Join us in congratulating Dr. Tanya Saunders and Dr. Manoucheka Celeste, for being awarded the Intersections: Research-into-Teaching Grant for their project, “How does Blackness travel locally and across the globe?”
June 4, 2018 — Patricia Alba
Join us in congratulating Dr. Tanya Saunders (Latin American Studies) and Dr. Manoucheka Celeste (African American Studies), for receiving the Intersections: Research-into-Teaching Grant for their project, “How does Blackness travel locally and across the globe?” The grant, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is awarded by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere.
“Intersections Groups demonstrate the urgency for scholars to mobilize interdisciplinary collaboration with the humanities in order to respond to grand challenges,” says Prof. Barbara Mennel, Interim Director of the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. “Importantly, the Intersections Groups will translate scholarship into teaching to expose first-year students to the significance of the humanities in multiple thematic contexts.”
Saunders will serve as the grant PI and Celeste as the Co-PI. Group members for the project include Paul Ortiz (History), Michael Leslie (Telecommunication), Nicholas Vargas (Latin American Studies), Benjamin Hebblethwaite (Languages, Literature & Culture), and Bryce Henson (African American Studies), who played a key role in developing the grant proposal. Affiliates of the group include Sharon Austin (Director, African American Studies Program), Efraín Barradas, (Center for Latin American Studies), Christopher Busey (Teaching and Teaching Education), Coco Fusco (School of Art + Art History), Lillian Guerra (History), Jillian Hernandez (Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research), and Agnes Leslie (Center for African Studies).
The group aims to further our understanding of how Blackness travels across the globe via diverse Black communities, politics, and identities. The project addresses the increasing role that globalization plays in our everyday lives, cultural consumption and production, transnational communities, social inequalities, and how we understand the difference. This group focuses on the role of culture, such as popular culture, the visual arts, performance, and media, as sites for Black subject formation, and a particular site for understanding, critiquing, and reimagining what it means to be Black. This inquiry also has implications for how we understand what it means to be human, as Black people have been displaced from occupying this terrain socially, historically, and politically.
Through this research, the group will develop a course that navigates social and cultural differences to provide a nuanced understanding of the intersections of Blackness and Latinidad. Through culturally sustaining pedagogies, the group will offer tools for higher education to support the cultural practices of communities of color, improving over-all campus climate and the retention of students and faculty members of color.
More information about the grant can be found here.