Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Athens Music Project continues its work chronicling diverse history of local scene

The Athens Music Project began as a Willson Center faculty research cluster headed by Jean Kidula and Susan Thomas, both at that time professors of musicology in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. It has grown to include a vast and expanding repository of oral histories housed in UGA’s Special Collections Libraries under the watchful eye of librarian and archivist Christian Lopez. Michael Terrazzas of @UGAResearch has written a deep dive into the AMP’s origins, current endeavors, and plans for the future.

Rachel Gabara of UGA Romance Languages earns NEH fellowship

Rachel Gabara, associate professor of Romance languages in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a research fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities for her book project, “Reclaiming Realism: From Documentary Film in Africa to African Documentary Film.”

Prof. Gabara is a past member of the Willson Center Faculty Advisory Board and recipient of a Willson Center Research Fellowship, as well as a frequent partner and participant in numerous Willson-supported programs. She had this to say about her work with us:

The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts has been a vital resource for me throughout my career at UGA, providing support to bring important scholars and filmmakers to campus as well as to strengthen my own research and writing. This previous support, along with encouragement to compete for prestigious national grants, was invaluable as I prepared my application for the NEH Fellowship. The seminar that the Willson Center organized in February 2018 with Daniel Sack, Senior Program Officer at the NEH, was particularly helpful. Along with the support of my recommenders and colleagues, persistence was key, since it was my second attempt that was successful!

A couple of specific examples of how recent Willson support has played out for me: Willson administers the selection process for UGA’s two nominations for the NEH Summer Stipend program. I was selected for nomination and received the award for Summer 2018 – comments from the Willson committee were very helpful as I revised my proposal for the national competition. And a Willson-administered Faculty Research Grant in Fall 2018 allowed me to complete a chapter of the book manuscript for which I got the NEH Fellowship. I presented the chapter at the Institute of African Studies Seminar at Emory University at the end of that semester, then turned part of it into an article entitled “Complex Realism: Paulin Vieyra and the Emergence of West African Documentary Film,” which is forthcoming this spring in the journal Black Camera.

Congratulations to Prof. Gabara for her well-earned success, and we look forward to her continuing association with the Willson Center.

Call for proposals: Whiting Public Engagement Fellowships and Seed Grants 2021-2022

Faculty who are interested in being nominated for the Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship or Seed Grant may submit proposals to the Willson Center by March 26. Faculty are encouraged to review previously funded fellowships and seed grants on the Whiting website and to submit drafts to the Willson Center by March 5th for feedback in advance of the deadline.

The Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship and Seed Grant programs are  intended to  celebrate  and  empower early-career faculty  who  embrace  public  engagement  as  part  of  the  scholarly  vocation. Both  programs  support  ambitious  projects infusing into  public  life  the  richness,  profundity,  and  nuance  that  give  the  humanities  their  lasting  value.  The stage of a project will determine the relevant program.

The  Public  Engagement  Fellowship ($50,000) is  for  projects  far  enough  into development or  execution to  present  specific,  compelling  evidence  that  they will  successfully  engage  the intended  public.  For  the  strongest  Fellowship  proposals,  both  the  overall  strategy  and  the  practical  plan  to  implement  the  project  will  be  deeply developed,  relationships  with  key  collaborators  will  be  in  place,  and  connections  with  the  intended  public  will  have  been  cultivated.

The Public Engagement Seed Grant (up to $10,000) supports projects at a somewhat earlier stage of development than the Fellowship, before the nominee has been able to establish a specific track record of success for the proposed public-facing work. It is not, however, designed for projects starting entirely from scratch: nominees should have fleshed out a compelling vision, including a clear sense of whose collaboration will be required and the ultimate scope and outcomes.

Nomination and Guidelines: Partner schools are invited to nominate one humanities faculty for each of the two programs. See the guidelines for further details about both programs and eligibility.

Eligibility: To be eligible for either program, nominees must  be  full-time  humanities  faculty at  an  accredited  US  institution of  higher  learning  as  of  September  2020;  they  must  be  early-career,  defined  as  pre-tenure,  untenured,  or  have  received  tenure  in  the  last  five  years. Full-time adjunct faculty at an equivalent career stage are eligible.

