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Public Humanities Award for Leadership in Practice and Community

CHCI Public Humanities Network

  • Dr. Dayne Riley is the assistant director of the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at the University of Tulsa, where he curates gallery exhibitions on arts and humanities topics, manages the University of Tulsa’s 101 Archer gallery, and helps run public programming for the Center. From 2022-2023, Riley planned and organized many of the components for the Pathways to Freedom project, including “Musical Legacies of the Dust Bowl,” “The All-Black Towns of Oklahoma,” and “The Work of Sovereignty,” all of which were funded by a grant from the Social Sciences Research Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Riley graduated with his doctorate in English Literature from the University of Tulsa in 2020; his scholarly work focuses on British literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His first book, Consuming Anxieties: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Trade in British Satire, 1660-1751 is set to be published on June 14, 2024 by Bucknell University Press. Riley lives in Tulsa with his wife, Lori and their two Boston Terriers, Daisy and Lobelia.
  • Dr. Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell is the Research Programs and Communications Director at The Humanities Institute (THI) at UCSC. She manages research projects, graduate and undergraduate student programs, communications, and public humanities initiatives at THI, including the community-engaged research project Watsonville is in the Heart (WIITH). Nauenberg Dunkell received her PhD in sociology from UCLA and her research focuses on transitional justice measures used to address human rights violations. Alongside her work at THI, she serves as a Research Advisor for the UCSC Human Rights Investigations Lab for the Americas and volunteer with the Santa Cruz Welcoming Network to accompany asylum seekers and refugees. Before moving to UCSC, she was a Research Affiliate at the UCLA Promise Institute for Human Rights, a Program Director for Global Youth Connect’s Colombia Human Rights Delegation, and a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga.
  • Robert Adams Jr. is executive director of the Penn Center on Saint Helena Island, South Carolina. Founded as a school for the newly liberated in 1862, the Penn Center served as an important retreat site for Dr. King and other activists during the civil rights movement. Dr. Adams holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA in sociology from the University of Florida.
  • Sarah Fouts is an assistant professor in the Department of American Studies and director of the Public Humanities minor at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Fouts was the PI for the Baltimore Field School from 2022-2023.

Borders, Citizenship, Statelessness

  • Fonna Forman (PhD University of Chicago) is Professor of Political Theory and Founding Director of the Center on Global Justice at the University of California, San Diego, a research center focused on community-based solutions to poverty and climate disruption. She is also Principle and Director of Research of Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, a research-based political and architectural design practice, based in San Diego, investigating borders, informal urbanization, civic infrastructure and public culture. Forman is known internationally for her work on climate justice, borders and migration, and equitable urbanization. She regularly serves on local and international advisory bodies on human rights, climate justice and climate resilience, and is currently Co-Chair of the University of California’s Global Climate Leadership Council. Until 2018 she served on the Global Citizenship Commission, advising United Nations policy on human rights in the 21st century. She has three books new and forthcoming (all co-authored with Teddy Cruz): Spatializing Justice: Building Blocks and Socializing Architecture: Top-Down / Bottom-Up both published by the MIT Press; and Unwalling Citizenship.
  • Nando Sigona is professor of International Migration and Forced Displacement and director of the Institute for Research into International Migration and Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham, UK. Nando is a founding editor of the peer reviewed journal Migration Studies (Oxford University Press) and lead editor for Global Migration and Social Change book series by Bristol University Press. His work has appeared in a range of international academic journals, includingSociology, Critical Social Policy, Social Anthropology, Antipode, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Identities, Citizenship Studies, International Migration Review and Ethnic and Racial Studies. He is author or editor of books and journal’s special issues including Becoming Adult on the Move (with Chase and Chatty, 2023), The Oxford Handbook of Superdiversity (with Meisnner and Vertovec, 2022) Undocumented Migration (with Gonzales, Franco and Papoutsi, 2019); Unravelling Europe’s ‘migration crisis’ (with Crawley, Duvell, Jones, and McMahon, 2017), Within and beyond citizenship (with Roberto G. Gonzales, 2017), The Oxford Handbook on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (with Fiddian Qasmiyeh, Loescher and Long, 2014), and Sans Papiers. The social and economic lives of undocumented migrants (with Bloch and Zetter, 2014).
  • Aslı Iğsız is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. Trained as a comparatist, her work broadly explores the histories of the present. Her research interests are situated at the intersections of political violence, cultural policy, and politics of representation, with a critical eye on the implications of the past in the present in and about the Middle East and Euro-North American contexts. Specifically, she is interested in the interconnections between the humanities and demographic engineering projects, their afterlives, as well as the institutional, socio-political, and academic interfaces generated in this process. Her first book Humanism in Ruins: Entangled Legacies of the Greek-Turkish Population Exchange (Stanford University Press) was published in 2018, which sought to offer a critique of liberalism from the angle of the management of difference, examining the underlying racialized logics of population transfers, partitions, segregation, apartheid, and border walls. Currently she is working on two separate projects: one on contemporary civilizationisms and demographic claims, and another on the post-1945 initiatives to reform the Humanities curricula to refute fascism and racism.

Humanities As Risk

CHCI Critical Humanities Spaces NetworkThis network provides a platform for critical reflection on the work of institutes, centers, and other venues for humanities and cross-disciplinary work.

In a very real sense, the humanities have always been structured through the concept of a wager, a risk, the potential that what is endeavoured may well produce something unexpected. The anti-fascist philosopher, Walter Benjamin, referred to this wager (in his quasi-theological language) as “messianic time”, while warning against the simple sense that this might equal a positive hope. Rather, this arrival, l’avenir, carries with it a radical hope, one whose form of arrival cannot be anticipated and yet requires that we keep watch, that we prepare ourselves to be adequate to what might arrive. In this framing, what does it mean to convene/hold/curate Critical Humanities Spaces? Does it help us to think of the humanities, as such, as a wager? And what might this look like in a time that is defined by precarity, risk, and being at risk? The future of the human has been the humanities’ abiding concern, and the possibility of producing this, its wager. At the same time, when we do the humanities - when we read, write, produce, translate - this activity itself is in the form of a wager, a risking of the unknown, a risking of the self; a welcoming, perhaps, of the stranger. And then in practical terms, perhaps, humanities centres and Institutes are, themselves, a wager within the higher education landscape, one which University executives no doubt read differently to the people that occupy these spaces. Our session will seek to abide by and interrogate these questions, asking what it means to hold the critical humanities space as a site of and for, wager/risk.

  • Jack Chen, Director, Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures; Professor of Chinese Literature and East Asian Studies, University of Virginia
  • Kader Konuk, Director, Academy in Exile, Professor of German Literature, Technical University Dortmund; Honorary Professor at the Australian National University’s College of Arts and Social Science; Advisory Board Member, Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes
  • Ato Quayson, Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of Comparative Literature; Chair Professor of English and of African and African American Studies, Stanford University
  • Mario Telo, Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley; chief editor of the journal Classical Antiquity
  • Maurits van Bever Donker (chair), Associate Professor and Research Manager, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape