2021-22 Bingham Faculty Fellows: Forms of Engagement—Scholarship & the Social Turn

Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society (CCHS)

2021-22 Bingham Faculty Fellows: Forms of Engagement—Scholarship & the Social Turn

For the Call for Applications for this theme follow this link.

Carrie Mott, Geographic and Environmental Sciences

Project: White supremacy through infrastructure: settler colonialism in Washington's Yakima Valley

Dr. Carrie Mott is an assistant professor in the Department of Geographic and Environmental Sciences at UofL. Originally from Washington state, Dr. Mott has lived all over the US and was very happy to return to Kentucky and join UofL after completing her doctorate with the University of Kentucky's Geography program in 2016. Her research investigates the everyday and mundane aspects of white supremacy and settler colonialism in different contexts. Her dissertation research examined this in the context of activism in opposition to border security and migrant policing in southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. Since 2017, Dr. Mott has been developing a project based in the US Pacific Northwest using archival materials to document the advance of settler colonialism and hegemonic whiteness in the Yakima Valley region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In particular, she is interested in the role played by infrastructure (such as dams and irrigation systems) in the colonial drive to preserve the best quality agricultural land for white settlers.

Reading List:

  • Carpio, Collisions at the Crossroads 
  • Woods, Development Arrested
  • King, The Black Shoals
  • Kauanui, Speaking of Indigenous Politics
  • Barber, Death of Celilo Falls

Kalasia Ojeh, Pan African Studies

Project: "(Re)introducing William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois: Scientific Scholarship as a Model for Social Activism."

Dr. Kalasia S. Ojeh (sounds like Malaysia/pronounced like O-J)is an Assistant Professor of race and education in the Department of Pan-African Studies. Dr. Ojeh's pronouns are she/her/hers. Her research centers on the Black Life Course, delving into the experiences of African descended people in schools and the labor market. To further explore Black life, Dr. Ojeh engages in revisionist theory and methodological techniques outlined and directed by Dr. William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B) Du Bois and the Atlanta Sociological Laboratory (ASL) at Clark Atlanta University. Using Du Bois's scholarly works at Atlanta University and beyond, she develops a more comprehensive, culturally relevant, and adaptive research design to the understanding of multiple Black experiences. Dr. Ojeh's CCHS project is titled (Re)introducing William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois: Scientific Scholarship as a Model for Social Activism, where she reestablishes Du Bois not only as a race scholar, but as a social thinker that promotes an interdisciplinary approach to scientific research. Research that encrypts engaged scholarship/scholar activism into the very fabric of academic and public life.

Reading List:

  • Du Bois, W. E.B, & Lewis, D. L. (1998). Black Reconstruction in America. Free Press.

  • Du Bois, W. E.B, & Lewis, D. L. (1998). Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil. Free Press.

  • Du Bois , W. E. B. (2007). Dusk of Dawn: An essay toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept. Oxford University Press.

  • Mills, C. W. (1997). The Racial Contract. Cornell University Press. 

  • Wright II, E. (2016). The First American School of Sociology: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Atlanta Sociological Laboratory. Ashgate Publishing Limited. 

Megan Pool, English

Project: "Communicating Science with Public Audiences" 

Megan Poole is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisville. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching centers on rhetorics of science and technical writing. Since arriving at UofL, she has partnered with local non-profits and activists to provide students with opportunities to write for real, local social change. Her research on science and aesthetics won the 2021 Rhetoric Society of America Dissertation Award, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Visual Communication Quarterly, Western Journal of Communication, Journal for the History of Rhetoric, and Quarterly Journal of Speech.

Reading List:

  • Sasha Costanza-Chock, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need (2020)
  • Rebecca Walton, Kristen R. Moore, and Natasha N. Jones, Technical Communication After the Social Justice Turn (2019)
  • Ethics and Practice in Science Communication (2018), edited by Susanna Priest, Jean Goodwin, and Michael F. Dahlstrom
  • Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants (2013)
  • Dylan Robinson’s Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies (2020)

Lucian Rothe, Classical and Modern Languages

Project: Connecting Through Language(s): Communities on Campus and Beyond

Lucian Rothe (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin—Madison) is an Assistant Professor of German at the University of Louisville. He has taught in Germany and the United States and served as mentor for world-language teaching assistants. Dr. Rothe’s scholarship investigates aspects of language learning at the intersection of individual and community. His current research examines the perceptions—and their consequences—that postsecondary learners and teachers have of world-language (classroom) communities. The overarching objectives are to trace how stereotypes travel from imagined global contexts to the immediate environment of the classroom and to analyze how these trajectories interact with learners’ choice of language. His work thereby underscores an inclusionary and exclusionary potential of language learning, i.e., learners may affiliate themselves with—or distance themselves from—another community based on their perceptions. Outcomes speak to strategies of how the study of German can become a more diverse, inclusive, and socially just teaching, research, and learning endeavor.

