Grant Awardees

Text: The Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme  invests in transformative research and creative practices that demonstrate the value of the  arts and humanities to better understand the  human condition and to address pressing  global concerns.


In addition to our continued support for Arts Creation Grants, Discovery Field School Grants and graduate fellowships, the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme is pleased to offer three new grants programs that will support centers and individuals in conducting cross-disciplinary collaborations and community-based research. We are also excited to introduce a special grants initiative in race, ethnicity and social justice, which will support cross-disciplinary projects that explore a wide range of social issues linked to structural injustices and cultural and political forms of resistance.

Our next grant cycle will take place in spring 2020. Visit our Opportunities page for more information.

Congratulations to our 2019-2020 grant awardees!


Centers and Institutes Grants 


CENTERS COLLABORATIVE GRANT | Asian Futures: A Collaborative Proposal

Project Description: Asian Futures brings together colleagues and constituencies across campus to develop a forward-looking framework for Asian Studies at OSU. The project will produce programming driven by key themes, at the participating centers, including guest speakers, workshops, and community engagement events. 
Principal Collaborators: The Humanities Institute (Dir. David Staley), Center for the Study of Religion (Dir. Hugh Urban), Center for Folklore Studies (Dir. Katherine Borland), Center for Ethnic Studies (Dir. Namiko Kunimoto) and the South Asian Studies Initiative (Pranav Jani and Mytheli Sreenivas), in partnership with East Asian Studies Center (Dir. Etsuyo Yuasa), Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (Dir. Harvey Miller), Office of International Affairs


CENTERS COLLABORATIVE GRANT | Living Well, Dying Well: Religion, Health, and Healing

Project Description:This inter and trans-disciplinary project will host a series of colloquia on key themes for the year 2020-2021, a major conference as well as a graduate student conference (2022) and a series of faculty workshops on curriculum development for new courses on religion and medicine. The long-term goal is to build stronger connections with the medical and nursing programs and to attract more of their students to classes and majors in Religious Studies, Folklore, English, and other fields in the Arts and Humanities.
Principal Collaborators: Center for the Study of Religion (Dir. Hugh Urban), Center for Folklore Studies (Dir. Katherine Borland), Humanities Institute (Dir. David Staley)


CENTERS GRANT | Experimental Archaeology and the Medieval-Renaissance Worlds

Project Description: CMRS will host a series of lectures, demonstrations, and events around the topic of ‘Experimental Archaeology.’ This year-long investigation will expand the traditional boundaries of ‘Experimental Archaeology’ beyond a focus on the recreation of buildings, technologies, things, and environments, to also consider ‘Food Archaeology,’ or the preparation of meals using past recipes; and ‘Digital Archaeology,’ or the reconstruction of aspects of the past with the aid of computer technology. 
Principal Collaborators: Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (Dir. Chris Highley)


CENTERS GRANT | Intercultural Competence for Global Citizenship

Project Description: This project will support the Intercultural Competence for Global Citizenship summer camp for middle school children in the Columbus area. In the affiliated service-learning course, undergraduates will be trained to teach language, cultural diversity, and global issues without essentializing, othering, or stereotyping. The course and camp increase awareness among the middle school students, their parents, and our undergraduates of the fundamental necessity of the qualities, skills, attitudes and knowledge associated with intercultural competence in order to function as a global citizen in the 21stcentury.
Principal Collaborators: Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures (Dir. Glenn Martinez); Department of French and Italian


CENTERS GRANT | Supporting Gender, Race, and Ethnicity Studies at OSU and Beyond

Project Description: The award will support honoraria for community speakers.
Principal Collaborators: Center for Ethnic Studies (Dir. Namiko Kunimoto)


CENTERS GRANT | Climate Change Exhibition and Related Events

Project Description: Climate Change is an exhibition featuring a multigenerational group of nearly 20 artists from across the globe whose work takes on urgent social and environmental issues. At the same time, it considers the role of institutions in navigating these tumultuous times. While the exhibition is the core project, it will spark related events, scholarly contributions, online content, free talks, and multidisciplinary programming before, during, and after the summer exhibition run.
Principal Collaborators: Wexner Center for the Arts (Dir. Johanna Burton)


