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25 Years

2016 Summer Newsletter

University of Minnesota Driven to Discover  

News from ICGC – Summer 2016

Spring Highlights


Film Screening: "The Story of Crow Boy"

This screening was offered on February 24 in collaboration with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, where the production "The Story of Crow Boy" explored the life story of filmmaker Momo Yashima’s father, Taro Yashima, and his struggles with human brutality, racial discrimination, and the ravages of WWII to build work of social conscience, compassionate insight, poetic visual form, and ultimately joy.

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Speakers at Crow Boy film screening

Filmmaker Momo Yashima and moderator Dr. Yuichiro Onishi (UMN Dept of African-American and African Studies) during post-screening discussion

MDP Alumni Panel

ICGC co-administers the Master of Development Practice (MDP) program with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. On February 26, MDP student panelists Kayla Mueller, Violeta Hernandez Espinosa, Zach Hylton, KaYing Vang, and Kari Williams led a great discussion on transitioning from MDP to a career in international development.


Anja Kanngieser: Sound and Ecological Crisis

This talk explored imaginations of the natural world at a time of accelerating global environmental crisis; in an era currently being defined as the Anthropocene, a geophysical term “which recognizes that human intrusion on the planet’s surface and into the atmosphere has been so extreme as to qualify our time on earth as a specific geological epoch.” This event was co-sponsored by the Departments of Political Science; Anthropology; Sociology; Geography, Environment & Society; and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies; and the Institute for Global Studies.

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Amja Kanngieser speaking

Anja Kanngieser

Elena Albarrán: YaSOA

As part of the ICGC collaborative research circle that brings together an interdisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students with a commitment to understanding the lives and livelihoods of children in the global south, this presentation and workshop presented some of the methods, challenges, and opportunities in discovering and using children’s voices found in the archive. The sources presented come primarily from the rich archives from post-revolutionary Mexico, a uniquely child-centered period of that nation’s history.

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Elena Albarran at discussion roundtable

Dr. Elena Albarrán, associate professor of History and Global & Intercultural Studies at Miami University


ASI Rethinking African Studies Symposium

The African Studies Initiative (ASI), a University of Minnesota Title VI African Studies National Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education, hosted an inaugural public symposium on the topic "Rethinking African Studies" at the University of Minnesota, April 7–8, 2016. ICGC co-sponsored the symposium.

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African Studies Conference: Fault Lines

The inaugural University of Minnesota International African Studies Conference, “Fault Lines” brought together The African History Graduate Student Collaborative (AHGSC) and ICGC junior and senior scholars concerned with how existing systems of knowledge production have shaped the contours and limits of the varying disciplines that cohere around African Studies. This international conference aimed to encourage dialogues and debates about various “fault lines” in African Studies—thought simultaneously as the tenacity/obstinacy of disciplinary reason and Western conceptualizations/assumptions, and as enabling the possibility for critique/critical engagement along the breaks, slippages, overlaps, and variations therein.

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Panel discussion at Fault Lines Conference

ICGC Scholar and AHGSC member Paul Vig, ICGC Affiliated Faculty Helena Pohlandt-McCormick, and ICGC Director Karen Brown kickoff the conference


Congratulations Graduates!

ICGC Scholars: Sian Butcher (Ph.D., Geography, Environment, and Society), Sinan Erensu (Ph.D., Sociology), Elliot James (Ph.D., History), Jessi Lehman (Ph.D., Geography, Environment, and Society), Katie McKeown (Ph.D., History), Carla Manzoni (Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese), Diego Villagra Mostaceros (Master of Development Practice, HHH)

Global Food Security Fellows: Suhyun Jung (Ph.D., Applied Economics), Brian Wilson (Ph.D., Philosophy)

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellows: Akshya Saxena (Ph.D., Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature), Elizabeth Williams (Ph.D., History)

Master of Development Practice: Mekdalawit Bayu, John Chisholm, Felipe Dyna Barroso, Faris Kasim, Christina Field, Amrita Jain, Kamaladevy Kathirgamu, Chou Moua, Maria Victoria Punay, Trupti Sarode, Tai Stephan, Yodit Tesfaye, Amanda Traaseth, Diego Villagra Mostaceros, Frieda von Qualen, Evans Yamoah

