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Interim Narrative Report, May 2013; Proposal # 53783

PI: David Theo Goldberg, Director, UCHRI


OVERVIEW This past year has been dedicated to building collaborations among UC faculty, UC graduate students, and journalists across California. In addition to convening a robust working group of multidisciplinary scholars and working journalists, we held four informative webinars, a terriďŹ cally productive Studio Jam Session to help with proposal development, and made four studio grants totaling $275,000.

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WORKING GROUP In November of 2012 we held a one-day convening meeting at UC Irvine to define the intellectual terrain of the initiative and brainstorm potential projects for the humanities studios. Our participants included: ✦ Wale Adebanwi, UC Davis, Associate Professor, African American and African Studies ✦ Nathaniel Deutsch, UC Santa Cruz, Professor, History ✦ Jennifer Hughes, UC Riverside, Associate Professor, History ✦ Suad Joseph, UC Davis, Professor, Anthropology ✦ Felicia Kelley, Senior Program Officer, Cal Humanities ✦ Cecelia Lynch, UC Irvine, Professor, Political Science ✦ Steve Magagnini, Senior Writer, The Sacramento Bee ✦ Susan Ossman, UC Riverside, Professor, Anthropology ✦ Angilee Shah, Journalist, Public Radio International ✦ Leti Volpp, UC Berkeley, Professor, Law ✦ Mayfair Yang, UC Santa Barbara, Professor, Religious Studies

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Global Symposium We had originally proposed to host a global symposium in year one of the grant in order to broaden the conversation around the thematics identified by the working group. As we began to plan the global symposium, however, we recognized that what we most needed was a targeted way of engaging specific scholars in the conversation about proposal development. As a result, we decided to postpone the symposium to year three of the grant, and instead host a series of webinars lead by members of the working group to begin connecting interested scholars and journalists with one another.

Webinars

The working group developed general thematics that served as examples of possible studios for scholars interested in developing a studio proposal. This diagram is on our website and, when the cursor moves over a particular thematic, expands to give the reader greater detail about what each thematic could address. These thematics were made available via our website. ridaga.uchri.org/thematics/ Angilee Shah and Steve Magagnini, the two journalists participating in the working group, were invaluable in helping us think through what we wanted to ask for from our funded studios in terms of the public-facing digital component. Their approach to public involvement helped shape the CFP in crucial ways.

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We developed a series of informative webinars that served to discuss the Call for Proposals (CFP), encourage interested participants to meet and talk with one another, and provide feedback to us in terms of how to best support proposal development. We held four webinars in January 2013, and posted them on our website for access by the public. The webinars, which were advertised via our working group members, website, and targeted emails from UCHRI, utilized the free technology of Google Hangouts. An hour long, the format of the webinar included a brief PowerPoint presentation on the CFP followed by a guest-moderated

conversation among participants about their research projects and interest in the RIDAGA studio project. Our guest moderators included: Angilee Shah (PRI), Susan Ossman (UCR), and Jennifer Hughes (UCR). The recorded webinars were posted to our website within hours of their conclusion, so that those who could not participate might still benefit from the information. To view the recorded webinars, please visit: ridaga.uchri.org/ webinars/

What we learned... These webinars were extremely productive for developing the initiative, and they prompted us to: • Collect and share contact information for people interested in developing proposals. We began to connect people via email and our website’s Virtual Network page. ridaga.uchri.org/bios/

We also included a cloud on each page of the website so that people could search for interested scholars according to thematics.


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• Encourage people to think about their research interests within a larger, more comprehensive research project. In our webinar conversations we quickly realized that faculty were approaching these studios from an extremely focused perspective, and that in order to fund studio-worthy proposals, we needed to better connect scholars with the thematics brainstormed by our working group. • Revise our CFP. In the first draft of the CFP, we theorized that a “core” group of participants (one UC faculty member, one UC graduate student, one global scholar, and one journalist) would collectively lead each studio. As we talked with interested faculty, we recognized that our utilization of

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the term “core group” would discourage faculty collaboration, as only one faculty member would be among the “core” group. We revised the language of our CFP, and more importantly the structure of the studio, so that multiple UC faculty members could collaborate in the studio with equal responsibility and recognition. • Do more outreach to explain what we wanted from proposals in terms of the public-facing digital components. For many participants, this seemed to translate too easily into merely incorporating a website or blog into their outcomes. We realized the need to better convey the range of possibilities for this component of the studio.

