialogues, “community conversations,” and formal presentations. The Collaborative will also prepare a manuscript bringing together critical readings of the performance, reflections on the process, and poetry and visual art that responds to the work and process.
Conveners: Ananya Chatterjea (Theatre Arts and Dance), Jigna Desai (Gender Women, and Sexuality Studies), and Rose Brewer (African American & African Studies)
2011-2013— Performing the Enlightenment
This project seeks to re-open a discussion on the Enlightenment in times of today’s economic crisis when the basic driver of the academe is the distribution of resources. The propensity to avoid moral considerations and to restrict ourselves to issues of profit and loss — economic questions in the narrowest sense — is not instinctive. It is an acquired taste as Adam Smith and Marquis de Condorcet noted already in the eighteenth century. This being the case, the collaborative intends to historicize this propensity by investigating the Enlightenment anew (and, by extension, our situation today). Thus, how did we today come to think in exclusively economic terms?
Convener: Michal Kobialka (Theatre Arts and Dance)
2007-2008 — The Poetix Collaborative
The Poetix Collaborative
The Poetix Collaborative is dedicated to the cross-cultural study of poetics and poetry and to performing poetic works for campus and non-campus communities alike. Foremost among its multiple aims is to encourage scholarly exchanges on poetics across disciplinary divides and institutions, to make poetry more visible, viable, and embodied, and to establish links with locally, nationally, and globally practicing poets and poetics scholars.
Conveners: Maria Damon (Department of English, CLA), and Cristophe Wall-Romana (Department of French and Italian, CLA).
2005-2006 — Politics of Populations
The Politics of Populations Research Collaborative took a leadership role in designing the 2005-06 University Symposium. During this academic year, the group met biweekly for the purpose of launching broad interdisciplinary conversations on topics that parallel the University Symposium: spaces of exclusion and inclusion; understanding genocides; the legal, cultural, and psychological dimensions of citizenship and migration; the politics of epidemics; teaching about race; and art and diasporas. During fall semester 2005, members of the collaborative introduced one another to various disciplinary approaches. During spring semester 2006, the group’s work focused more intently on developing research projects, course proposals and thematic groups.
Conveners: M. J. Maynes, Department of History, and Evelyn Davidheiser, Institute for Global Studies.
2007-2008, 2009-2011 — Reconfiguring Rhetorical Studies: Modern Rhetoric and Visual Rhetoric
The Reconfiguring Rhetorical Studies Collaborative of 2007-2008 investigated the intersections in rhetorical studies across the disciplines of communication studies and composition. Its ongoing tasks are to undertake and promote research that moves beyond the departmental and disciplinary divisions that fragment the rhetorical tradition through presentation and collaborative review, to engage cutting-edge research in rhetoric by scholars outside the Duluth campus, and to create conditions promoting undergraduate and graduate research projects which take advantage of the full scope of the rhetorical tradition.
In 2009-2010, the Collaborative turned to the questions, “To what extent is modern rhetorical theory a rearticulation or transformation of classical rhetorical theories?” “To what extent is modern rhetorical theory a rupture from its classical roots in response to social, aesthetic or technological changes?” and “Can we use modern rhetorical theories to generate contemporary rhetorical criticism?” These discussions were followed in 2010-2011 by an emphasis on visual rhetoric. There are many scholars who study visual communication, an area of research at the nexus of multiple disciplines. Art historians and design theorists approach vis-comm, for example, with a different canon and a different apparatus than scholars in media studies. This diverse array of studies result in fragmentation as well as synthesis and a balkanization of research in visual rhetorical studies. At the same time, while it is clear that publication venues represent lines of disciplinary demarcation, there are common touchpoints and common materials at the base of these radically different disciplinary constructions. This collaborative continued to interrogate what has been at the core of its work since 2007: what is uniquely rhetorical about this phenomenon. What does it means to speak of “visual rhetoric” instead of “visual literacy” and “visual communication?”
Conveners: David Beard and Kenneth Marunowski (Writing Studies, UMN Duluth) and David Gore, Michael Pfau , Elizabeth Nelson, and Mark Huglen (Communication, UMN Crookston).
