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Humanities faculty members, students receive Hall Center travel awards

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

LAWRENCE – Three humanities faculty members and two graduate students were awarded travel grants by the Hall Center for the Humanities to aid in their research. The Hall Center provides financial support to researchers who require domestic or international travel undertaken as a necessary component of a research or creative project.

Maria Velasco, associate professor of visual art, received funding to travel to Tetouan, Morocco. Velasco received a competitive artist residency at Green Olive Arts in Tetouan to work on her project, “Releasing Control: Ephemeral Spaces; Historical Patterns.” Velasco will create a series of site-specific installations using repetitive patterns found in architecture, ceramics and traditional crafts both in Tetouan and Al-Andalus, the name given to the south of Spain during the Arab invasion spanning about seven centuries (710-1491). The residency also involves interaction with artisans and contemporary Moroccan artists through studio visits, workshops and roundtable discussions.

Sara Gregg, associate professor of history, received funds to travel to Glasgow and Billings, Montana. Gregg’s project, “Enlarging Opportunity: A History of Homesteading in America,” examines the history of the 1862 Homestead Act, attempting to explore how stories we tell about the land, the nature of opportunity and the meanings of history simultaneously elucidate and obscure our understanding of environmental change. Her project situates the transformation of the places most dramatically affected by the federal government’s distribution of “free land” to settlers, highlighting the personal dimensions of this movement of people and institutions into the American West. The trip will enable Gregg to lay the first layer of groundwork for the book project, situating an important, though understudied, aspect of the history of American land distribution.

Erik Scott, assistant professor of history, received funding to travel to Kiev, Ukraine. Scott’s project, “Soviet Defectors and the Borders of the Cold War World,” examines the history of defection and uses it to investigate how the national and ideological borders of the socialist world were defined, disputed and sometimes transgressed. It focuses on Soviet defectors and the development of the Soviet border regime in particular but also considers how defection developed in other settings. It looks at how capitalist states facilitated the practice, even though they were not always sure what to do with defectors themselves, often viewing them as ideologically unreliable and psychologically unstable. Tracing the winding journeys of defectors from the Soviet Union to the West through border zones and disputed areas beyond the limits of state jurisdiction, such as international waters and airspaces, the project challenges the notion of the Cold War world as a place of stable boundaries.

Ashley Mog, doctoral candidate in women, gender & sexuality studies, received the Jim Martin Travel Award to conduct research for her dissertation, “Discomforting Power: Bodies in Public” in Seattle. Mog will complete oral history interview collection and conduct archival research. In her dissertation, Mog analyzes public space and embodiment in order to develop a theory of the social construction of comfort. She posits a theory of comfort that questions how “being comfortable” in certain spaces gets allocated on the basis of socially defined privilege bestowed on certain bodies. Comfort is about access in essential ways and reinforces who can be where.

Adam Newhard, doctoral candidate in history, received the Andrew Debicki International Travel Award to conduct research for his dissertation, “Spiritual Motherhood: Gendered Interpretations of the Spanish Laity’s Religious Authority (1580-1730)” in Madrid. Newhard will study 38 Inquisition trials of visionary women in the Archivo Histórico Nacional (AHN) to support his examination of the religious communities of the Spanish laity of the 16th and 17th centuries in order to investigate how women interpreted and acted within this restrictive system. Newhard argues that women who had visions, dreams, manifestations or prophecies from God inserted themselves into public and theological discussions through their roles as nurturing women.

For more information, please contact the Hall Center at hallcenter@ku.edu or call (785) 864-4798.


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Museum Events

Art Cart: Painted Fans
Saturday, January 20 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 317
1301 Mississippi St.
The Art Cart is a drop-in activity station where children and grown-ups enjoy hands-on art projects together, taking inspiration from original works of art. After traveling the world, Sallie Casey Thayer donated her collection of objects to KU to form what is now the Spencer Museum of Art. Learn about Mrs. Thayer and create a painted folding fan to start your own collection.