Submission and deadline: Interested faculty who meet the conditions above should submit a proposal (1-2 pages) that briefly addresses:

  • Project overview:
    • Identify the program (Fellowship or Seed Grant) relevant to your proposal and provide a summary of your public-facing project.
  • Logistics:
    • Speak to the complexities of public-facing work including realistic assessments of time and effort required of different participants.
  • Public engagement:
    • Address how the project will reach the public and encourage participation.
  • Collaborators:
    • Describe others who will participate in your public facing project (teachers, community leaders, designers, museums and historical sites, technologists, nonprofit organizations, curators, scholars in other disciplines, filmmakers, etc.).
  • Context and landscape:
    • Address the context of your project in terms of how much the public is likely to know about your topic and where within that topic its interests likely lie, and how that affects your starting point.
  • Skills required:
    • Specify the technical skills required for success and indicate how you either have mastered them or will collaborate with someone who has.

Faculty should submit their proposal and CV to Dr. Lloyd Winstead, Senior Associate Director at the Willson Center, at by March 26. Please submit drafts by March 5. Faculty will be notified regarding selection in April.


Willson Center hosts second Georgia Humanities Symposium in Columbus, Ga. with Georgia Humanities

In partnership with Georgia Humanities, the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts hosted the second Georgia Humanities Symposium, a national conversation on the public humanities, in the Columbus Museum in Columbus, Ga. on Friday, February 7, 2020.

The program was supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and included speakers from a diverse range of institutions and foundations, including the National Humanities Alliance, the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, a2ru, the Do Good Fund, the Rural Studio, These Halls Can Talk, and several Georgia and Southeastern institutions.

The conversation was free and open to the public, and travel support was made available to participants.

The Georgia Humanities Symposium has two aims:

  • To gather together humanities research leaders at the state, region and national levels to discuss and share diverse humanities practices with a view to amplifying our collective voice and knitting a stronger fabric between us.
  • To discover if we can build this conversation into a sustainable and durable framework for connecting innovation and advocacy for the humanities in the Southeast to other regional and national initiatives, with a view to increasing our collective visibility and competitiveness, in particular with foundations, endowments, and private support.

This was the second of three annual meetings during which participants shared experiences of projects, grants, and innovations in humanities research and teaching.

The Georgia Humanities Symposium is made possible by the generosity of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through a grant to the Global Georgia Initiative of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia.


Outline Schedule

9:30-10 a.m.

Check in

10-10:15 a.m.


Ronald C. Williams, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Academic Innovation, Columbus State University

10:15-11:30 a.m.

Panel One 

Chair: Stephen Kidd (National Humanities Alliance)

Deneen Senasi (Mercer University)

Ben Reiss (Emory University)

Chara Bohan (Georgia State University)

Shaleisa Brewer (These Halls Can Talk)

Chester Fontenot (Mercer University)

11:30-11:45 a.m.


11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Conversation with the Rural Studio and The Do Good Fund

Nicholas Allen, Rusty Smith, Hannah Israel

12:30-2 p.m.

Networking lunch 

Conversations hosted by CHCI, a2ru and others   

2-3 p.m.

Panel Two

Chair: Amanda Rees (Columbus State University)

Ann McCleary (University of West Georgia)

Lauren Bradshaw (University of North Georgia)

John Tures (LaGrange College)

Mark Wilson (Auburn University)

3-3:15 p.m.

Closing remarks 

Nicholas Allen (University of Georgia)

Global Georgia Initiative public event series set for Spring 2020

The Willson Center has announced its Global Georgia Initiative public event series for Spring 2020, which begins with a conversation on culture and community between the Creature Comforts and Allagash brewing companies on January 8. The series also includes two Pulitzer Prize winners, the second DJ Summit in the Global South, the Betty Jean Craige Annual Lecture, two giants of contemporary Irish music, and the author of a new book on the emergence of the Athens music scene alongside the UGA of the 1980s.

The series schedule is as follows:



Jan. 8               Tapping into Community: Craft, Culture, and Innovation

                          A Conversation with Creature Comforts and Allagash Brewing Companies

Rob Tod, founder, Jason Perkins, brewmaster, Allagash Brewing Co.

Chris Herron, CEO, Adam Beauchamp, brewmaster, Matt Stevens, vice president of strategic impact, Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Grace Bagwell Adams, assistant professor of health policy and management, UGA and principal investigator, Athens Wellbeing Project

4 p.m. | Studio 225

Public reception

6 p.m. | Creature Comforts Tasting Room

Presented in partnership with Creature Comforts Brewing Co. and the UGA Office of Sustainability

Feb. 13            Val Jeanty

Composer, percussionist, DJ

Conversation with Ashon Crawley

Associate professor of religious studies and African American and African studies, University of Virginia

6 p.m. | Ciné


7 p.m. | Ciné

Part of DJ Summits in the Global South, a Global Georgia Initiative Research Project supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Presented in partnership with the Institute for African American Studies and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute.

