2016 global midwest projects

Growing Up Hmong at the Crossroads

Official prequel film Hmong Memory at the Crossroads website
Youtube channel

Safoi Babana-Hampton, Michigan State University (PI)
Swarnavel Eswaran-Pillai, Michigan State University (co-PI)
Scott Boehm, Michigan State University (co-PI)
Vincent Bouchard, Indiana University Bloomington (co-PI)
Frieda Ekotto, University of Michigan (co-PI)
Alissa Lyon, Michigan State University
Daniel Dapkus, Michigan State University
Jack Weyhrich, Michigan State University

“BlackLivesMatter”: Racial Tension and Police Violence in the Midwest and Beyond

Jean Beaman, Purdue University (PI)
Nadia Brown, Purdue University
Aldon Morris, Northwestern University

¡Latinoamérica Presente!: Tracing the Hidden Histories of Latina/o Art, Aesthetics, and Expressive Culture in the Global Midwest

¡Latinoamérica Presente! webpage

Gilberto Cárdenas, University of Notre Dame (PI)
Alex E. Chávez, University of Notre Dame
María de los Angeles Torres, University of Illinois at Chicago
Olga U. Herrera, University of Illinois at Chicago
Juan Casas, University of Nebraska-Omaha
Victor Espinosa, The Ohio State University

Collaborative Innovation and the Global Midwest: Inter-disciplinary Design and Envisioning Prairie Futures

Anita Say Chan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (PI)
Rayvon Fouché, Purdue University
Thomas Misa, University of Minnesota
Michael Twidale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sharra Vostral, Purdue University

The Earth Will Not Abide

The Earth Will Not Abide exhibition page

Ryan Griffis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (co-PI)
Brett Hannover, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lorelei Stewart, University of Illinois at Chicago (co-PI)
Brian Holmes, University of Illinois at Chicago
Rachel Schurman, University of Minnesota
Claire Pentecost, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Sarah Ross, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The Earth Will Not Abide consists of an exhibition of the work of several artists and a series of programs that addresses land degradation resulting from extractive industries as well as forms of resistance to that degradation. An exhibition of the artists’ works at UIC’s Gallery 400 employs a variety of media and methods including painting, documentary video, installation, and interactive mapping. Artists Ryan Griffis (PI) and Sarah Ross, Brian Holmes and Alejandro Meitin, Sarah Lewison and duskin drum, and Claire Pentecost draw connections between lands in the US, Brazil, Argentina, and China that have been—and are currently being—engineered to support an agricultural economy based on monoculture. A series of public programs (under the title “This Land/That Land) was organized during the 2016/17 academic year under the direction of Gallery 400 Director Lorelei Stewart and Gallery 400 staff. These programs included public lectures on ecological art in Argentina, a round table discussion on community gardening and urban food production, an urban foraging workshop, and a two-day symposium on environmental and land-based injustices against communities of color.

A Comparative Study of the Great Lakes and the Jordan Valley: Articulating Water Needs, the Right to Water, and Water Sovereignty in the Quest for Water Justice

Freshwater Lab website

Rachel Havrelock, University of Illinois at Chicago (PI)
Samer Alatout, University of Wisconsin Madison
Stephen Gasteyer, Michigan State University

Our project aims to critically examine three dominant concepts in academic writings on water—water needs, water rights, and water sovereignty—and determine how these concepts are lived on the ground. Our sites of investigation are the vastly different Great Lakes region and Jordan River Valley. Prior support from the Global Midwest initiative has enabled us to draw productive comparisons and relationships between these transboundary basins, so our current phase of research is aimed at a joint publication and a digital storytelling site that recasts these findings in new, compelling conceptual terms and disseminates them widely. Our humanistic approach emphasizes the need for social and environmental justice to inform practices of water management that tend to be technocratic, top-down, mechanistic, and exclusionary.

Insurgent Midwest: Transnational Dialogue for a Humane Urbanism

Insurgent Midwest website / Insurgent Midwest youtube channel

Faranak Miraftab, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (PI)
Ken Salo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Stacy Harwood, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Marc Doussard, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ryan Griffis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Efadul Huq, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Michael Goldman, University of Minnesota
Autonomous Tenants Union (ATU)
Organizacion Popular Francisco Villa de Izquierda Independiente (OPFVII)
Housing Assembly (HA)
Pathways to Free Education (PFE)
We Demand Better UIUC

Detroit in China: Postindustrial Cities and Urban Representations in the Midwest and China

Detroit in China

Xuefei Ren, Michigan State University (PI)
Tze-lan Sang, Michigan State University
Wendy Griswold, Northwestern University
Yue Zhang, University of Illinois at Chicago
Alan Lepp, Northwestern University
Chuck Osgood, Chicago Tribune

The New Ethics of Food

The New Ethics of Food website

Gretel Van Wieren, Michigan State University (PI)
Paul Thompson, Michigan State University
Kyle Powys Whyte, Michigan State University
Christopher Long, Michigan State University
Laurie Thorp, Michigan State University
Dean Rehberger, Michigan State University
Stephen Rachman, Michigan State University
Helen Zoe Veit, Michigan State University
Zachary Piso, Michigan State University
Robert Streiffer, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jesse Steinberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Nancy Tuana, Pennsylvania State University
Robert Livingston, Ohio State University
Gregory Hitzhusen, Ohio State University

There is growing public recognition that the issues involved with the global food system – from production to consumption to distribution to waste – pose complex ethical, social, and political challenges that require critical consideration. As the breadbasket of America, the Midwest has rich agricultural narrative traditions. The Midwest’s land grant universities and their legacy of involvement with agriculture and food-related issues have a built-in capacity to foster the development of such narratives. Humanities disciplines in particular – with their emphasis on multi-perspective thinking, deep and expansive ethical framing, and commitment to the narratives, stories, and imagination of specific communities – can help guide and facilitate a public humanities process and bring stakeholders together. To address these issues, the New Ethics of Food project has two big objectives. The first is to link Michigan State and other consortial and community-based partners in a common commitment to research and dialogue around a broadened understanding of the new ethics of food. The second is to reposition the Midwest as a major force in this century’s global, regional, and local food economy and culture, and to demonstrate how the public humanities, broadly construed, can contribute to this work.

Performing History: Documenting and Enacting the Asian American Midwest

Ji-Yeon Yuh, Northwestern University (PI)
David Furumoto, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Timothy Yu, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Victor Jew, University of Wisconsin-Madison