New HRI Research Clusters include iSchool faculty

Two projects led by iSchool faculty members have been selected as Humanities Research Institute (HRI) Research Clusters for 2022-2023. Formerly known as the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, HRI fosters interdisciplinary study in the humanities, arts, and social sciences at the University of Illinois. HRI Research Clusters enable faculty and graduate students to "develop questions or subjects of inquiry that require or would be enhanced by collaborative work." Projects selected as clusters receive grants of $2,500 to support their activities.

Assistant Professor Zoe LeBlanc, Associate Professor Ryan Cordell, and John Randolph, associate professor in the Department of History, were awarded a Research Cluster for their project, "The Social Lives of Digitized Culture." The cluster will explore how humanists across the UIUC campus are grappling with digitized culture, whether they are creating and curating these materials or using them as data for their research or new experimental pedagogies. According to the researchers, the goal of the cluster is "to move away from seeing digitized culture as something to be consumed, towards understanding it as a complex phenomenon at the intersection of social, scholarly, technological, institutional and other processes."

Assistant Professor Karen Wickett, Associate Professor Sarah Park Dahlen, and Assistant Professor Melissa Ocepek will collaborate with Lila Sharif, assistant professor in the Department of Asian American Studies, and iSchool PhD student Chris Wiley on the cluster, "Writing from the Intersections." The goal of this research cluster is to bring scholars who work in research areas that "intertwine questions of race, culture, politics, gender and identity" to campus in a series of events focused on the practice and experience of writing from the intersection of social categories.

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