Feb. 27            Lawrence Wright

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright

Ferdinand Phinizy Lecture

“The Future of Terrorism”

4 p.m. | UGA Chapel

Presented by the department of history and in partnership with the School for Public and International Affairs and the Center for International Trade and Security

Mar. 25           Helon Habila

Author; Professor of creative writing, George Mason University

Betty Jean Craige Annual Lecture in Comparative Literature

“Searching for Home: Africans in Europe”

4 p.m. | UGA Chapel

Presented in partnership with the department of comparative literature and the African Studies Institute

Apr. 9              Grace Elizabeth Hale

Author; Commonwealth Professor of American Studies and History, University of Virginia

“Easy: How the University of Georgia Helped Launch the Athens Music Scene”

6 p.m. | Fire Hall No. 2

Presented in partnership with the UGA Special Collections Libraries, the Russell Library Oral History Program, the Honors Program, the Athens Music Project, and Avid Bookshop

Apr. 16            Jack Davis

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, environmental historian

Odum Environmental Ethics Lecture

“The Gulf of Mexico: History, Wisdom, and Hope”

5 p.m. | Jackson Street Building Room 123(?)

Presented as part of the UGA Earth Day 50th Anniversary celebration and in partnership with the Coasts, Climates, the Humanities, and the Environment Consortium, the department of history, the College of Environment and Design, and the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program

Apr. 21            Donnacha Dennehy and Iarla Ó Lionárd

Composer and Singer

Performance: The Hunger by Donnacha Dennehy

5:30 p.m. | Ramsey Hall

Conversation with Nicholas Allen

Willson Center director

6:30 p.m. | Dancz Hall

Presented in partnership with the Hugh Hodgson School of Music and the British and Irish Studies Program

UGA research featured in a2ru publication “The Case for Arts Integration”

The Case for Arts Integration, produced by the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), presents insights gathered from interviews with academic leaders, institutional officers, faculty, staff, and students at over 60 research universities. The publication features evidence of impacts, best practices, challenges, and exemplars of arts integration, including Applying Creative Inquiry to Enhance Imaginative and Collaborative Capacity in STEM, a new UGA project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The NSF Innovations in Graduate Education award supports a three-year project led by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the arts, humanities, and sciences at UGA. The award will bring together a diverse group of graduate students from STEM and arts disciplines to address environmental issues using creativity-based training methods from the arts. If successful, widespread adoption of these methods will contribute to equipping STEM graduates across the country with communication and collaboration skills and ultimately increase creative and innovative solutions to complex global environmental challenges.

The project team formed through a series of activities developed by Ideas for Creative Exploration, an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts at UGA, in partnership with the Willson Center, the Graduate School, the Center for Integrative Conservation Research, the Office of Sustainability, and Watershed UGA. Encouraged by the success of a 2017 pilot program, the team was further motivated by the publication of a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in collaboration with a2ru, The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education: Branches from the Same Tree.

a2ru facilitated a series of town hall meetings across the country to share the report’s findings and recommendation for “funders to take leadership in supporting integration by prioritizing and dedicating funding for novel, experimental, and expanded efforts to integrate the arts, humanities, and STEMM disciplines and the evaluation of such efforts.” The UGA project will be among the first in the nation to share data about the effectiveness of arts integration with STEM graduate training that is supported by rigorous quantitative and qualitative assessment methods.

Inclusion in The Case for Arts Integration is a further sign of UGA’s emergence as a nexus for arts and environmental research after hosting the 2018 a2ru national conference Arts Environments. The NSF award and forthcoming study assures continued prominence for UGA as an a2ru partner institution and contributor to innovation in arts research.


Project team:

Nathan Nibbelink (Center for Integrative Conservation Research/Forestry)

Lizzie King (Center for Integrative Conservation Research/Ecology/Forestry)

Mark Callahan (Ideas for Creative Exploration/Art)

Kathryn Roulston (Education)

Brian Haas (Psychology)

Chris Cuomo (Philosophy/Women’s Studies)

Laurie Fowler (Watershed UGA/Ecology)

Rebecca Gose (Dance)

Jenna Jambeck (Engineering)

Michael Marshall (Art)

Meredith Welch-Devine (Graduate School/Anthropology)


UGA to host National Humanities Center workshop Feb. 25, 2020

Humanities Moments: Finding Connections between the Past and our Daily Lives in the Undergraduate Classroom

Humanities moments occur daily in the lives of human beings. We access them through stories that reveal our complexities, our aspirations, and our tragic flaws. Whether we reflect on our personal experiences or our national history, it is the humanities moments that are most resonant and to which we continually return to mark who we are as individuals and as a culture.

