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Developing Resilient and Integrative Humanities Research with San Joaquin Valley Communities

Building from the strengths of our Luce pilot project and interdisciplinary humanities graduate program, this new and comprehensive project offers these research emphases and a distributed training model to broaden and deepen student, faculty, and community partnerships over a longer time period to increase the potential for community impact and policy impact. Essential to institutionalizing this approach to graduate education, this project will continue to prioritize the enrichment of humanities research education while facilitating the development of graduate scholars’ skills, within curricular and co-curricular opportunities. The overall aim will be to prepare our humanities to graduate students for career paths in non-profit sectors and industry as well as academia, with translational research activities including policy briefs, public presentations, museum exhibits, performances, to name a few possibilities. Our innovations are to expand educational infrastructure for community-based research and to develop more public-facing resources. A broader implication of this project and dissemination plan is to promote community-engaged research for humanities graduate programming, as a local initiative as well as a model.  

Our specific aims, then, are: 

·       Expand and sustain current and future thematic areas within creative placemaking, environmental justice, migration, and social memory to foster long-term projects; 

·       Support a summer institute and project development opportunities for community partners, graduate students, and faculty to strengthen networking and baseline transferable skills; 

·       Grow educational resources and add public-facing courses, workshops, and scholarship; 

·        Meaningfully engage local and regional communities as co-producers of knowledge in humanities research and dissemination  

·       Develop mentorship and projects related to community-based archives and curation, with a companion multimodal archive for projects and resources 

Research emphasis areas (creative placemaking, environmental justice, migration, and social memory) would inform comprehensive research projects. Application processes would be made available annually, as a flexible model to support course-based and long-term initiatives. A promising comprehensive research project would reflect some parts of these areas and have a potential duration of several years. Faculty will lead and mentor a project, applying with a community partner(s).  There will be periodic guidance from our ongoing community board as part of the assessment of priorities, needs, and opportunities.

A funded project would have support for all proposed purchasing associated with community events, rental spaces, travel costs for data collection, media production costs (photography, maps, printing), data collection and analysis fees, and materials and equipment. It would also include a stipend to support faculty leadership, either collaboration or individual leadership. Separate from this project award, the overarching investment in developing a public-facing digital project archive with the Library provides general website support and research dissemination infrastructure. Travel funds for sharing projects at conferences and community event support will be overarching resources, too. 

 In this comprehensive project, instead of relying on one required course, curriculum and signature assignments will be developed via a course development opportunity to revise or implement new courses and materials focused on qualitative research design and methodologies, with transformative outcomes. Faculty will be invited to participate in the summer institute and associated workshop series during the academic year to develop these signature assignments and re-design courses. The goal is to provide multiple avenues to develop new participation in community-engaged research and to develop associated curriculum. Contact with current community engagement models and theoretical frameworks to support graduate students and communities will be emphasized as effectively and sustainably as possible. Course development awards will be $1000 each (three awarded annually), for either an assigned or previously taught course with an emphasis on re-design and a proposal for a project mentor.


Course Development Grant Application Coming Soon. 

Research Project Grant Application Coming Soon. 


We welcome everyone to join us for our Spring 2021

Additional details can be found in our events calendar.