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College of Arts and Sciences

Research/Creative Groups: 2021-2022

The Humanities Collaborative is sponsoring nine groups for the 2021-2022 academic year (seven new; two established). These groups are pursuing public, critical, creative, or digital humanities projects, as well as sponsoring programming that reaches undergraduate- and graduate-student audiences.

Current groups are conceived expansively, to include critical workshops, works-in-progress, and public outreach. Please check back soon for more details about each group and their upcoming events!

Note: University departments or affiliations are listed in parentheses.

The Conflict & Culture group brings together contributions from scholars working on the challenge of understanding political conflict. This challenge involves studying civil war, ethnic and racial group formation, linguistic and cultural differences, as well as the social and rhetorical structures of conflict. We bring together social scientists working on empirical questions of causation alongside others developing qualitative accounts of the complex interplay between politics and discourse.


  • Stan Dubinsky  (English)
  • Michael Gavin (English)
  • Drue Barker (Anthropology)
  • Meredith DeBoom (Geography)
  • Chelsea Estancona (Political Science)
  • Daniele Fahey (Communication Sciences & Disorders)
  • Gareth Rees-White (English)
  • Kaitlyn Smith (English)
  • Harvey Starr (Political Science)

The Critical Ecologies Lab is an interdisciplinary collaboration that analyzes the environment through the lenses of culture, history, and political economy. We are group of geographers, anthropologists, and historians working at the intersections of political ecology, environmental history, science and technology studies, economic and political geography, and environmental anthropology. Our interests are broad but united by a shared commitment to bringing critical perspectives to bear on environmental issues.


  • (PI) David Kneas (Geography and SEOE) 
  • (Co-PI) Jessica Barnes (Geography and SEOE) 
  • (Co-PI) Conor Harrison (Geography and SEOE)
  • Monica Barra (SEOE and Anthropology)
  • Meredith Deboom (Geography)
  • Josh Grace (History)
  • Dean Hardy (SEOE and Geography)
  • Robert Kopack (Geography) 
  • Tom Lekan (History)
  • Magdalena Stawkowski, Anthropology (Assistant Professor)

This collaborative effort engages students from backgrounds currently underrepresented in archaeology. We will facilitate undergraduates at UofSC and local HBCUs who are interested in archaeology to participate in career-building programs, such as speaker networking events, professional conferences, and field schools. These efforts aim to reduce structural barriers preventing inclusion and to establish trajectories for students to enter archaeology graduate programs.


  • (PI) Kelly Goldberg (Anthropology) 
  • (PI) Adam King (SCIAA) 
  • (PI) Nina Schreiner (Anthropology) 
  • Joanna Casey (Anthropology)
  • Althea Counts (TRIO)
  • Eric Crawford (Benedict Honors College)
  • Holly Crocker (English, Humanities Collaborative)
  • Eric Jones (Anthropology)
  • Meeghan Kane (Benedict History)
  • Jonathan Leader (SCIAA)
  • Allison McLetchie (SC State)
  • Julie Morris (Undergrad Research)
  • Kim Overmier (UofSC Honors College)
  • Jennifer Reynolds (Anthropology)
  • Caroline Wallace (LGBTQ/Office of Multicultural Student Affairs)
  • Terry Weik (Anthropology)

Starting in January 2022 and continuing through December 2022, the group will meet to explore questions about comparative elections from different perspectives. The topic of elections constitutes a large research agenda across subdisciplines in the humanities that includes questions about historical patterns of suffrage and disenfranchisement, the quality of practices in different countries, and the relationship between elections and social and political outcomes.  Notably, the quality of elections has receded both in the U.S. and abroad, affected by disinformation, distrust in the electoral process, and democratic backsliding.  This is especially important because of the consequences that changes in election rules can have for minorities and vulnerable populations.  Despite a growing wealth of information about the quality of elections in different countries in the world[1], much more work needs to be done to elucidate whether and which differences matter, to connect comparative research on elections to the American electoral system, and to make findings accessible to the broader public.

[1] Scholars are increasingly interested in measuring and comparing aspects of elections and election integrity, as indicated by projects such as the Electoral Integrity Project, the Comparative National Elections Project, and the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems

This group will plan for the 150th anniversary of the October 1873 enrollment of the first Black students in the University and the creation of an educational community that lasted until the summer 1877 closure of the University following the overthrow of Reconstruction. The group will undertake groundwork for major commemorations such as an exhibition at the renovated South Caroliniana Library, a reunion of descendants of Reconstruction-era students, an application to the NEH to fund an SC-ETV documentary on the first integration of the University, and public lectures and undergraduate classes on the subject.  


  • (PI) Thomas Brown (History)
  • Christian Anderson (Education) 
  • Bobby Donaldson (History) 
  • Valinda Littlefield (History) 
  • Elizabeth West (University Archivist) 


The Humanities Professions Workgroup supports graduate students at all levels as they think about the professional challenges and opportunities posed by a changing academic job market. Its goal is to help nurture an interdisciplinary community of faculty and students interested in thinking together about these changes, offering support and training as well as an interdisciplinary forum for considering how different modes of professionalization might transform how we think about the humanities in general. The group will address these professional questions in practical as well as theoretical ways, investigating a diverse range of career pathways inside and outside higher education while also exploring how these pathways might change the way we conceptualize our research programs. 


  • (PI) Brian Glavey (English) 
  • Anne Gulick (English/Comparative  Literature)
  • Rebecca Janzen (Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
  • Aria Dal Molin (LLC/Comparative Literature)
  • Brittany Capps (English)


Classically, the study of perception aims to understand its limits what is the lowest level of physical stimuli that can be detected. It seeks to define thresholds, the boundaries between the visible and invisible. The topic of (in)visibility within the humanities can take on many meanings, such as the thresholds between public and private spaces, the believed and ignored, the shown and hidden, surface and depth, the masked and unmasked. Our collaboration bridges the science and philosophy of perception with the aesthetics and physicality of making, as we question the meaning of visibility and invisibility, culminating in a public exhibition and symposium. We hope to understand how the line between states of visibility and invisibility may be both marked and mutable, and open points of critical inquiry within the present cultural moment.


  • (PI) Melanie Palomares (Psychology)
  • (PI) Sara Schneckloth (School of Visual Art and Design -SVAD)
  • Stephanie Allen, Undergraduate (SVAD Studio Art and English, Honors College)
  • John Ceballes, Instructor (Philosophy)
    Brent Dedas
    , Associate Professor (SVAD Studio Art)
  • John Fitz Rogers, Professor (School of Music)
  • Carleen Maur, Assistant Professor (SVAD Media Arts)
  • Beth Myers, Instructor (Psychology)
  • Mary Robinson, Professor (SVAD Studio Art)
  • Katherine Ryker, Associate Professor (School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment, Geology Education)
  • Jennifer Vendemia, Associate Professor (Psychology)
  • Doug Wedell, Professor (Department of Psychology, Director, Institute of Mind and Brain)

Despite a destructive series of colonial invasions, revolutions, and internal wars, in the twentieth century the transpacific region saw an unprecedented increase in the number of creative collaborations that crossed national, linguistic, and cultural boundaries. The intermingling of creative and political enterprises has often served as a subject of public scorn and intellectual dismissal, especially in instances of cultural collaboration produced by creative artists compelled to interface with adversarial political entities or ideologies, but recent scholarship attempts to transcend historical biases and limiting models of rigid dichotomies. Through a series of monthly seminars throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, the members of this research group hope to collectively develop robust and flexible theoretical frameworks for analyzing the creative potentials of artistic and political collaborations in the region. Our efforts will culminate in the fall of 2022 with a research project workshop and multiple guest speaker public events.


  • (PI) Kunio Hara, Associate Professor (Music)
  • (PI) Gregory Patterson, Assistant Professor (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
  • (PI) Amanda Wangwright, Associate Professor (School of Visual Art and Design)
  • Byeongwon Ha, Assistant Professor, Media Arts (School of Visual Art and Design)
  • Guo Jie, Associate Professor (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
  • Seulghee Lee, Assistant Professor (English)
  • Fang Man, Associate Professor (Music)
  • Chihchi Sunny Tsai, Ph.D. Student

The Values Research Group is made up of scholars from across the University who use key tools of the Humanities – including close-reading, historical contextualization, and critical theorization – to add specificity and dimension to the almost ever-present discussion of values in this cultural moment. The group aims to articulate and promote a set of Humanities values while at the same time showing what academic approaches can add to increasingly urgent discussions about values in public discourse. Starting from the word itself as it emerged in the nineteenth century, the Values Research Group investigates theories of value that inform and overlap with values (religious, political, regional, aesthetic), charting their past histories and imagining their potential futures.


  • (PI) Tony Jarrells (English) 
  • Thomas Crocker (Law)
  • Sherina Feliciano-santos (Anthropology)
  • Jennifer Frey (Philosophy)
  • Marko Geslani (Religious Studies)
  • Eli Jelly-Schapiro (English)
  • Matt Kisner (Philosophy)
  • Kathryn Lindeman (Philosophy)
  • John Muckelbauer (English)
  • Agnes Mueller (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
  • Rebecca Stern (English)
  • Nancy Tolson (African American Studies)



Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.