But, how can we inspire and provoke these kinds of moments in our classrooms?

Since 1978, the National Humanities Center has supported, stimulated, and disseminated the best scholarship in the humanities. Each year a Fellowship class of up to 40 scholars come to the Center to pursue research in an atmosphere of freedom, collegiality, and scholarly support.

The NHC Education Department aims to make this content accessible in the classroom by infusing pedagogy with scholarship and by making visible the work of the scholar. Emerging technologies are an important element to creating meaningful learning experiences for students at any level – including the undergraduate and post-secondary classroom. Geospatial and mapping tools allow for the visualization of data, podcasting and digital storytelling provides richer narrative landscapes, and object-based teaching supports inquiry and investigation.

This hands-on workshop will be led by Andy Mink, Vice President of Education at the National Humanities Center, and held in the Special Collections Libraries on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 9-11:30 a.m. The workshop will explore how the instructional resources and programs of the National Humanities Center can inspire these moments in the humanities classroom and can provide support for passionate and engaged teaching. The session will feature sources and inquiry-based activities from the NHC webinar series, online course catalog, and summer institutes.  Participants will receive free access to all materials in the Humanities in Class Digital Library and be introduced to programs offered each year for scholars and graduate students.

Faculty and graduate students from all humanities disciplines are invited to participate in the workshop. The workshop is free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. Please contact Dr. Lloyd Winstead (, Senior Associate Director at the Willson Center, to register. The deadline to register is February 11.




Collages & Paintings by Don Chambers on display at Willson Center through Dec. 20

Collages & Paintings by Don Chambers, an Athens artist and musician, will be on display at the Willson Center through December 20. The exhibition includes the new collage series “Cryptomnesia,” as well as other works in photoprint, watercolor, acrylic, gouache, and rust. All works are for sale by the artist, and may be viewed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Please call ahead if you plan to visit between noon and 1 p.m.

UGA and Spelman students and faculty bring incarceration histories to life with theatrical project

By Our Hands presented by the Georgia Incarceration Performance Project is a cross-institutional research and theatrical project produced by the University of Georgia, Spelman College, librarians, archivists, students, professionals, incarcerated individuals, and community partners. Free public performances are taking place Nov. 8, 10, 16, and 17 in the Fine Arts Theatre as part of UGA’s Spotlight on the Arts festival. The project has been supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Willson Center’s Global Georgia Initiative.

Call for fellowship applications: Berlin Seminar in Transnational European Studies, May 31 – June 6, 2020

The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the Willson Center invite applications from faculty and doctoral students for fellowships to take part in the third annual Berlin Seminar in Transnational European Studies, which will take place May 31 – June 6, 2020. The application deadline is Friday, November 15, 2019.

A professional development initiative that is open to advanced PhD students and faculty of all ranks and from all disciplines at the University of Georgia, the seminar is offered in partnership with the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame and is made possible through generous support by the Max Kade Foundation.

The seminar is directed by Martin Kagel, A.G. Steer Professor of German and associate dean in the Franklin College; William Donahue, Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities and director of the Nanovic Institute; and Nicholas Allen, Abraham Baldwin Professor in the Humanities and director of the Willson Center.

The one-week residential seminar will take place in Berlin and feature distinguished speakers with expertise in European politics, economics, law, history, literature and the arts. Speakers will give introductory presentations followed by extensive discussion with seminar participants based in part on pre-assigned readings. The seminar will also use the city of Berlin as a location exemplifying transnational Europe and the program will include short excursions and the attendance of cultural events.

The goal of the seminar is to expand knowledge and understanding of transnational Europe among U.S. based scholars, advancing the discourse on campus on issues related to Europe, the EU, and Germany’s role in the European Union. Within this larger context, the seminar aims to initiate new research projects and curricular innovation, including collaboration between faculty from the two participating institutions, the University of Georgia and the University of Notre Dame.

“It was a true privilege to participate in the Berlin Seminar in Transnational European Studies,” said Paola De Santo, assistant professor of Italian in the UGA department of Romance languages, a 2019 alumna of the program. “The Seminar offered a rare opportunity to rethink and invigorate research and teaching programs both interdisciplinarily and in dialogue with a community of scholars, teachers and thinkers.”

Applications are encouraged from faculty and graduate students whose field of transnational study may be relevant to, but not necessarily grounded in, the study of Europe.

Detailed programs of the 2018 and 2019 seminars, including testimonials from faculty and graduate students, can be found at

This initiative is in support of UGA’s membership of the Council for European Studies. For more information on opportunities connected to the Council for European Studies or about this seminar, please contact Martin Kagel at


The award includes:

  • a flight subsidy of up to $1,500;
  • hotel accommodation in Berlin for the duration of the seminar;
  • expenses for public transportation in Berlin, as well as for materials, cultural events, and most meals.