2008-2009 — Rethinking Statehood – Minnesota at 150
Rethinking Statehood: Sovereignty, Memory and Citizenship in Minnesota 150
What have been the historical, cultural, and political relationships between the University of Minnesota, American Indian sovereign governments, and the larger Twin Cities community? How can more just futures and a more vibrant University be imagined through learning from contemporary American Indian ways of living and knowing in the realms of politics, law, science, education and community outreach, and the performing and visual arts?
Conveners: Brenda Child (American Indian Studies, CLA), Chris Baeumler (Art, CLA), and Sonja Kuftinec (Theatre Arts and Dance, CLA).
2005-2007 — Science/Nature/Culture
The Science/Nature/Culture Collaborative brings together faculty and graduate students from diverse disciplines to explore questions such as: 1) how are the new science knowledges and technologies transforming our understanding of subjectivity and the body? 2) how do new scientific knowledges and technologies challenge our understanding of nature, culture and politics? And 3) what is the relation between new knowledge and technologies and democratic institutions and practices? The collaborative is organizing a workshop on Race and Pedagogy in fall 2006.
Convener: Karen-Sue Taussig (Department of Anthropology, CLA).
2007-2008, 2009-2010 — Social Networks
Social Networks Collaborative: Strengthening Human Relationships
How can human behavior and social relationships be better facilitated and structured by modern technologies, especially in academic settings such as the University of Minnesota?
Conveners: Christine Greenhow (Learning Technologies)
2011-2012 — Studio Co-Laboratory
The Studio Co‐Laboratory project brings together creative researchers from the colleges of Liberal Arts, Design, Biological Sciences and Science and Engineering as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research and collaboration informed by concepts and practices in art, architecture, biology, computer and electrical engineering, design, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and materials science. The humanistic and social nature of the Studio Co‐Laboratory research focus creates a context that brings together researchers in the arts, architecture, design, and the sciences who do not typically have access to one another’s research processes nor the opportunity for creative research collaboration. The convergence of these seemingly divergent modes of inquiry and practice‐based research reflects an emerging phenomenon of artists, architects and designers actively exploring scientific frontiers and technological innovation.
Conveners: Diane Willow (Art) and Marc Swackhamer (Architecture)
2011-present — Teaching Heritage
Following on the connections made in the Locating Heritage Collaborative, the Teaching Heritage Collaborative seeks to investigate the prospects and possibilities of a more formalized program of research and education drawing upon the diverse voices about heritage at the University. Heritage is a term which has come to encompass the objects/subjects of study, protection, preservation and education across a wide range of disciplines. Until relatively recently, topics as diverse as landscapes, histories, folk art, archaeological remains, archives, architecture and the built environment, natural environment, languages, and traditional cultural practices were studied and protected by specialized practitioners and communities. Scholars in those fields now recognize the significant elision or interdigitation of concepts previously approached as distinct realms, like culture and nature, social memory and history, past and present.
Conveners: Katherine Hayes (Anthropology), Phyllis Messenger (IAS), Patrick Nunnally (Institute on the Environment), Gregory Donofrio (Architecture), Anduin Wilhide (History)
As a multi-disciplinary field, heritage studies draws upon disciplines as diverse as anthropology, art history, historic preservation, cultural studies, tourism studies, planning and more. Recently, scholars and practitioners have opened a dialogue about ways to identify, interpret, and conserve a broader range of heritage resources, and the field is beginning to investigate manifestations of heritage that are neither static, fixed, or contiguous.
Conveners: Kate Solomonson (College of Design), Gregory Donofrio (Architecture), Nancy A. Miller (Architecture)
2006-2008 — Telling River Stories
The riverfront as margin and center is at the heart of the inquiry of the Telling River Stories Collaborative. This collaborative seeks to explore the ways varying communities of and along the urban riverfront have imagined the river, used it, lived on and with it, as well as the diverse and sometimes contradictory futures envisioned for the river. Its members share an interest in and commitment to better understanding the changing nature and meaning of the urban Mississippi River.
Convener: Patrick Nunnally (Metropolitan Design Center, CD).
2005-2013— Theorizing Early Modern Studies (TEMS)
TEMS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary workshop investigating Europe and the wider world during the early modern period (late 16th-early 19th centuries). In addition to training graduate students, furthering the research of our own faculty, and serving as a means of attracting and retaining outstanding faculty in early modern studies, the collaborative brings top-level researchers to Minnesota to benefit from the rich creative environment fostered by TEMS, and who in turn enrich our local research community. TEMS demonstrates that the laboratory model in the humanities is an important complement to the formal conferences, publications, graduate seminars, and solitary work that characterizes successful research in these fields. Building on nine years of past accomplishments the 2011-12 academic year will see TEMS continuings with its signature model of collaborative research and learning by exploring the theme of “The Passions.”