Humanities Studio Jam Session

" Building upon the momentum of the webinars and the website’s virtual network, we convened a two-day proposal development workshop/networking opportunity at UC Irvine on February 21-22, 2013. Although not included in our original proposal to Luce, we recognized a need for on-the-ground networking and proposal development assistance for our faculty. The Jam brought interested faculty and graduate students into conversation with one another; of the eight proposals that were ultimately submitted for RIDAGA funding, five of them originated out of meetings at the Jam. And of these five, four were funded with $50,000-75,000 grants.

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Building Collaboration: To advertise the humanities jam session we compiled a list of UC faculty and graduate students, via department websites, who were working on issues of religion, diasporic studies, and international affairs and sent materials directly to them. We also asked the RIDAGA working group to submit names of faculty and graduate students they thought might be interested in participating. Furthermore, we drew upon the resources of our journalist colleagues to contact journalists around the state. Because of these communications efforts, we now have a list of UC faculty and graduate students and journalists who work on issues related to religions in diaspora. We also asked each campus’ humanities center to advertise the event with their communities.

Communications: Our communications entailed both print and electronic materials; we developed and mailed two different postcards (one geared towards the traditional academic community, the other to journalists) and a poster, in addition to sharing the URL for our website.

Academic Postcard

Journalist Postcard

Competitive LOI to Attend Jam In order to attend the Jam, interested scholars and journalists submitted a Letter of Interest (LOI) to attend. We received over 30 letters of interest, reviewed them internally, and financially supported most who submitted an LOI to attend. In preparation for the Jam Session, we asked that participants join our online Virtual Network (via our website) and submit more detailed biographical information to us via email. We utilized this information to create a magazine showcasing each scholar and their interests, and shared this information with attendees prior to the event. Click here to view the magazine.

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And the Jam goes on... We focused the jam session around structured and unstructured networking sessions and a series of panel conversations about developing studio projects. On the Thursday evening of the event we hosted a reception and dinner for approximately 30 participants. Though participants were able to mingle during the reception and meet one another informally, we asked everyone in attendance to introduce themselves and their research interests more formally during dinner.

On Friday, we hosted what was essentially an un-conference. In the morning we had panels on digital and public-facing humanities projects and a Q&A session with journalists Jon Christenson (Boom Magazine), Angilee Shah (PRI), and Steve Magagnini (The Sacramento Bee) (right bottom photo). These panels were taped and shared with anyone interested in developing a proposal.

Youtube Videos Humanities without Borders 1 Humanities without Borders 2 Humanities without Borders 3 Journalist Q&A Concluding Panel

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Fill your dance card In the afternoon we asked participants to engage in a series of three matchmaking sessions. In each 25-minute session we put 3-4 people in conversation with one another and asked them to brainstorm what a potential studio, based on their interests, might look like. At the end of the 25-minute period the groups would break up, and participants would be asked to reconfigure themselves into another small group. We customized each participants’ agenda so as to reflect who their first group would include, but asked that they reconfigure themselves according to their own interests for the next two matchmaking sessions.

We concluded the day with a panel comprised of Cecelia Lynch (UCI), David Theo Goldberg (UCHRI), Daniel Boyarin (UCB), and Wale Adebanwi (UCD) talking about contemporary issues of religion in diaspora and global affairs.

At the conclusion of the conference, Jam participants completed an evaluation reflecting on their experiences at the jam and requesting any additional guidance or assistance in developing proposals. We are pleased to share a summary of the evaluations upon request from the Luce Foundation.