SUMMER INSTITUTE GRANT | Voices of Franklinton

Project Description: This Summer Institute in Franklinton will facilitate university-community partnerships through co-designing workshops and demonstrate how project-based research and experiential learning can address real world challenges at a local level. It will illustrate the use of an ethical framework (based on the Principles of Inclusive and Equitable Civic Engagement).
Principal Investigators: Susan Melsop (Design), Sébastien Proulx (Design), Karen Hutzel (Arts Administration, Education and Policy)


Community Engagement Grants


Be the Street: Exiting Community Engagements Responsibly and Ethically

Project Description:This project will enact an intentional exit strategy for the Be the Street project. In doing so, it will transfer the intention of the spirit of the project to an organized, institutionally-supported group of community leaders who have indicated their interest in carrying the work forward in a way that aligns with their existing and ongoing community-based work.
Principal Investigators: Katherine Borland (Comparative Studies) and Moriah Flagler (Theatre)


Drug Prevention at High Schools in the Epicenter of the Opiate Epidemic

Project Description:This project aims to continue and sustain a drug-prevention program in two Columbus public schools located in the epicenter of the opiate epidemic in Franklin County: South High School and Marion Franklin High School, both on the Southside.   Funding will support a graduate student who will serve as facilitator as well as the purchase of materials for the in-class activities, so that the program can continue when the service-learning course is offered again in 2020 and 2021.
Principal Investigators: Linda Mizejewski (Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) and Alina Sharafutdinova (Department of Public Safety/ Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services)


The Exhibition and Education Lab at the Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art

Program Description: This project would enable the lower level of the Pizzuti building to become the home to an ongoing, public-facing educational collaboration between the Columbus Museum of Art and OSU. Graduate and undergraduate students taking courses in the History of Art and AAEP would be able to develop a range of skills doing hands-on museum work like budgeting, installation, lighting, catalogue writing and production and registrarial management.  
Principal Investigator (s):Kris Paulsen (History of Art & Program in Film Studies) 
Additional Collaborators:Tyler Cann (The Columbus Museum of Art) Lisa Florman (History of Art), Cindy Foley (The Columbus Museum of Art), Karen Hutzel (Arts Administration, Education and Policy), Dana Carlisle Kletchka (Arts Education, Administration, and Policy) and Daniel Marcus (Columbus Museum of Art, OSU History of Art)


¡Aquí se habla español! Public Outreach at COSI in Spanish

Program Description: The goal of this project is to develop a set of language science activities that both feature the Spanish language as their subject matter and also can be conducted in Spanish.  These activities will be integrated into the public outreach efforts of the Language Sciences Research Lab embedded within the COSI museum; moreover, this project will create the necessary infrastructure (including student training materials and museum advertising materials) to ensure that the activities continue to be used past the end of the project.
Principal Investigators: Anna Babel (Spanish & Portuguese), Kathryn Campbell-Kibler (Linguistics), Leslie C. Moore (Teaching & Learning), Laura Wagner (Psychology)  


Open Grants


A Collaborative Gaming Platform for Disabled Children and Their Families

Project Description: This project creates a collaborative gaming platform that provides disabled children with a better opportunity to connect with their parents, friends, and families using human-centered technologyand collaborative playThis game platform will give families a fun and constructive way to interact with their child while the additional visual and physical stimulation may result in increased cognitive and/or physical function.
Principal Investigators: Scott Swearingen (Design), Kyoung Swearingen (Design) Dr. Susan Thrane (Nursing) Dr. Asimina Kiourti (Engineering)


Bringing the Border to Columbus

Project Description: This symposium will bring art and scholarship about and from the border to the OSU and greater Columbus community. It will join academics, activists, artists, and immigrants from The Ohio State University and greater Columbus community to interrogate the politics of American south-to-north migrations in the borderlands between the United States and Mexico and the resulting death and disappearances in these borderlands.
Principal Investigators: Victor Espinosa (Sociology) and Danielle Schoon (Near Eastern Languages and Cultures)


Khasi Interfaces: Objects, Orality, Poetry, Place and Things

Project Description: This project will develop an OSU talk and workshop and AFS panel on the intersections between oral tradition, material culture, and contemporary indigenous poetry in North-East India, taking the Khasi situation as a touchstone. The events will be structured in the spirit of “trans-indigenous” engagement that will allow the creation of conversations that extend beyond Northeast India to situations and issues in other parts of the globe, including Ohio State and highlight the work of Professor Desmond Kharmawphlang.
Principal Investigators: Mark Bender (East Asian Languages and Literatures) and John N. Low (Comparative Studies)


