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Humanities Matters

The Humanities Institute supports problem-focused or public humanities faculty-student collaborative research, scholarship, and other creative activity in the humanities that addresses particular social problems or public needs, or responds to the needs of community partners. Topics may be drawn from an array of disciplinary or interdisciplinary areas in the humanities, including humanities and the environment, humanities and medicine, public history, etc. Awards will be given to faculty-student projects led by individual humanities faculty or interdisciplinary faculty teams that include at least one faculty in a humanities discipline. Funds can cover the cost of materials (except for hardware), consultations with other scholars, expenses related to publication, travel to conferences, and other kinds of activities. Eligible research projects may be course-generated, co-curricular, or paired with independent studies.

Release: From Stigma to AcceptanceOpening15

Humanities Matters grant was awarded to Lisa Blee, Assistant Professor of History for the research, design, execution, and interpretation of an exhibition titled Release: From Stigma to Acceptance, a collaboration between students and the Project Re-entry Program in the context of the History Department course HST367: Issues in Public History. Students explored issues in public history — and the potential social impact of public history — by bringing together course readings concerning the history of incarceration in the South and by listening to the stories of men and women incarcerated in North Carolina. This course culminated in a final exhibit as a way to teach students applied research skills and to provide an introduction to the process of collaborative work that defines the public history profession. Students learned about the issues in the field by becoming public historians, and their final public exhibition presented research into the historical dynamics and legacies of incarceration.
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The Imagination Project: The Silence of WarDSC_0004

Humanities Matters project organized by Cara Pilson, Associate Teaching Professor and Co-Director, the Documentary Film Program and Cindy Hill, Associate Teaching Professor and Co-Director, the Documentary Film Program.
Undergraduate students from multiples disciplines and MFA students from the Documentary Film Program (DFP) at Wake Forest University will produce enhanced electronic books on a group of North Carolina African American Vietnam veterans who have become a “band of brothers” as a result of their post traumatic stress syndrome and their contemporary mission to reach young soldiers and students with their stories of war and its aftermath. The electronic books will contain portions of the vets’ wartime diaries and writings, period photos and film as well as contemporary short films about these eight men who met each other decades after serving in Vietnam. The books will be designed to target students in English and History classes among others and will be available for educational distribution. The books will be part of a larger project conceived and produced by Professor Sharon Raynor (primary scholar) on The Silence of War. Class sessions will involve six WFU faculty members from the humanities or who have creative or research agendas focused on the humanities as well as guest lecturers who are experts in Vietnam and civil rights history. While students will produce enhanced e-books, the focus of the course will be on the analysis, interpretation, and understanding of how we communicate the human experience, in this case, that of African American Vietnam veterans.
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The Imagination Project: Filipino Street Artfilipinostreetart2

Humanities Matters project organized by Sandy Dickson, Professor of Communication and Director of the Documentary Film Program. Undergraduate students from multiples disciplines and third-year MFA students from the Documentary Film Program (DFP) at Wake Forest University will produce short digital films (or web episodes) and enhanced digital study guides as part of a larger multimedia project on Filipino street art. The larger project, Walls Talk, is comprised of a website and feature-length documentary and was begun in 2012-2013 by Wake Forest students Kim Dryden and Austin Smith. While at Wake Forest, Kim and Austin received a Chambers grant to construct a website on Filipino street art and the 2013 award for Best Artistic Venture from the Office of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. See www.filipinostreetart.com. Class Sessions involve WFU faculty members from the humanities or who have creative or research agendas focused on the humanities as well as guest lectures who are experts in street art and Filipino culture. The focus of the course will be on the analysis, interpretation and understanding of how we communicate the human experience, in this case, Filipino street artists telling stories of their personal, social and political experience through evocative imagery.

The Imagination Project: Artists of the Holocaustlurie

Humanities Matters project organized by Sandy Dickson, Professor of Communication and Director of the Documentary Film Program, involves undergraduate students from multiple disciplines and third-year MFA students from the Documentary Film Program (DFP) at Wake Forest University working with WFU faculty and art historians at Yad Vashem to produce short digital films, a digital book and a multimedia museum installation on artists of the Holocaust.  Yad Vashem is the “World Center for Documentation, Research, Education and Commemoration of the Holocaust.”

The project’s aim is to educate a younger audience about anti-semitism and promote the common good of greater understanding, identification, and respect for different religions and cultures.  To that end, the short digital films and digital book will be designed from dissemination on the Yad Vashem YouTube channel.  With Yad Vashem’s permission, the project will distribute to national and international film festivals as well as to high schools, colleges and universities, and also package the films, digital book and multimedia installation as a single project to rent to U.S. museums.
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