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Funded Studios In early May three members of UCHRI’s advisory committee, along with one member of the RIDAGA Working Group, evaluated eight studio proposals. Each evaluator ranked the proposals, and there was unanimous agreement as to the top four proposals. In mid-May we notified the following proposals that they were funded: • Studio: “Shari’a Revoiced: Documenting American Muslims’ Experiences of Islamic Law”; PIs: Kathleen Moore, UC Santa Barbara; Mark Massoud, UC Santa Cruz; Other participants: Shahib Malik (UC Riverside), Maria Ebrahimji (CNN), Ziba Mir-Hosseini (University of London) • Studio: “Global Religious Festivals in Secular Cityscapes: Immigration, Politics, and Religious Performance in California”; PIs: Jennifer Hughes (UC Riverside); Amanda Lucia Huffer (UC Riverside); James Lee (UC Irvine); Jeremy Guida (UC Riverside); Patricia Lee Brown (The New York Times); Other participants: Matthew Casey (UC Davis); James Ault (James Ault Productions); S. Romi Mukherjee (UNESCO)

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• Studio: “Humanitarian Ethics, Religious Affinities, and the Politics of Dissent”; PIs: Mariam Lam (UC Riverside); Other participants: Natalie Avalos Cisneros (UC Santa Barbara); Andrew Lam (New American Media); Leshu Torchin (University of St. Andrews); Neda Atanasoski (UC Santa Cruz); Cecelia Lynch (UC Irvine); Angilee Shah (Public Radio International) • Studio: “Regulating Sex/ Religion: Secular Citizenship and the Politics of Diasporic Difference”; PIs: Mayanthi Fernando (UC Santa Cruz); Saba Mahmood (UC Berkeley); Other participants: Jean-Michel Landry (UC Berkeley); Maya Mikdashi (Jadaliyya Ezine); Nilufer Gole (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris); Suad Joseph (UC Davis); Anjali Arondekar (UC Santa Cruz); Sherene Seikaly (Jadaliyya Ezine and American University in Cairo) Budget Revision Details Consistent with our original proposal we shifted the timeline of some activities within the three year period of the grant, and leveraged some of the budget categories to maximize funding support for a broader number of

research efforts (shifting savings from event funds to research support). Because we were excited by the quality of research proposals we received, UCHRI also contributed some additional funds of our own to supplement the research activities proposed. The following list highlights all significant changes: • The global symposium, which was originally planned for year one, will be held in year three as part of a culminating event around the studio projects. Funds that were marked for the global symposium were not spent during the first year of the grant, and will be transferred to year three of the grant. • The networking event held in fall 2012, which included money for participant stipends and travel, was not spent in its entirety. We propose to use some of these funds to help support the funding of a fourth studio project. More on this below. • We utilized our UCHRI advisory committee and members of the RIDAGA working group, via Google Hangout, to evaluate studio proposals. As a result, we did not utilize the funds set aside for participant and judges travel. We propose to use these funds to help support the funding of a fourth studio project.


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We have  a  very  busy  year  ahead  of  us  with  the  four  funded  studios. Residency Intensive: During the week of September 16th, UCHRI will host a five-day residency intensive at UC Irvine. Each studio’s UC faculty member and graduate student, journalist, and global scholar will be in attendance. If studios have multiple PIs associated with their studio, they will attend as well. Over the five-day period studios will engage in collaborative discussions about topics of interest; meet individually as studios and develop more detailed work plans for the coming year; attend a humanities journalism seminar led by leading journalists in the field of religion and public humanities; meet with Diane Winston (proposed) to talk about the Luce-funded website opportunity; participate in a Q&A with Laurent Dubois (proposed) from the Haiti Lab at Duke University; and meet with UCHRI’s research program manager to customize a studio outcomes and evaluation tool for tracking and communicating their research goals and outcomes.

Website: Over the summer of 2013, UCHRI will revamp its current RIDAGA website in order to create a digital platform responsive to the needs of the funded studio projects. We look forward to collaborating with Diane Winston at USC around these digital displays as well.

Summer Institute: In summer 2014, UCHRI will bring each studio back to UC Irvine for a summer institute on religions in diaspora and global affairs. This will be a mini-residency intensive where studios can benefit from additional planning time as well as continue cross-studio collaborations.

Global Symposium: The Global Symposium will be the culminating event of the RIDAGA initiative, held in Spring 2015. Oral Interviews: We plan to conduct oral interviews of each studio at our meetings; this material will be part of a larger evaluation of the studio process overall, in addition to offering the perspectives of individually-funded studios.

Report Prepared by: Dr. Kelly Anne Brown, Research Programs Manager, UCHRI 8

Interim Narrative Report

Religions in Diaspora and Global Affairs: 2012-13 Report  
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