How the Arts and Humanities Can Benefit Our Wellbeing

Project Description: This project will examine how the arts and humanities might play a key role in individual and collective well-being on campus. It seeks to spark immediate positive changes in higher education by exploring and pilot testing a wide range of small but powerful modifications or additions to course design and teaching practices.
Principal Investigators: Yvette Shen (Design), Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders (Design), Paul Reitter (Germanic Languages and Literatures)


The Global Mediterranean

Project Description: This award funds the continuation of a postdoctoral researcher position in Global Mediterranean. The Global Mediterranean project is a working group of the Humanities Institute at The Ohio State University that emphasizes community engagement, public programming, university events, and innovative coursework focused on the Mediterranean.
Principal Collaborators: Barry Shank (Comparative Studies), Dana Renga (French and Italian), Bob Holub (Germanic Language and Literatures and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures)


The Uses of Narrative Theory: Perspectives from the Project Narrative Summer Institute

Project Description: This award supports a two-day conference on “The Uses of Narrative Theory.” The 18 speakers at the conference will be participants from past Project Narrative Summer Institutes (which have been conducted over the past ten years), and each speaker will respond to the prompt, "How and why do you use using narrative theory in your teaching, research, or outreach?
Principal Investigators: James Phelan (English), Frederick Aldama (English and Spanish and Portuguese) and Katra Byram (Germanic Languages and Literatures)


Race, Ethnicity, and Social Justice Grants


Transformative Access Project: Moving from Inclusion to Equity

Program Description:The purpose of this project is to re-imagine “access” as an intersectional process that centers race, ethnicity, disability, class, gender, and sexuality. Drawing upon community-based and interdisciplinary points of view, the Transformative Access Project will introduce innovative methods of gathering, researching, and making in order to amplify both Ohio State’s and participants’ collective knowledge.
Principal Investigators:Margaret Price (English), Nicholas Flores (Comparative Studies), Evelyn Hoglund (Speech and Hearing) Maurice Stevens (Comparative Studies)


The Ohio State University Prison Education Exchange Project

Program Description: This project aims to increase the number and disciplinary range of Inside-Out Prison Exchange® courses offered through OSU Columbus and Newark, and also to build a college-in-prison education program at OSU in collaboration with local colleges also participating in Inside-Out.
Principal Investigators: Mary Thomas (WGSS) Tiyi Morris (AAAS, Newark) Angela Bryant (Sociology, Newark)



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Awards archive


LARGE SPECIAL GRANTS ($5000-$50,000)
Arts Creation Grants Recipients


Project Title: Into the Void

Through partnership with a local Columbus orchestra, Ohio State student musicians, and the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington, Tom Dugdale (Department of Theatre), Paul Sutter (Department of Astronomy), and local composer, Jacob Reed, will create a new interdisciplinary journey into that most enigmatic of astronomical phenomena: black holes. Into the Void will combine astronomy, orchestral music, and elements of theatrical design in a performance that is educational and artistically compelling. Imagine the kind of presentation you and your children might have seen before in a science museum, but with the dramatic arc of a play and the emotional weight of a symphony. The interdisciplinary nature of the performance will embody the shared roles art and science play in how we understand the universe and our place within it.
Principal Investigators: Tom Dugdale (Theatre)

Project Title: #mentalhealthdance2U

This project will create cross-disciplinary community dialogue of the interconnectedness of mental illness and dance utilizing American-Jewish choreographer Anna Sokolow’s masterwork Rooms as a platform for campus-wide discussion about mental health. We will collaborate with students to reconstruct sections of Rooms, one of the iconic modern dance works of the 20th century. The sections entitled “Alone,” “Escape,” “Desire,“Panic,” “DayDream,” and “The End?” emulate, through movement, the often first signs of mental illness: personality changes, agitation, withdrawn behavior, poor self-care, and hopelessness.
Principal  Investigators: Nena Couch, (Thompson Library Special Collections) and Valarie Williams (Dance)
Executive Sponsors: Damon Jaggars, Vice Provost and Director University Libraries and Bernadette Melnyk, Vice President for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, Dean and Professor College of Nursing
Internationally Recognized Visiting Artists: Lorry May and  Kirsten McKinney (Anna Sokolow Dance Foundation)

