Re-Centering the Humanities funded proposal 


Call for proposals:

All Re-Centering the Humanities grant proposals are reviewed by the oversight committee:

Dan Terkla, Project Director; Joanne Diaz; Sonja Fritzsche; Emily Kelahan; Kristine Nielsen; Becky Roesner; and William Munro.

Mellon Grants Awarded:

Student (Research) Assistants, $500.00 to employ student assistant/s for research endeavors.

  • Prof. Carolyn Nadeau (Hispanic Studies) and Nathan Douglas: “Accessing Francisco Martínez Montiño’s Arte de cozina, pastelería, vizcochería y conservería” (The art of cooking, pie making, pastry making and preserving, 1611).
  • Prof. Mike Theune (English) and Erica Kucharski: Voltage Poetry, Plus.
  • Prof. Marcia Thomas (Ames Library) and Lydia Hartlaub: “Transcription of a Manuscript Collection: Letters Received by John Wesley Powell, Director of the Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region, 1869-79.”
  • Prof. Carmela Ferradáns (Hispanic Studies); "A Digital Library of Bilingual Poetry Podcasts".
  • Prof. Carolyn Nadeau; “Food Matters in/of Cervantes”.
  • Prof. Marcia Thomas and Tia Sprengel; “Transcription of a Manuscript Collection: Letters Received by John Wesley Powell, Director of the Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region, 1869-79”.
  • Prof. Sonja Fritzsche (German, Russian and Asian Languages) for creating an index for the collection Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film (due to appear in April 2014) with Michaela Wilson and Annika Ewaldz.
  • Prof. Christina Isabelli (Hispanic Studies), to hire a student research assistant for work on the project, Language Learning and Social Networks, a research study on the role of social networks (a social science phenomenon) in promoting/inhibiting second language development.  
  • Prof. Carmela Ferradáns, Professor of Hispanic Studies, Bullfighting: A Teaching Module: The student research assistant will develop a self-contained teaching module for iTunes University.

Speaker-and-Performance Series grants: Ideally, these events will inspire IWU faculty, staff, and students to collaborate on re-imagining artistic production, interdisciplinary pedagogy, research, or community-based learning. The following series are set for academic year 2013-2014.

  • Profs. Wendy Kooken and Rebecca Gearhart - Visit by music therapist Deforia Lane with public lecture "An Unfinished Symphony: Reaching the Underserved through Music Therapy".
  • University Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger and Profs. Adriana Ponce and William Hudson - "Hildegard's Light: Women, Religion and Music in Twelfth-Century Germany" covering several events in November 2013 including a performance by LIBER and a lecture by Margot Fassler.
  • Prof. Meg Miner and Prof. and University Librarian Karen Schmidt - "Boundless Spirit: William Morris for the 21st Century" for fall semester 2014.
  • Prof. Alan Shapiro’s visit to campus on the topic of “Translating the Oresteia: The Theory of what Translation Should Be”; hosted by Profs. Nancy Sultan, Joanne Diaz and Mike Theune.
  • Prof. Sebastiaan Faber's visit to campus on the topic of the Spanish Civil War, hosted by Prof. Carmela Ferradáns.

Academic year 2014-2015:

  • Profs. Marina Balina and Scott Sheridan, “The Freedom to Speak, Create, and Dream: A Symposium Examining 25 Years of Human Experience after the Fall of the Iron Curtain.”
  • Assistant Dean of Students Matt Damschroder, Associate Dean of Students Darcy Greder, and McFee Professor of Religion and Director of Womens and Gender studies, Carole Myscofski; Sponsored event series with Christina Kahrl, a sportswriter and editor for ESPN and advocate for LGBTQ issues, most specifically trans-rights. Ms. Kahrl met with Women's and Gender Studies faculty and students, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and coaches, the Safe Zone Steering Committee, other faculty guests and students and ended her visit by presenting, "Becoming a Woman in a Man's World" at Hansen Student Center. 
  • Profs. Crystal Boyce, Gabe Spalding, and Karen Schmidt, “Through the Looking Glass: The Science of Art … or the Art of Science”

Awarded September, 2014:

  • Prof. Carolyn Nadeau, to host campus lecture and class visit by Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Director, Americas Program, The Carter Center Distinguished University Professor of Political Science, Georgia State University. Dr. McCoy is a recognized scholar and expert in Venezuelan politics and democratization in Latin America.  Her research agenda and work at the Carter Center will appeal to students (and scholars) within the humanities, particularly those who focus on issues of social justice.

