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2024 Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellows selected to advance research, creative projects

For Immediate Release May 16, 2024

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A signature Indiana University program that amplifies and accelerates the work of outstanding arts and humanities faculty recently selected its latest cohort. The Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellowship is an annual program that supports the work of IU faculty who are improving society and revitalizing communities through their research and creative activity, and poised to become national and international leaders in their fields.

Supported by the IU Office of the President and IU Research, and administered by the university’s assistant vice president for research, the fellowship awards $50,000 of flexible funding to each recipient to support a variety of needs as they pursue innovative research and creative projects. President Pamela Whitten started the program in 2022.

Along with funding, recipients gain access to professional development programming and advanced training in the areas of grant writing, scholarly communication with the public, media training and digital scholarship, among other specialized trainings.

Indiana University President Pamela Whitten poses with the previous cohort of Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellows at Bryan House on ... Indiana University President Pamela Whitten poses with the previous cohort of Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellows at Bryan House on the IU Bloomington campus. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

The goal of the IU Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellowship program is to amplify and promote the rich and diverse opportunities within the arts and humanities at Indiana University and to ensure the recipients have continued success as they make impactful changes in their fields and in local, national and international communities.

“Congratulations to the 2024 Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellows,” Whitten said. “The recipients of this fellowship exemplify the standard that is set by our faculty at Indiana University, which has long been a leader in the arts and humanities. This fellowship represents the university’s steadfast commitment to supporting the pursuit of transformative research and creativity across our campuses, which helps us better understand the world and revitalizes communities.”

The 2024 IU Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellows are:

Allison Baker

Allison Baker is an associate professor of fine arts in the Herron School of Art and Design on IU’s Indianapolis campus. She will construct a body of work and monumental public sculptures that memorialize the complexities of late-stage capitalism, illuminating the aspirations and struggles of the American working class and working poor.

Baker seeks to build monuments that challenge dominant narratives, humanize the ripple effects of poverty and create work that the American working class and working poor can see as a reflection of their own experiences in galleries and museums, which are spaces where they are seldom represented.

Emily Beckman

Emily Beckman is an associate professor and director of the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program in the School of Liberal Arts on the Indianapolis campus. Beckman is co-founder of Build Community Give Care, a nonprofit organization that provides compassionate end-of-life care in Africa.

She will use the funding to support research addressing the need for palliative care education in Uganda. Outcomes will include a better understanding of the pathways available for palliative care education and access in Uganda, solutions for better retention in these educational programs and the development of medical humanities curricula at IU.

Catherine Bowman

Catherine Bowman, professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, is an award-winning poet, author of several collections of poetry and the editor of “Word of Mouth: Poems Featured on NPR’s ‘All Things Considered.’”

Bowman will use the fellowship funding for travel and archival research to make significant progress on her sixth poetry collection, tentatively titled “Volver, Volver: An Underworld Intergenre Pilgrimage.” The collection will imagine and recount various underworld encounters with several generations of women.

Andrew Goldman

Andrew Goldman is an assistant professor of music in music theory at the Jacobs School of Music and assistant professor of cognitive science in the College of Arts and Sciences. He directs the IU Music and Mind Lab, an interdisciplinary research group that investigates music perception and cognition and the role of music in the human condition.

Goldman will use the fellowship funding to explore the critical challenges and contributions of incorporating cognitive science into music studies. He will research how music cognition researchers’ historical and cultural situations have influenced their scientific work and the nature of their findings.

Raiford Guins

Raiford Guins is a professor and the director of Cinema and Media Studies at The Media School in Bloomington. He is also an adjunct professor of informatics. He plans to use the funds to support research travel that will aid in the development of his book, tentatively titled “Museum Games.”

The book will explore the emerging area of games and gaming culture in museums, libraries and archives worldwide. For example, the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, recently completed a $70 million expansion, while The Nintendo Museum plans its long-anticipated opening in Kyoto, Japan, in 2024. Guins will detail the relatively new phenomenon of gaming museums and preservation from an academic perspective.

Lisa Lenoir

Lisa Lenoir is an assistant professor who teaches courses in The Media School’s new Fashion Media Program in Bloomington. Her research examines contemporary cultural phenomena in media discourses in journalism studies, activism and identity, and consumer culture.

Lenoir will use the funds to research the life and work of Chicago Defender journalist Mattie Smith Colin, a fashion and food editor who covered the return of Emmett Till’s body from Mississippi to Chicago in 1955. Lenoir will collect oral histories from people who knew Colin and review archival materials, compiling her findings into a digital bibliography.

Anja Matwijkiw

Anja Matwijkiw is a professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Northwest and affiliated faculty in the Institute for European Studies at IU Bloomington. She will use the funds to explore stakeholder philosophy and international law as it pertains to the United Nations rule of law.

Linda Pisano

Linda Pisano is chair and professor in the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. Her fellowship is sponsored by the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

Pisano will use the fellowship funding to research methods and mechanisms in cultivating new audiences, patrons and donors of the arts and humanities on university campuses during increasingly difficult times. Her research will include investigating interest in community outreach, education, socio-political advocacy and identity, among other areas. Pisano hopes to ensure that universities are communicating the value of arts and humanities as fundamental to their institutional identity and the public spaces they occupy.

Spencer Steenblik

Spencer Steenblik is an assistant professor of comprehensive design at the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design in Bloomington. He will use the funds to develop several projects, including producing and testing an innovative structural joint and pursuing a patent. The main goals are to develop full-scale experimental structures and installations that test new materials, technologies and design approaches and to highlight the need for more opportunities for young practitioners to engage in similar types of hands-on innovation.

The previous cohort of fellows made advancements across a multitude of disciplines with the funding and resources provided by the IU Presidential Arts and Humanities Fellowship, including composing a chamber music and AI opera that will premiere next year and erecting a floating monument that spotlights underrepresented communities in Chicago.

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