Project Title: On the Front Lines: Performing Afghanistan

Afghanistan stands at a critical juncture. For the first time in the 18-year American-led war, real prospects exist for a peace deal. The U.S. and (separately) Russia are openly negotiating with the Taliban, trying to chart a possible end to the war. This project offers an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and the Columbus community to engage with one of the most critical issues of our time--women’s voices and the refugee crisis--through witnessing a range of performance events grounded in Afghan experience. This will create a unique learning opportunity that will be maximized by faculty in a number of departments.  Other featured artistic practices --photography and film --provide a sense of the layered, nuanced ways one can view and come to understand other cultures. While wars do not define Afghanistan, they are critical for understanding the country today, and for connecting to Afghan history.  The art events that inform this project explore these experiences through theatre making: scripted plays and immersive theatre. The Middle East Studies Center will interpret plays for students and the public by hosting discussions on politics, culture, and global issues related to war. 
Principal Investigators:  Lesley Ferris (Theatre),  Kevin McClatchy (Theatre), Janet Parrott (Theatre), Alam Payind (Middle East Studies Center).

Project Title: The Woods

The Woods’ is a mixed-reality, interactive installation that will address the perils of social isolation by promoting connections between people and actively engaging them through play. The narrative of ‘The Woods’ revolves around an elderly grandmother reaching out to her teenage grandchild through a telephone call. Together, the digital migrant and the digital native struggle to maintain their relationship which is crippled by the same technology designed to enable it. Using augmented reality (AR) apps and smartphones, players are joined by a virtual tether that visually connects their phones to one another, and serves as a metaphor of their own connectedness and to encourage collaboration. Throughout the experience, players are tasked with supporting the verbal exchange between the grandmother and grandchild while also avoiding distractions that are intended to sever the bond between them. The game culminates in a successful completion of the telephone call. By prompting an examination of human connectivity through the lens of contemporary technology, our artwork aligns with Global Arts and Humanities focus areas Livability and Community.
Principal Investigator: Kyoung Lee Swearingen (Design)
Collaborators: Marc Ainger, (Music), Scott Swearingen (Design), Rosalie Yu, (Columbia University),  Skylar Wurster, (Undergraduate Student Researcher, Engineering)

Project Title: Weather Reports You

Professor Daniel Roberts will make a choreographic work that is reflective of local and global perspectives on the effects of climate change and lead an artistic process that incorporates scientific and artistic research into a rigorous performance experience for an international group of professional dancers and OSU Dance students. He will create an hour-long site-specific dance performance at The National Concert House of Iceland (Harpa) in collaboration with Icelandic Composer Maria Huld Markan Sigfusdottir. Stemming from the perspective of livability in times of climate change, he will use text from Roni Horn’s book, Weather Reports You and the latest research gathered about climate/weather from discussions with an atmospheric meteorologist, as well as reflections from personal experiences of Iceland as inspiration for the development of choreographic movement material.
Principal Investigator: Daniel Roberts (Dance) and Jeanine Thompson (Theatre)

Indigenous Arts and Humanities Grants Recipients


Ancient Indigenous Monuments and Modern Indigenous Art

The Newark Earthworks Center (NEC) and the Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise (Barnett Center) will collaborate to bring American Indian artists, writers, scholars, and activists for short residencies to explore the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks (HCE) of central Ohio and engage with students and faculty. Each five-day residency would include an inclusive and expansive tour of the HCE; two video interviews, one pre-and one post-HCE encounter; a public presentation; and a master class or other medium-appropriate masters experience.
Principal Investigators: Marti Chaatsmith (Newark Earthworks Center) and Christine Ballengee Morris (Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise)

