Center for Excellence in Arts and Humanities Announces Research and Symposium Awards

Cindy Gould (Art and Visual Culture) recently received an award from the CEAH to document the life and work of Elsa Sreenivasam, a U.S. textile surface designer, educator, and pioneering researcher of Indian textiles. In this image is Sreenivasam
Cindy Gould (Art and Visual Culture) recently received an award from the CEAH to document the life and work of Elsa Sreenivasam, a U.S. textile surface designer, educator, and pioneering researcher of Indian textiles. In this image is Sreenivasam's one of works, called "Which Direction Should I Take?" Photo by Brigid Funicane.

The Center for Excellence in Arts and Humanities (CEAH) has made seven grant awards to support Iowa State faculty’s research and scholarly activity and one award to support organizing a symposium.

“These new CEAH-funded projects show the value that arts and humanities bring to society, offering a platform to discuss important topics such as race, philosophy, esthetics, nature, culture, and place,” said Sarah Nusser, vice president for research.

CEAH Director Michael Bailey notes that the new projects also represent the strength and breadth of Iowa State arts and humanities’ scholarship.

“The creativity shown in these projects is impressive and a testament to Iowa State’s diversity of expertise in arts, humanities, and design,” said Bailey. “CEAH is very pleased to support these new projects, as just one way we strive to support Iowa State’s arts, humanities, and design faculty in their research and work.”

Research Awards

Brianna Burke (English), “Indian Summer: Growing Up in the American Indian Hobbyist Culture” Burke will collect interviews of people who, like her, grew up within and between American Indian cultures and mainstream America. The interviews will be used in an auto-ethnographic book that will critically examine race in America in the 20th and 21st centuries, and will tell Burke’s own story about growing up in-between cultures, along with the stories of others.

Mira Engler (Landscape Architecture), “Facing Colors: Predicaments in Landscape Architecture” Engler is writing a book about the history of Western ideas, themes, and debates about color in landscape architecture. She will cover a dozen different color doctrines that illustrate the evolving discourse and practice of color in landscape design.

Firat Erdim (Architecture), “Peregrine Projections: Camino de Santiago” Erdim will create a series of drawings that depict the pilgrimage route of St. James, or Camino de Santiago, across Spain – and explore techniques of navigation and land surveying as archetypal forms of architectural drawing along the trail from Segovia to Sahagún, and to Santiago de Compostela. Erdim will investigate how bell towers, shrines, and other markers structure the route, and use them as reference points for photographs with which to build drawings of the surrounding terrain.

Cindy Gould (Art and Visual Culture), “Elsa Sreenivasam: Pioneering American Textile Researcher” Gould plans to document the life and work of Iowa State associate professor emerita Elsa Sreenivasam, a U.S. textile surface designer, educator, and pioneering researcher of Indian textiles. Personal interviews and archival materials will help trace Sreenivasam’s journey to becoming a scholar of Indian textiles and first president of the U.S. Surface Design Association.

Michael Christopher Low (History), “Drinking the Sea: The United States, the Middle East, and the Globalization of Desalination Technology” Low will write a trio of book chapters on the history of desalination technology, tracing its development in the Cold War-era United States and subsequent transfer to the Middle East and beyond. Addressing both the promise and the perils inherent in America’s rising interest in desalination technology at home and abroad, this project will provide a historical and environmental context for this poorly understood, but critical, component of twenty-first-century water infrastructure.

Justin Remes (English), “Absence in Cinema” Remes is beginning a book on the effects and significations of “voids” in cinema, such as films without images, films without sound, and works that “erase” elements from pre-existing films. He will also use cinematic absence as a way of considering both ancient and contemporary debates about the nature of “the void” in religion, philosophy, and science.

Austin Stewart (Art and Visual Culture), “Critical Contemplations: The Fountain” Stewart will create an art installation, The Fountain. The piece is a critical, contemplative reflection on the friction between human behavior and the ecologies we inhabit, and the challenges of social justice and economic inequity. The Fountain will be designed to expose different meanings based on the physical and social context the work is placed within.

Symposium Award

Caroline Westort (Landscape Architecture) and Alex Braidwood (Graphic Design), “Coding Design/Designing Code: A Meeting of Creative Technologists,” symposium planned for fall 2017 Westort and Braidwood are organizing a symposium that explores how software coding is transforming creative output within and across disciplines and how the creative process is captured or cultivated with computer programming.

Call for proposals

CEAH seeks proposals for its spring 2017 rounds of awards in research, proposal planning, and symposium development. Application deadline is Feb. 7, 2017.

About CEAH

CEAH’s mission is to develop programs that strengthen the impact and visibility of Iowa State’s arts and humanities research and provide internal grant support for arts and humanities faculty. CEAH also organizes events and seminars on arts and humanities topics.