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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

CLA initiatives across the college, arts and humanities, and social sciences 2018

Last year I reported to you on initiatives led by our Associate Deans in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and college-wide research. We have new initiatives to report for 2018.

Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities Jane Blocker has led up “The Paradise Project.” As she describes it, “Paradise is a concept that has appeared across the globe and throughout history, from the ancient world to the present day. It appears in art, literature, religion, philosophy, music, and theatre in every language and culture. As concept, belief, and practice, it is unique to the arts and humanities in that it defies scientific investigation, mocks evidentiary logics, questions material realities, and fundamentally exists as a work of the imagination, a hoped-for future, even as it has very real and profound effects on society, politics, health, identity, geography, and the environment. As CLA prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary and to think both about its past and its future, we seek to contemplate the concept of paradise and imagine how it might be created here on this campus, this verdant retreat from the world. We are creating an undergraduate course to be taught in spring semester 2019 on the topic of Paradise. The course will bring in faculty from across the arts and humanities to lecture on the history, politics, religious, artistic and literary interpretations of the concept. Students will apply their understanding to the task of re-imagining the campus for their successors. They will conduct research and create proposals to redesign the Washington Avenue Pedestrian Bridge as a garden.”

Enhancing the capabilities of the Office of Research and Graduate Programs

The relentless pursuit of research and creative excellence is one of the pillars of the CLA Roadmap. Accordingly, the college has taken a number of steps over the past several years, including an increase in the base stipend support for graduate students and the introduction of the Talle Faculty Award program for associate professors.

Enhancing the capabilities of the Office of Research and Graduate Programs has been an important component of achieving this Roadmap goal. ORGP has enhanced its services and embarked on a number of initiatives. To improve communication and awareness of these services and initiatives, the office launched a newsletter and a major update of its Neighborhood (intranet) Page.