CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - February 3, 2022
The Humanities Research Institute (HRI) has announced the first cohort of Interseminars graduate fellows: nine students from a range of disciplines and home colleges, including Education, Fine and Applied Arts, and Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The fellows will collaborate with faculty conveners in the design of cross-departmental and cross-college courses, participating in the project’s two summer intensives, an interdisciplinary methods seminar and themed seminar course, and engaging in collaborative research. The project spans an 18-month period, culminating in a community event.
Supported by a $2,000,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation, the Interseminars Initiative funds three such projects over three successive years, each selected through a competitive application process. This initiative represents the latest thinking on how best to practice a genuinely collaborative and equitable commitment to graduate training in the public research university of the 21st century, particularly for students historically underrepresented in American higher education.
In addition to funding from Mellon, these fellowships were made possible by the generosity of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The first Interseminars project, led by faculty members Josue David Cisneros (Communication), and Patrick Earl Hammie (Art and Design), and Jorge Lucero (Art and Design) is themed “Imagining Otherwise: Speculation in the Americas.” Referencing examples from TV’s “Lovecraft Country” to recent anti-racist activist efforts, the theme centers speculation as a method for looking differently at the world—both to critically assess its status quo and to reimagine how it could be different. Studying speculative forms in art and activism, they propose, can help guide scholarly and creative inquiry about crises ranging from climate change to systemic violence and immigration policy. The project’s work will be foregrounded in the knowledge and experiences of historically marginalized communities throughout the Americas, exploring how speculation has been and can be used to reframe the past, present and future. Read more