As a faculty fellow for CCHS, Dr. Rothe will continue working on two studies exploring (1) a community project for learners of German and (2) the stereotypical perceptions about speakers of German held by non-learners of the language. (3) He will also finalize the research instruments for his course, titled The Power of Language(s): Social, Political, and Cultural Dimensions. This project is a collaboration with CCHS co-fellow, Dr. Cara Snyder. It aims to develop and study strategies and tools that implement and assess anti-racist pedagogies in interdisciplinary undergraduate courses.

Reading List:
  • Anya, U. (2020). African Americans in world language study: The forged path and future directions. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 40, 97–112. doi:10.1017/s0267190520000070

  • Chavez, M. (2020). “Made” to study German?—Imagined native-speaker & learner communities and the im/plausible German language self. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 1–16. doi:10.1080/15348458.2020.1753199

  • Criser, R., & Malakaj, E. (Eds.). (2020). Diversity and Decolonization in German Studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Macedo, D. (Ed.) (2019). Decolonizing foreign language education: The misteaching of English and other colonial languages. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Tarnawska Senel, M. (2020). Social justice in the language curriculum: Interrogating the goals and outcomes of language education in college. In R. Criser & E. Malakaj (Eds.), Diversity and Decolonization in German Studies (pp. 63–81). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cara Snyder, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Project: “Which Team Do You Play For?”

I am Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at UofL. As an engaged scholar, I bring an integrative approach to research, teaching, and service, and my CCHS fellowship projects will reflect this approach. My research project, “Which Team Do You Play For?: Visibility and Queering in Brazilian Soccer,” traces how women and LGBT+ athletes have claimed access to soccer and what it means for processes of visibility, assimilation, and ultimately, queering the game itself. I contend that in the contemporary moment in Brazil—amidst pervasive corruption, unstable governance, and rising tides of hate—women and LGBTQ+ athletes’ demands for greater participation are part of a longer-term trend in which marginalized people are claiming belonging in the national polity. The activism of these alternative soccer teams is also a response to disappointment with electoral politics, where a range of political parties uphold deep seated cultural norms. For the athlete-activists I work with like the Meninos Bons de Bola, Brazil’s first trans men’s soccer team, their struggle represents a shift to claim political and social dignity through other means. In the context of a culturally rightward turn in Brazil and around the world, my project highlights movements to subvert gender ordering as part of a challenge to larger social order.

My pedagogy and involvement in campus life reflects the emphasis on interdisciplinarity, transnationalism, and action-orientation in my research. Teaching and service commitments during my fellowship year involve initiating an Inside-Outside Prison Education Exchange, advising and teaching in the Feminist Social Justice Leadership Living Learning Community, creating a global classroom partnership with the Red Interdisciplinaria de Estudios de Género in Argentina, and collaborating on anti-racist teaching initiatives at UofL.

Reading List:

  • Glissant, Édouard. 1997. Poetics of Relation. University of Michigan Press.
  • Elsey, Brenda, and Joshua Nadel. 2019. Futbolera: A History of Women and Sports in Latin America. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
  • Diabate, Naminata. 2020. Naked Agency: Genital Cursing and Biopolitics in Africa. Duke University Press.
  • Doria, Pedro. 2020. Fascismo À Brasileira : Como O Integralismo, Maior Movimento De Extrema-Direita Da História Do País, Se Formou E O Que Ele Ilumina Sobre O Bolsonarismo. São Paulo: Planeta.
  • McClearen, Jennifer. 2021. Fighting Visibility: Sports Media and Female Athletes in the UFC. University of Illinois Press.

Sidney Monroe Williams, Theatre Arts

Project: Theatre for Social Change: A Creative Blueprint Towards Collective Liberation

Sidney Monroe Williams (they/them) is a community-based theatre artist whose work is situated at the intersections of race, gender and class. Through artmaking, Sidney facilitates dialogue with communities to spark dialogue, raise visibility and celebrate marginalized bodies. Sidney holds a BA in International Relations from Hendrix College and an MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth & Communities from The University of Texas at Austin.

Prior to joining UofL's Theatre Arts Department in 2018, they worked in nonprofit arts administration of LGBTQ youth programs in Boston, MA at The Theater Offensive. Artistically, Sidney explores queer theory and performance methodologies to build more inclusive communities within (and outside) the theatre. As Director of UofL's Repertory Company, Sidney oversees the production and touring of theatre-for-young audiences to over 2,000 students in JCPS each school year.

In 2019, they published an essay, "Visual Mapping + Embodied Agency," in Devising Critically Engaged Theatre with Youth: The Performing Justice Project; and, in 2020, an article in Theatre Topics' Special Issue on Queer Pedagogy, "Learning my True Colors: Race, Sexuality and Adultism in LGBTQA Youth Theatre." Sidney concluded 2020 by writing/producing a one-person show, Nasty White Folx...and other filth, that rinse-cycles messages of cleanliness and challenges who has the privilege to be filthy.

Reading List:

  • Forthcoming