Past Faculty Fellows | St. Lawrence University Mellon Humanities Grant

Past Faculty Fellows

Stephen Barnard (Assistant Professor, Sociology) used this fellowship to develop his Spring 2015 capstone course "Technology and Society." He is particularly interested in working with his students on large-scale visualization and analysis of Twitter. In his application, he spoke of how "social data and/or network analysis may help student-researchers gain a more nuanced understanding of social capital in the digital age," while "participant-observations conducted as a part of digital ethnography" could help his students produce detailed descriptions of digital cultural practices.

Caroline Breashears (Associate Professor, English) used this fellowship to enhance her senior seminar on Jane Austen in preparation for several upcoming Austen anniversaries. She plans to continue to develop, along with her students, an interactive timeline of key adaptations of Austen's novels in order to understand how these adaptations respond to her novels and what they reveal about Austen's appeal across form and time.

Christopher Buck (Assistant Professor, Government) used this fellowship to explore the potential benefits of allowing students to use electronic versions of primary sources in an Introduction to Political Theory course. By sharing notes and highlighted passages using collaborative annotation tools and social media, students practice engaging in close readings of challenging texts while sharing the experience of reading with their instructors and peers. This experiment also provides an opportunity to discuss and reflect on how we read, how we discuss readings in the classroom, and how issues of economic inequality might affect reading practices.

Anne Csete (Associate Professor, History) worked on map- and image-based digital components for her Early Asian Civilizations (History 105ASIA 125) course.

Adam Harr (Assistant Professor, Anthropology) planned a recurring course titled "Writing Culture," a senior seminar in qualitative methods for anthropology majors. "Ethnographic methods produce knowledge in a process that move back and froth between dialogue and revision," Harr aid in his application. Students in the class "will engage in a collaborative research project—first conducting interviews individually, then sharing recordings of their interviews so they can collaborate in transcribing, coding, and analyzing them. He would like to explore using digital tools enhance these collaborative projects.

Wes Kline (Assistant Professor, Art and Art History) focused on his special topics course, "Language To Fill A Screen: Technology, Text and Visual Art" (AAH 3001). Participants use exploratory, technology-based interactive digital and video projects to investigate the idea of the artist as both an image and a text-maker. It is meant to serve as a platform for experimental practice for students from all disciplines and backgrounds.

Joe Kling (Professor, Government) used this occasion to build upon a course he has taught examining memoir, autobiography, and other forms of narrative, as means employed by survivors of human rights brutality to engage the past. This expansion will continue to make use of personal narrative, but will expand to include collective practices such as truth commissions, judicial prosecutions of perpetrators of atrocities, and the establishment of human rights memorials and museums, as ways to recall and deal with national episodes of past violence. For the fellowship, Kling explored digital tools for a website exploring these practices of remembrance.

Shelley McConnell (Assistant Professor, Government), through her participation in this program, is expanding the GIS component of her "Latin American Politics" (GOVT/CLAS 321) course. This revision advances the degree to which learning the core concepts of GIS is integrated with the course content. McConnell also plans to link the course with Carol Cady’s advanced GIS course in order to have Cady's students help coach McConnell's.

Judith Nagel-Myers (Assistant Professor, Geology) used this fellowship to develop a digital catalog for the SLU Paleontology collection with her Paleontology (GEO 260) course. Through this hands-on digitization project, students practice identifying specimens while learning basic curatorial practices and gaining awareness of the importance of natural history collections. Additionally, this much-needed update to the collection catalog will leave a lasting legacy for generations of students to come.

Ronnie Olesker (Associate Professor, Government) worked with two professors (one from Worcester College in Massachusetts and the other from Whitman College in Washington state) to develop a cross-institutional, interdisciplinary, course on the construction of identity, tentatively titled "The construction of Others: Rhetoric, politics and urban history of refugees in Jordan." The Digital Initiatives Faculty fellowship is an occasion for her to advance "shared classroom" modules for the Fall 2015 courses.

Mindy Pitre (Assistant Professor, Anthropology) is adding digital approaches to her course, "Dealing with the Dead" (ANTH 242), which will be offered in Fall 2015. Students will work with Pitre to make progress on a digital project that catalogues information about cemeteries in the North Country, including map data and images of grave sites.

Jessica Prody (Assistant Professor, Performance and Communication Arts) used this fellowship to develop an Environmental Communication course focused on climate change. Students in this course will contribute to our understanding of the history and global reach of the climate change movement by creating a digital archive of oral histories. This archive will be used to create a timeline and map of climate change activism. Through the project, students and users will examine how climate change connects to issues of citizenship, community building, and environmentalism.

Mary Jane Smith (Associate Professor, History, and Coordinator of African American Studies) used this fellowship to develop a course on the History of the Civil Rights Movement that treats images as central texts. Students will digitize and catalog an archive, acquired by Catherine Tedford of the Brush Art Gallery, of Associated Press photos of lesser-known events in the civil rights movement, create a digital map and timeline of the events catalogued, and give oral presentations on their work at a Brush Art Gallery event. In this way, students will gain literacy in digital research and scholarship while recognizing the role that images played in the modern civil rights movement.

Catherine Tedford (Director, Brush Arts Gallery) used this fellowship to create a mapping component for a .5 credit course on writing about street art ephemera for the digital archive Street Art Graphics ( This new course and project emerge from Tedford’s ongoing Mellon-funded pedagogical collaborations that ask students to explore global street art stickers from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Mapping street art for a stand-alone website using GIS provides another way for students to understand newly catalogued materials related to street culture from around the world.