In the spring of 2011, the IAH put out a call for proposals for the initial awarding of the IAH Innovation Fund, and the selection committee elected to fund the following projects.
The IAH will also extend resources to additional proposals that did not qualify for Innovation funding. Please check back for updates and to follow the progress of these funded projects.
Sustained Participatory Action Research Collaborations (SPARCs): A New Model of Community/University Innovation
This project establishes a pilot program in Warren County in which teachers, researchers and community partners serve as an “R&D department for the community” fueled by the collaboration between humanities/social science scholars and external partners. Through SPARCs, the knowledge, skills and resources of both community members and academic researchers are brought to bear on problems of mutual interest, creating a new institutional mechanism for addressing community challenges while honing the research and process tools of engaged humanities and social science scholars.
This summer, the team launched the pilot program, conducting video interviews and community meetings, even gaining attention from the local media. They have been successful in engaging the community in addressing relevant issues. In the environment they have created, teaching and learning are multi-directional: community members and university faculty educate each other, and they will jointly train successive generations of UNC students in participatory research methods.
Project Team Leader: Dorothy Holland, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Anthropology
Collaborators (pictured left to right above): Samathryn Witham, Tim Stallmann, Pavithra Kathanadhi, Carla Norwood, William Kearney, Dorothy Holland, Christine Urbanowicz, Jean Dennison, Patricia Sawin, Gabriel Cumming
This project draws together music faculty and local artists to develop a beat-based initiative to bring industry into the classroom through a new set of courses, workshops, summer camps, performances and events. By focusing on the composition and performance of a variety of popular electronic music styles and by integrating entrepreneurship into instruction, this project seeks to broaden the mission of the traditional university music instruction and expand the scope of musical life at Carolina.
The first course, Introduction to Music Technology, began in fall 2011 with overwhelming enthusiasm from students on campus. This beat making lab focuses on practical application as well as cultural and industry significance, and they are seeking partnerships with software companies to provide equipment and scholarships for students interested in pursuing their musical development. In summer 2012, this team expanded their reach to an international level with a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Project Team Leader: Mark Katz, associate professor of music
Collaborators: Stephen Levitin, aka Apple Juice Kid (producer and DJ), Pierce Freelon (musician and lecturer in African and Afro-American Studies)
Community Chorus Project (CCP) seeks to develop choral singing as a community-building activity and to create a public-private relationship that incorporates music pedagogy with the development of chorus programs in low-income neighborhoods.
CCP ran its first program this summer for 70 middle- and high-school children, bringing together voice teachers, directors and choreographers from across the community and University. Following the workshop, the students recorded several songs, including R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” and filmed the recording sessions; the video of this recording session has drawn national attention thanks to R.E.M.’s support, allowing CCP the opportunity to seek further partnerships with various music industry outlets. With these efforts, the project is working to create an income-generating model of exemplary, innovative and culturally relevant community-based music education that can be implemented in Chapel Hill and beyond.
Project Team Leader: Lauren Hodge, owner and director, Community Chorus Project
Collaborators: Terry Rhodes (professor and chair, music department), Pat Parker (associate professor, communication studies),
Reimagining Gaming: Program in Alternative Games and Digital Innovation
This project seeks to establish a collaborative, multidisciplinary research and artistic environment to support the creation and analysis of nontraditional or “alternative” digital games.
Faculty, artists, students and researchers will work together with members of the information technology community to plan a series of games-focused talks, symposiums, roundtables, research and artistic projects to explore, create and promote undiscovered uses for digital games and to conduct research on digital games and game culture.
Project Team Leader: Joyce Rudinsky, associate professor of communication studies
Collaborators: Tessa Joseph-Nicholas (lecturer, computer science), Anselmo Lastra (chair, computer science), Alexander Macris (president, Themis Group), Paul Jones (clinical associate professor, School of Information and Library Science), Ray Idaszak (director of visualization and collaborative environments, RENCI), Gary Bishop (professor, computer science)
Servant of Two Masters: Debut of a RoboThespian
This project involves developing a performance of the Commedia dell’Arte play, Servant of Two Masters, with a human actor and a fully programmable humanoid robot, “RoboThespian,” using motion-capture and 3-D animation. The actor and RoboThespian will switch parts continuously during the performance, portraying the mirroring of human and non-human performances. By examining the evolving relationship between humans and technology, this project aims to explore the possibilities of new art forms.
Project Team Leader: Francesca Talenti, associate professor of communication studies
Collaborators: Greg Welch (research professor, computer science), Scott Ripley (assistant professor, dramatic art)