Slow Art Sunday: Steel Wool Peignoir
Sunday, January 21 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Kemper Family Foundations Balcony, 408
1301 Mississippi St.
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In January, get to know Steel Wool Peignoir by Mimi Smith.

Science on Tap: The Cambrian: More than just Trilobites
Wednesday, January 24 | 7:30 p.m.
Free State Brewing Co., 636 Massachusetts St.
The Cambrian is a time in Earth’s history when many modern animal relatives make their first appearance. It is also a time when many bizarre animals without modern relatives appear in the fossil record. At this Science on Tap, Dr. Julien Kimmig will talk about the diversity of animals during this amazing period and what it can teach us about the future of life on earth. 

Career Close-ups: Developing a Career in the Museum World
Friday, January 26 | 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Auditorium 309
1301 Mississippi St.
Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to explore how any major can lead to a career in a cultural organization. A panel of museum professionals will share their experiences, followed by a networking reception and behind-the-scenes tours of KU’s museums. This year’s panelists include: Dina Bennett (Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University), Glenn North (Black Archives of Mid-America), and Adrianne Russell (Cabinet of Curiosities). Advance registration is required at www.spencerart.ku.edu/career-closeups. Please register by January 24. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/476618689399321/
Sponsored by the Spencer Museum of Art, KU Natural History Museum, University Career Center, and the Museum Studies Program.

Final Friday: Community and Culture Closing Celebration
Friday, January 26 | 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
The Watkins, in partnership with the Max Kade Center and the Lawrence Opera Theatre, present an evening of 19th-century German-American music and cuisine.

Discovery Day: Celebrating Kansas
Sunday, January 28 | 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
In honor of Kansas Day, join us for hands-on activities that are all about Kansas wildlife, plants and fossils. 

Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture: An Evening with Eve L. Ewing: Poetry in Context
Wednesday, January 31 | 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St.
Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist, poet, essayist, artist, and educator whose research focuses on racism, social inequality, urban policy, and the impact of these forces on American public schools and the lives of young people. Dr. Ewing earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and is recognized as a leader and social influencer, especially in conversations involving academia, writing, black women, and the intersection of politics and popular culture. Sponsored by The Commons.

University in the Art Museum for Graduate Students
Thursday, February 1 | 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Mississippi St.
University in the Art Museum introduces graduate students to opportunities for object-based teaching, learning, and research through collaborative partnerships with the Spencer Museum of Art. This workshop includes discussions led by graduate students in the departments of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Geography; and Atmospheric Science. Advance registration is required by Monday, January 29. Register online at https://spencerart.ku.edu/uam.

Extraordinary Animals: Awesome Adaptations
Sunday, February 4 | 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
At this new monthly animal event, parents and children are invited to learn about animals of Kansas. Museum Animal Specialist Ashley Welton will offer presentations about animal adaptations using touchable specimens from the museums collections at 1:15, 1:45 and 2:15 pm. 

FeBREWary at the Watkins
Thursday, February 15 | 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
The Watkins, in partnership with Lawrence Beer Co., presents an evening of beer, food, and knowledge! Enjoy beer and a fascinating talk on brewing provided by Lawrence Beer Co., plus food from local restaurants and an informal museum tour. Tickets are $15 for DCHS members, $20 for non-members. You may sign up online or contact the museum at 785-841-4109. We recommend buying in advance. Ages 21 and over only, please. More information and registration.

Winter Table: An Evening of Herpetology
Wednesday, February 28 | 6:30 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
A celebration of more than 100 years of KU herpetology research programs and the careers of Linda Trueb and Bill Duellman. Explore the Natural History Museum's reptile and amphibian collections and enjoy appetizers and drinks. Dine in the Panorama Gallery with KU herpetology scientists and students conducting reptile and amphibian research across the globe. 

6:30 pm: appetizers, drinks and science salon
7:00 pm: dinner and program
$50 per person 

Reserve your space now at the 2018 Winter Table by ordering tickets online. Tickets are $50 per person. You may also call 785-864-4450 to purchase by phone or you may purchase tickets at the museum lobby during business hours. Questions? Contact biodiversity@ku.edu or 785-864-4450.

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