All applicants

  • List name, faculty rank or year in Ph.D. program, department and college
  • Research and teaching agenda (1-2 pages)
    • Explain why the Berlin Seminar in Transnational European Studies will benefit your research;
    • Describe a curricular innovation or teaching-related activity you would likely implement in the wake of the seminar to support transnational European studies on campus;
  • Attach a brief CV (max. three pages).

For graduate student applicants

  • Include a letter of recommendation from your major professor or graduate coordinator.

Deadline and Submission
Application deadline is Friday, November 15, 2019. Notification will follow shortly thereafter. Submit proposal as a single PDF or Word document to Dr. Lloyd Winstead (, senior associate director, Willson Center.

UGA students featured in national arts research conference

One year after UGA hosted the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) national conference, students and faculty from Athens will travel to the University of Kansas for the 2019 annual gathering of leaders. The November 7-9 event will feature discussions, white papers, posters, exhibitions, performances, and workshops around the theme of Knowledges: Artistic Practice as Method. Among the presentations selected through a rigorous peer review process is Exploring Research as Craft, a UGA student-led project developed with the support of the Willson Center’s partnership with Ideas for Creative Exploration, an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts at UGA.

Project leaders Cydney Seigerman (Integrative Conservation and Anthropology) and Alden DiCamillo (Lamar Dodd School of Art) initiated their research through the Idea Lab Mini Grant program, a collaborative seed grant opportunity that pairs project teams with funding and mentorship from Ideas for Creative Exploration. Seigerman and DiCamillo worked with Alex McClay (Lamar Dodd School of Art), a graduate assistant in Interdisciplinary Arts Research, to facilitate production of an innovative three-part workshop series designed to promote cross-disciplinary communication by conceptualizing research and practice as craft. Workshop participants included graduate students from art, anthropology, ecology, English, forestry, microbiology, and landscape architecture. In spring 2019 the Exploring Research as Craft workshop outcomes were featured in a public exhibition and performance co-sponsored by ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art.

Presenting research at the national level is an incomparable professional and networking experience for graduate students at UGA. For Siegerman and DiCamillo, it is the culmination of a process that began with an inquiry about the connections of methods across seemingly disparate disciplines. Siegerman reflects that “my experience in lab – the rituals of setting up experiments, of measuring out starting materials with my favorite spatula, and the attention I paid to the process and beauty of my experiments is often forgotten in the final analysis of data.” The workshop series combined aspects of communication, feedback, and creative activities that led to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the craft of research. DiCamillo discovered “that interdisciplinary work that stems from the arts is filled with radical, energetic people and communities who know how to stretch and work ideas so that they become dynamic realities.”

Alex McClay has a unique perspective of Exploring Research as Craft from her dual role of project facilitator and participant. She recalls, “working with researchers from a variety of disciplines, all while offering feedback, production support, and visual knowledge, was the most impactful part of this experience.” As a graduate assistant in Interdisciplinary Arts Research, McClay is part of an elite group of students in art, music, and theatre and film studies who are recruited to work with Ideas for Creative Exploration as peer mentors and leaders. They gain practical experience by organizing the seed grant selection process, managing project budgets, and helping projects reach their full potential.

UGA is a partner in the a2ru network, a consortium of institutions aligned to promote interdisciplinary research, curricula, programs, and creative practice between the arts, sciences and other disciplines. As an additional benefit of membership, students are eligible to apply for travel grants from a2ru to support participation in the national conference and the upcoming 2020 Emerging Creatives Student Summit RISE UP! Community – Connection – Collective Memory hosted by the University of Cincinnati.

Ideas for Creative Exploration is supported in part by the Willson Center, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School.

Exploring Research as Craft workshop participants:

Yana Bonday (Lamar Dodd School of Art)

Sydney Daniel (Lamar Dodd School of Art)

Jennifer Demoss (Integrative Conservation and Anthropology)

Alden DiCamillo (Lamar Dodd School of Art)

Max Farrell (Ecology)

Savannah Jenson (English)

Kristen Lear (Integrative Conservation and Forestry)

Alex McClay (Lamar Dodd School of Art)

Katharine Miele (Lamar Dodd School of Art)

Megan Prescott (Microbiology)

Cydney Seigerman (Integrative Conservation and Anthropology)

Micah Taylor (College of Environment and Design)

Anna Rose Willoughby (Ecology)

IMAGE: Max Farrell, “Watering Hole Music”