Awarded December, 2014:

  • Selected members of the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice, and faculty in the History Department, the Department of Theatre Arts, the English Department, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Department of Business Administration, the Literature and Culture program, and the Philosophy Department were awarded funding to bring independent film director John Sayles and producer Maggie Renzi to Illinois Wesleyan University.  Sayles is one of the most acclaimed independent film directors and screenwriters of our time, having been nominated twice for an Academy Award for best original screenplay for Passion Fish and Lone Star. Maggie Renzi, his longtime collaborator and partner, is an acclaimed actor and producer in her own right. In addition to producing and co-producing most of Sayles’ films while also having acted in a number of them, she co-produced the award winning film Girlflight (Grand Jury Prize winner at the Sundance Festival) and also produced Bruce Springsteen’s videos “Born in the USA,” “I’m on Fire,” and “Glory Days.”

Mellon Humanities Fellows: Faculty receive $1,500 to support work on scholarly or artistic projects that re-center the Humanities and cross-disciplinary boundaries. Humanities Fellows for the 2013-2014 academic year:

  • Prof. Carmela Ferradáns; "A Digital Library of Bilingual Poetry Podcasts"
  • Prof. Carolyn Nadeau; "The physical senses in early modern Galenism debates and prescriptive domestic literature"
  • Prof. Mike Theune; "Keats’s Negative Capability and Hobbes’s Natural Capacity"
  • Prof. Brandi Reissenweber; research for novel


  • Prof. Amy Coles; "Mapping the Locations and Temporal Development of Roman Military Campaigns, Roads and Colonies"
  • Prof. Christina Isabelli; "Language Learning and Social Networks"
  • Prof. Emily Kelahan; "David Hume and Buddhist Thought"
  • Prof. James Simeone; "Realism in Thucydides and Joyce"

Awarded September, 2014:

  • Prof. Carolyn Nadeau, to support the research and writing of the article, “From Bad Breath to the Plague: the Kitchen as a Space for Controlling Disease in Early Modern Spain and England,” for publication.
  • For Prof. Bob Erlewine’s project, “Prophets, Pathos and The Comparative Study of Religion: Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Die Prophetie.” an essay to be developed then presented in lecture form on campus for the Religion Colloquium in October of 2015.

Awarded December, 2014:

  • Prof. Molly Robey, Assistant Professor of English, for Evangelical Empire: John Lloyd Stephens, Religious Experience, and the Invention of Central America.This chapter will analyze the travel narratives of the popular nineteenth-century U.S. adventurer and writer, John Lloyd Stephens, showing how Stephens’s exploration of the Near East as documented in Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea, and the Holy Land (1838) shaped his subsequent representations of Central America in Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatán (1841) and Incidents of Travel in Yucatán (1843).
  • Prof. Joanne Diaz, Associate Professor of English, forThe Archival Turn in Martha Collins’s Blue Front and White Papers, a scholarly article in which she will analyze Martha Collins’s use of archival materials in two of her poetry collections: Blue Front (2006) and White Papers (2012). This article will eventually become part of a larger project to investigate how twentieth- and twenty-first century American poets use archival materials in order to exhume difficult truths about the past and consider the value of poetic expression in the face of such truths.
  • Prof. Carmela Ferradáns, Professor of Hispanic Studies, for Bullfighting: A Teaching Module.This fellowship was awarded to develop content for an intermediate Spanish teaching module on bullfighting. The final product will be a self-contained teaching module in two platforms: a printable 25-30 page PDF file for IWU Digital Commons, and a digital version for iTunes University. This will serve as a as a complement to the textbook we use for Spanish 203: Intermediate Conversation and Composition (G).

Undergraduate Conferences/Workshops, $3,000.00

  • Prof. Irv Epstein (Educational Studies): “Protecting Free Expression” workshop, Fall 2014.
  • Profs. Sonja Fritzsche (MCLL), and Adam Woodis (MCLL): German Undergraduate Research Conference, April 4-5, 2014 and Spring 2015.
  • To Profs. Carmela Ferradáns and Mark Criley to fund a Liberal Arts Course Cluster Closing Workshop in December 2014.  
  • To Prof. Sonja Fritzsche for support of the German Undergraduate Conference, 2016. 

