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Summer Academy fosters collaboration, high-impact arts and humanities research and creative activity

May 29, 2024

Each summer, the IU Indianapolis Arts and Humanities Institute's immersive Summer Academy supports a cohort of faculty in meeting the... Each summer, the IU Indianapolis Arts and Humanities Institute's immersive Summer Academy supports a cohort of faculty in meeting their project goals. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

A cohort of Indiana University Indianapolis faculty took their research and creative activity to the next level after convening for a three-week intensive at the end of the spring semester.

Since 2018, the IU Indianapolis Arts and Humanities Institute’s Summer Academy has provided faculty with time and resources to meet specific project goals that integrate the arts, humanities or qualitative social science approaches into their research agenda. This year, nine IU Indianapolis faculty were selected as fellows.

Summer Academy fellows receive $5,000 to accelerate their research and creative activity projects. During the three weeks, they participate in peer review, guided writing exercises, professional development, training in public communication and social media, and more.

Terry Kirts and Megan Musgrave worked on completing chapters of their book manuscripts during the Summer Academy. Photo by Liz ... Terry Kirts and Megan Musgrave worked on completing chapters of their book manuscripts during the Summer Academy. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

“The IU Indianapolis Arts and Humanities Institute Summer Academy offers the unique opportunity to join colleagues in exploring, distilling and executing innovative ideas drawn from our various research interests,” said Summer Academy fellow Lasana Kazembe, an associate professor in the IU School of Education who focused on developing a professional book prospectus for his new book, “Hardbop: The Jazz Writings of Amiri Baraka.”

“I participate in the Summer Academy because I enjoy the camaraderie, the communal spirit and the intellectual kung fu,” he said.

Summer Academy fellows pursue high-impact research and creative activity, which is central to the IU 2030 strategic plan. And while interdisciplinary collaboration is key to the program’s success, the Summer Academy also allows each faculty member to really focus on their own individual project goals.

Summer Academy fellow Danielle Riede, the Randolph H. Deer Professor in Painting in the Herron School of Art and Design, developed grant proposals to create new versions of her 2024 site-specific installation, “Venus Walks on Pearls II.”

Gürkan Mihçi and Robert Swazo work together at a computer. Summer Academy fellows, including Gürkan Mihçi and Robert Swazo, collaborated across disciplines to receive feedback on their projects. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

 

“The resources provided by the IU Indianapolis Arts and Humanities Institute’s Summer Academy have allowed me to align my current research with external grant mechanisms,” Riede said. “Being part of a creative cohort has sparked new ideas for my current projects, ‘Venus Walks on Pearls’ and ‘Wingspan in Situ.’ By preparing drafts for grants and residencies, I will secure funding to develop and exhibit new multi-media installations in France and New York.”

According to IU Indianapolis Arts and Humanities Director Jason Kelly, the Summer Academy takes one of the best parts of academia — engaging with others to think critically about interesting topics — to help move faculty further toward their goals.

“Fellows receive insights from people they have never met before, and it is changing how they think about their work and how they do their work,” Kelly said. “You have to be in the room to experience it to know what a truly transformative experience it is. I have seen my colleagues flourish because they have been given the space to focus and are receiving the support of colleagues to work through their issues and achieve their goals.”

In addition to Kazembe and Riede, other members of the 2024 cohort included Kevin Cramer, Terry Kirts, Daniella Kostroun, Sarah Layden, Gürkan Mihçi, Megan Musgrave and Roberto Swazo.

Author

IU Newsroom

Kelsey Cook

Deputy director for research communication

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