Indigenous Ohio: OSU and Native Arts and Humanities Past and Present

This interdisciplinary program conceived of by the members of OSU’s American Indian Studies program that asks regionally-focused questions about indigeneity  across  the  Ohio  region.  Indigenous  Ohio  will  foster  interdisciplinary  inquiry  across  the  OSU  campus  and  broader  Midwestern academic  communities with  questions  impacting  indigenous  studies  and  practices  in the arts and humanities; highlight  the  depth  of  North  American  indigenous  studies  at  The  Ohio  State  University;  facilitate  and encourage  student  involvement  with  indigenous  North  American  arts  and  humanities;  and  explore  a  diverse range of ways that indigenous arts and humanities focused in the  Ohio region can engage global issues.
Principle Investigators: Cheryl L. Cash (Comparative Studies),  John N. Low  (Comparative Studies), Daniel  Rivers (History),
Collaborators: Matthew A. Anderson (Molecular  Biology),  Mark Bender (East Asian Languages and Literatures), Robert Cook (Anthropology), Shannon Gonzales-Miller (Office of Diversity and Inclusion), Kenneth  D.  Madsen  (Geography), Lucy  Murphy  (History),  Elissa Washuta  (English)

K’acha Willaykuna : Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Arts and Humanities Collaboration

K’acha Willaykuna: Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Arts and Humanities Collaboration, will bring together several strategic, interdisciplinary initiatives that affirm Ohio State’s commitment to the study of and critical engagement with Indigenous cultures of Abya Yala (the Indigenous denominator for the American continent in its entirety). Project collaborations center around a fundamental appreciation of material cultural production, oral traditions and performance practices as key sites of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous knowledge, memory and meaning making.
Principal InvestigatorsElvia Andia Grageda (Department of Spanish and Portuguese), Alcira Dueñas (History), Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros (University Libraries), Richard Fletcher (Arts Administration, Education and Policy),  Megan Hasting (Center for Latin American Studies), Guisela LaTorre (Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), Michelle Wibbelsman (Spanish and Portuguese)

Field School Grant Recipients


Dancing Connections and Communities of the African Diaspora

This field school positions dance as a lifeline for human connection and dances of the African diaspora as a conduit for understanding traditions of moving a people together as a community. More pointedly, to understand the historical significance of dances of the African diaspora in communities and its relevance in the lives of people today in the United States, starting with the African dancing community in Columbus, OH. Through cross-cultural connections,students will embark on a two-part experience in Columbus, Ohio.    
Course leader: Nya McCarthy-Brown (Dance)

Defining the Color Line: Race, Democracy and the Enslaved Community at James Madison's Montpelier

Professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries, associate professor of History, will lead a field school to Montpelier, the restored plantation estate of U.S. President James Madison, the architect of the Constitution and a slaveholder, to explore the formation and evolution of  the color line in America. This course is in its second offering.
Course leader: Hasan Kwame Jeffries (History)

Experimental Cinema in New York City: Communities and Institutions

Today New York City is home to dozens of new institutions of all sizes provide a range of alternative venues for the production, distribution, and exhibition of experimental media. Spending three days immersed in this artistic community, students will experience the entire gamut of institutions that make up the film and art world in New York City, from small gallery spaces to major museums. They will meet the people who run sites of production like artist-run labs and residencies and gain access to major sites of exhibition, like the Museum of Modern Art and the New York Film Festival.
Course leaders: Roger Beebe (Art) and Erica Levin (History of Art)

Ohio Folklore Field School Course, Spring 2020

How do Ohians create a sense of place in a changing environment? Students enrolled in the spring 2020 Ohio Field School course will have the opportunity to answer this question by conducting service-learning projects in collaboration with community partners in Perry County, Ohio. The area is home to expansive forestland, rolling hills, incredible biodiversity, and rich and complicated histories of migration, labor movements, and social activism. It is a place where hardworking activists and grassroots groups struggle daily to create a future for their communities after the departure of coal companies and extractive industries.
Course leaders: Katherine Borland (Comparative Studies) and Cassie Patterson (Center for Folklore Studies)

Livability Postdoctoral Fellowship Recipients


Center for Folklore Studies

This postdoctoral position in public folklore will contribute to GAHDT’s livability focus area through a multi-year exploration of the role that individuals, organizations, and institutions can play in supporting and documenting the folkways of diverse populations in rural and post-industrial Ohio. 

Department of Music

This postdoctoral position in music will contribute to research and teaching in the area of immersive audio – in recognition of the integral role that sound plays in supporting livability.