Intercollegiate Seminar

Intercollegiate Seminar: The University and the Neighborhood


Rian Bowie, WFU

Simone Caron, WFU

Debzani Deb, WSSU

Dean Franco, WFU

Alejandro Hortal, WFU

Denise Nation, WSSU

Dan Rose, WSSU

Teresa Sanhueza, WFU

Russ Smith, WSSU

Tangela Towns WSSU

Barry Trachtenberg, WFU

Mike Wakeford, UCNSA

Ivan Weiss, WFU

With support from the Andrew Mellon W. Mellon Foundation, the Humanities Institute at Wake Forest University has convened an inter-collegiate faculty seminar on “the University and the Neighborhood” for the academic year 2021-2022.  The seminar is part of a series of programs, research, and community engaged projects funded by a 2018 Mellon Grant for Engaged Liberal Arts which seeks to develop and localize Wake Forest’s research and teaching on topics of material interest to our proximate community.  This local work has intersected with ongoing research and programming associated with the University’s Slavery, Race, and Memory Project (SRMP), and we intend to strengthen connections among SRMP projects and Mellon-related projects.

Our seminar’s starting questions are:

  • What does it mean for a university to be “neighbor” to its local community?  What obligations and responsibilities, what mechanisms of reciprocity and mutuality, and what material forms of equity and justice pertain?
  • How have our specific institutions transformed their local areas, and how have they been transformed by them, for better and worse?
  • In a city with three distinct and significant universities, why are there so few pathways—physical and intellectual—connecting them?  What barriers have blocked those pathways?  Who created those barriers and why?  This is perhaps the most difficult set of questions because it requires some real research and reckoning with our institutional histories.  Some of this work has commenced at with SRMP.  More work needs to be done, including research on WFU’s post-war history move to Winston-Salem

The seminar will convene to address these questions through readings, site visits, guest speakers, and more.