Faculty Workshops for 2014-2015

  • Carmela Ferradáns, “Exploring Models for Faculty Collaboration Across Disciplines”
  • Irv Epstein, Suhad Babba, Director of Programming for Just Vision (workshop participant)
  • Amanda Hopkins and Carolyn Nadeau, HEALE Speakers

Team Taught Courses (2015-2018)

  • Carmela Ferradáns and Kathleen Montgomery: PSC 212: "Surviving Dictatorship: A Comparison of Spain and Hungary"
  • Scott Sheridan and Linda Farquharson: HUM 270: “Humanities Texts in Transition: Opera Libretti and the Original Works that Inspired Them”
  • Prof. Ellen Furlong, Ape Sapiens: Wild Minds, Captive Dignity: A Team-Taught May Term experience, with Dr. Jack Furlong, Professor of Philosophy, Transylvania University. This course will be team-taught across two campuses, IWU’s and Transylvania University's, and is especially recommended for psychology, biology, pre-vet, and philosophy majors.
  • Profs. Kevin Strandberg and Bruno deHarak were awarded funding for a team taught course combining science and art for the creation of images. In Fiat Lux Semper Scientific and Artistic Experiments in Light Imaging, students will work with images, some based in reality, others not. What it means to “see” something depends on one’s perspective – artists, philosophers, and scientists are unlikely to give the same definition.
  • Profs. Chris Callahan (French and Italian Studies) and Christina Isabelli (Hispanic Studies) were awarded funding in December 2014 for LC 270 Special Topics: Introduction to Romance Linguistics 
  • Amy Coles (GRS & History) and Mike Weis (History & International Studies) ewre awarded funding for their course on Issues of imperialism and colonialism as they develop from the earliest colonization in Roman Italy, through Roman Hispania, and into Spanish America and Portuguese Brazil. [Tentative course number and title]: HIST 370: Conquerors and Colonies: Ancient Rome to Modern Brazil

Mellon Summer Humanities Scholars, Student Summer Research, sponsored by Faculty Advisor

Summer 2013:

  • Mallika Kavadi's project, entitled "The Dialectic Evolution of The Two Cultures", explored the epistemological consequences of social, scientific, technological, economic, cultural, and historical change over the last fifty years on the sciences and the humanities.  With Prof Meghan Burke (Sociology) advising.
  • Joe O'Brien's project, "Red is Like a Trumpet: An Investigation of Qualeic Sensation and Visual Connections", investigated qualeic sensations (sensations not completely defined without experience) associated with attempted recall of episodic memories, and evoking those sensations through visual media. The project was grounded in a philosophical investigation of qualia and memory, but used the disciplines of cognitive science (memory mechanics) and photographic art. Advisers were Profs. Emily Kelahan (Philosophy) and Kevin Strandberg (Art).

Summer 2014:

  • Tim McDunn, with Profs. Andy Engen and Amy Coles as faculty advisors; Christian Humanism in the Commedia
  • Lisa Mishra, with Elyse Nelson-Winger and Prof. Nawaraj Chaulagain as faculty advisors; “Icons & Images, Texts & Traditions: Towards the Development of An Interfaith Prayer Space at Illinois Wesleyan”
  • Colleen O’Connor with Prof. Amanda Vicary, faculty advisor; “Creative Writing as an Affordable Mental Health Intervention”
  • Nathan Douglas with Prof. Carmela Ferradáns, faculty advisor; “Y no me esperaba nadie: Lugar y espacio en la Catalunya de la posguerra y del posfranquismo” [“And no one was waiting for me: Place and space in post-war and post-Franco Catalunya”]

Summer 2015:

  • Lydia Hartlaub, with Prof. Alison Sainsbury; Dickens Universe conference in Santa Cruz, CA. For the 2015 conference the Dickens novels to be read are his two texts concerning America, Martin Chuzzlewit and American Notes, which Lydia will read and supplement with critical articles from the conference.


For additional information, please contact Dan Terkla,