Recent Doctoral
Student Placements

  • Sian Butcher: Postdoctoral fellowship at the Gauteng City Region Observatory in Johannesburg
  • Sinan Erensu: Post-doctoral researcher, Keyman Turkish Studies/Department of Sociology, Buffett Institute, Northwestern University
  • Elliot James: Assistant Professor, Division of Social Sciences, University of Minnesota–Morris
  • Jessi Lehman: A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2018), Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Waleed Mahdi: Assistant Professor; Department of International and Area Studies and the Department of Modern Languages, Literature, and Linguistics; University of Oklahoma
  • Carla Manzoni: Visiting Professor of Spanish, St. Olaf College
  • Katie McKeown: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Department of Historical Studies, University of Johannesburg

Interdisciplinary Fellowship Awards

ICGC will again host an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow in the 2016-2017 academic year. Mingwei Huang, Department of American Studies, was among one of 20 graduate students awarded the fellowship by the Graduate School. The awards give exceptional doctoral students conducting interdisciplinary research the chance to work with faculty at one of the University's interdisciplinary research centers or institutes.

Mingwei Huang walking with coffee cup

Mingwei Huang

Faculty News


Two ICGC-affilated faculty from the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies retired this spring:

  • Naomi Scheman was a faculty member for 37 years. She has contributed her life-long education to the ICGC community and we are grateful.
  • Amy Kaminsky is remembered fondly for her role in elevating the status of the department while serving as department chair. She will be missed by the ICGC community.

Watch a video about Naomi and Amy

Awards and Accolades

Three ICGC-affiliated faculty received Multicultural Research Awards for 2016. These awards fund equity and diversity research. Award recipients present their work as part of the Diversity through the Disciplines Symposia sponsored throughout the academic year.

  • Associate Professor Zenzele Isoke (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies): Black Women and the Art of Political Resistance in the Twin Cities
  • Assistant Professor Lena Palacios (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies): Transforming Justice: Formerly Incarcerated Women Engaging in Anti-violence Activism through Participatory Video
  • Assistant Professor Christopher Johnstone (Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development; College of Education & Human Development): Accessibility, Inclusion, and Identity in Study Abroad

Faculty research projects received Grant-in-Aid Program (GIA) funds from the Office of the Vice President for Research. These grants are awarded "in the belief that the quality of faculty research or artistic endeavors is a major determinant of the overall vitality of the institution."

  • Assistant Professor Lena Palacios (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies): Transforming Justice: Formerly Incarcerated Women Engaging in Anti-violence Activism through Participatory Video
  • Associate Professor Arun Saldanha (Geography, Environment & Society): Prince from Minneapolis: The Geography of Genius

Six ICGC affiliated faculty are recipients of the 2016 Imagine Fund Annual Awards. 109 awards in support of research in the arts, design, and the humanities were announced in March 2016 for the 2016-17 academic year:

  • Hakim Abderrezak, French & Italian
  • Bianet Castellanos, American Studies
  • Ananya Chatterjea, Theater Arts & Dance
  • Lena Palacios, Gender Women, & Sexuality Studies
  • Arun Saldanha, Geography
  • John S. Wright, African American & African Studies

Assistant Professor Kate Derickson (Geography, Environment & Society) was awarded a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship for 2015-2017.

Associate Professor Michael Goldman (Sociology) has been awarded the Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao Chair in the Bangalore Institute for Social and Economic Change for 2016-2018.

Associate Professor Tracey Deutsch (History) has been named Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturers for 2016-2017.

Summer 2016 Highlight

Exploratory Visit to Cuba

ICGC organized a delegation of affiliated faculty and Provost Karen Hanson to Havana, Cuba, from July 17 to 25 to explore opportunities for interdisciplinary scholarly collaborations, with a special focus on arts and humanities. The delegation included Karen Brown, Ana Paula Ferreira, Greta Friedemann, Julie Grossman, Karen Hanson, Melisa Riviere, Michelle Smith, and Frances Vavrus.

The group visited many institutions and organizations, among them were theUniversity of Havana, Center for Studies of Marti (CEM), Latin American International School of Medicine (ELAM), Superior Institute of Arts (ISA), National Union of Authors and Writers (UNEAC), Cuban Agriculture and Forestry Association, National Agricultural University, Havana Compas musical/dance troupe studio, International School of Film and Television (EICTV), Cuban Institute for Cinematographic Arts and Industries (ICAIC), and the University of Pedagogical Sciences (UCPETP). We hope to build on the connections made with colleagues in Cuban higher education to initiate collaborative activities.