Conveners: Juliette Cherbuliez (French and Italian), Michael Gaudio (Art History), JB Shank (History)
2009-2010 — Thinking Body, Moving Mind
Thinking Body, Moving Mind: Repatterning the Scholar’s Bodymind
This collaborative uses the tools of Body Mind Centering to create knowledge and experience within the body. While the biological sciences can evaluate the physical and chemical processes and ramifications of life, work, illness, and movement, they do little to explain how individuals experience their own bodies and the changes that take place within them. In workshops and movement sessions, this project looks to body subjectivity and intersubjectivity and their impact on scholarship and expectations about knowledge.
Conveners: Craig Hassel (Food Science and Nutrition) and Margaret Adamek (Local Foods, Sustainability and Wellness)
2008-2009 — Transitional Justice and Collective Memory
Transitional Justice and Collective Memory
Do transitional justice practices—e.g. human rights trials, truth commissions, reparations, vetting, museums and other memory sites, archives, oral history projects, photography and film projects—help to prevent or deter future repressive episodes or human rights violations? Can better understanding of how these practices construct collective cultural memory shed light on their ability to prevent or deter repression?
Convener: Kathryn Sikkink (Political Science, CLA).
2008-2009 — Transnational Film and Media Studies
Building on the work of the IAS’s two earlier film collaboratives, the Transnational Film and Media Studies group asked the question: “How can knowledge about the intrinsically transnational character of film—including understandings of such processes as resistance, appropriation, reconfiguration, and deconstruction cast in transnational contexts—help us understand the contingencies of cultural identity and exchange across national borders?”
Convener: Jason McGrath (Asian Languages and Literatures, CLA).
2010-2011 — Understanding and Implementing Care Teams
Understanding and Implementing Care Teams: Building a Community of Practice
This collaborative proposes to build a community practice focused on care teams drawing from University of Minnesota researchers and Minnesota practitioners. Care teams are interprofessional teams that are central to the effort to improve population health and contain health care costs. The collaborative seeks to break down silos and encourage integration by sharing knowledge in activities such as presentations and conferences and encouraging the formation of research. This will facilitate identifying fundable care team research that will contribute to the improvement of health care, both in the United States and in other countries, and extend our knowledge of how teams can be effectively organized.
Conveners: Douglas Wholey (Health Policy & Management), David Knoke (Sociology), Pri Shah (Strategic Management & Organization)
2011-2012 — The University Seminar
In the widely circulated CLA 2015 report it is proposed that the college needs to re-imagine itself in the context of a university of the 21st century. If it has been controversial – and given that it proposes to shrink the college by 50% how could it not be? – this is as much because of its specific proposals as because of the troubling fact that it contains very little explicit reflection on what a 21st century university might be. The purpose of this research collaborative is to generate and sustain the conditions for such reflection. The goal is not to engage directly CLA 2015, but to organize a seminar that will bring together “stakeholders” from across the university, within the legislature, and around the globe, to reflect mindfully on the past, present and future of the university.
Conveners: John Mowitt (Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature) and JB Shank (History)
2006-2007 — Using Dialogue to Bridge the Research to Policy Gap
This collaborative aims to bring together those who conduct research on early childhood and policymakers. These two groups have a unified goal, improving the lives of young children, but different approaches to this goal. The challenge is to develop a means by which both groups can inform each other: researchers making their work more useful to policymakers, and policymakers using this work to inform their decisions.
Convener: Lesley Craig-Unkefer (Department of Educational Psychology, CEHD).
2009-2010 — Vocal Tracts and Vocal Behaviors
Vocal Tracts and Vocal Behaviors in Ontogeny and Phylogeny
Three projects intersect to highlight the importance of vocal changes in evaluating gender difference, mechanical signs of pubesence, and evolutionary development. With a focus on the first decade of life, this collaborative investigates the cultural, social and scientific ramifications of alterations in the human voice.
Conveners: Benjamin Munson (Speech, Language, and Hearing), John Himes (Epidemiology), Michael Wilson (Anthropology)
Applications for 2014-15 collaboratives are due on Friday, January 31, 2014.