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However, those subjects were tackled in hands-on workshops conducted by artists, performers and an historian skilled in digital methods. For instance, performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña spent a week in the Digital Culture group’s studio, known as Modlab, working with 10 graduate students in performance studies, cultural studies and anthropology on a performance piece titled “Glitch Body & Nanostalgia.” In these more intimate, interactive events held in the group’s dedicated workspace, faculty, students and the public acquired practical skills and engaged with the visiting artists and speakers one-on-one.

Both the Digital Cultures and Social Justice groups in 2014-2015 attended closely to the needs of their graduate students with financial support for travel and research as well as providing them with opportunities to showcase their own research. Out of a competitive pool of 30 proposals, the Digital Cultures group awarded six summer research fellowships to their graduate students. In addition, there are more students advancing to the dissertation stage in the area of digital cultures as nine students delivered prospectuses on topics coming directly out of Digital Cultures seminars. The Mellon visiting assistant professor in Digital Cultures, Kris Fallon, hosted a one-day conference in fall 2014 called “Digital Terrains,” inviting graduate students to present their ongoing research projects.

The Social Justice group awarded three conference travel grants to allow graduate students to present their work at professional conferences and nine summer research awards to support students with topics related to indigenous peoples and social justice. Of the two graduate student researchers working for the Social Justice group in 2014-2015, Cutcha Risling Baldy is heading to a tenure-track position at San Diego State and the other, Angel Hinzo, received a 2015-2016 dean’s fellowship that will support her in her final year. Graduate students affiliated with the Social Justice group had two opportunities to present their work in 2014-2015. In December 2014, the recipients of 2014 summer research awards were asked to report on their projects and the progress they made on topics ranging from food politics and bacteria to victimhood and climate change in Bangladesh. In March 2015, nine students across Native American Studies, anthro- pology, English and comparative literature presented their research on topics related to the year’s theme.

Fall 2015 will see the launch of our two new Mellon Research Initiatives, selected in a competitive process in the fall of 2014: Comparative Border Studies and Reimagining Indian Ocean Worlds. We’re especially excited by the global reach of each of these initiatives, also evidenced by the international profiles of their Mellon visiting assistant professors. We look forward to another busy year of programming with four Mellon groups running simultaneously, two entering their last year and two just getting started.



Initiatives Mellon Research

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