The Humanities Institute fosters and encourages the development of partnerships that demonstrate how the humanities contribute to the common good, illumine and inform social issues, and help link classroom learning to the larger world.

Funding or co-funding for collaborative community research will provide the means for establishing links with community partners and will be used for a wide range of endeavors including research on local topics, cultural projects, digital humanities projects, and humanities symposia that bring together scholars and community partners.

Oral Histories of Black Catholics in the Protestant Bible Belt

Humanities Matters grant was awarded to Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College and Presidential Professor of Southern History for the project Oral Histories of Black Catholics in the Protestant Bible Belt: Documenting and Writing the History of St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, School and Community. The project documented the history of St. Benedict’s through oral histories conducted during the Spring 2015 semester by undergraduate and graduate students, to be housed electronically in Special Collections of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library. Students used these sources to analyze this community’s experiences and contributions in the context of African American history in the mid-20th Century American South.

The oral history project was organized and conducted by Dr. Gillespie and Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Archivist and Director of Special Collections with the assistance of students in Honors History 391 and graduate students from the Documentary Film Program.

The Story of My Life

A multimedia documentary and exhibit that follows the lives of six intellectually and developmentally disabled adults, opens Friday, October 11, 5:30-7:30pm at the Eleanor and Egbert Davis Gallery at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, 251 N. Spruce St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. The project tells the stories of six remarkable men and women through photography, written and spoken word, and various visual art forms, which taken together create richly layered narratives. The project is a collaboration among WFU lecturer in English, Phoebe Zerwick, photographer Christine Rucker, journalist Michelle Johnson, faculty at the Sawtooth School, and the six adults featured in the exhibit, who worked individually with artists to find media that spoke to them.

The exhibition will be on view through November 14th. The WFU Humanities Institute provided funding and support for the project as part of a larger effort to bring humanities projects to public audiences and to support university and and community partnerships in the humanities. The six adults featured in the exhibit live in homes managed by Group Homes of Forsyth. HI is the leading sponsor. Community Partners: Sawtooth Center for Visual Art and Group Homes of Forsyth.

View a digital postcard about the exhibit for email distribution.

For the documentary project, see: http://shawneestreetmedia.wix.xom/story-of-my-life.

Creating: Quilts and Crafts of the Lakota

This Winston-Salem Partners in the Humanities project is a collaboration between the Wake Forest University Museum of Anthropology and community partner Winston-Salem Delta Fine Arts, Inc. Support from the Humanities Institute will augment a grant from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation to bring two exhibits and speakers to Winston-Salem during November 2013, Native American Heritage Month.

The MOA and Delta will share two exhibits related to Lakota people living on reservations in South Dakota. Rosebud Sioux — A Lakota People in Transition is an exhibit of photographs and contemporary crafts organized and curated by Claes Jacobson and Eva Anderson in Sweden. Creating: Quilts of the Lakota is an exhibit of contemporary handmade ceremonial quilts organized by the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania. Each exhibit supports and expands upon the humanities and educational content of the other. The partnership will promote them jointly as Creating: Quilts and Crafts of the Lakota.

The exhibit was on view November 3, 2013 through January 26, 2014 at the Museum of Anthropology and Winston-Salem Delta Fine Arts.