Congratulations to Sarah Willen and the Pandemic Journaling Project

The Pandemic Journaling Project (PJP) met an important milestone recently—one full year of gathering journal entries from people around the world about the impact of the pandemic in their lives. In that time, more than 1,500 journalers in over 45 countries—including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, India, and elsewhere—have contributed over 15,000 journal entries. You can experience a sample of those journal entries, in English and Spanish, on their featured entries page. The project has received local, national, and international media attention, including a feature on the cover of the New York Times Science section. Learn more about the project by reading the project overview, or watching the PJP at one-year video:

The goal of the Pandemic Journaling Project is to make sure that ordinary people struggling through this pandemic have their voices heard, and their experiences remembered. Historical records tend to favor the powerful and the well-connected, and by soliciting journal entries from all kinds of voices, PJP ensures that future historians will be able to reconstruct how the pandemic affected the everyday lives of a wide array of people. You can listen to some of those voices in their anniversary sound collage:

UCHI is proud to have been an early supporter of the project, and we’re very excited that PJP co-founder Sarah S. Willen will join our 20th-anniversary cohort of fellows this fall as our Future of Truth Fellow. As Future of Truth Fellow, Sarah will launch a book project, tentatively titled, “Chronicling the Meantime,” that explores how PJP’s remarkably diverse community of journalers has used this unique online space to chronicle the impact of the pandemic on the warp and woof of everyday life—for their own purposes, and for posterity.

Request for Proposals: NEHC Seed Grants

The New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC) is offering competitive seed grants for research initiatives in the humanities that seek to capitalize on the collaborative network and potential of the consortium. Applications seeking to sustain, and build on, previously funded NEHC initiatives that demonstrated success are also welcome. Awards of up to $5,000 will be made. (For projects whose total budgets exceed $5,000 applicants must list additional committed funding sources and amounts.) Priority will be given to applications demonstrating concrete plans for consortium membership involvement. Such involvement can take different forms, but will typically involve, e.g. direct collaboration between two or more member institutions and/or active solicitation of faculty, staff, or students exclusively from member institutions. Applications are welcome from individuals or teams, but the PI must be on the faculty of a NEHC member institution. Potential areas of funding interest include the following (this list is by no means exhaustive):

  • Collaborative research projects
  • Public Humanities programming
  • Programming with State Humanities Councils
  • Programming reflecting the Humanities and the Pandemic
  • Summer Seminars
  • Study, writing, or working groups
  • Shared speakers across institutions
  • Collaborative course design
  • Exhibitions and Public Performances


Applications are welcome from individuals or teams, but the PI must be on the faculty of a NEHC member institution (UConn is a member of NEHC).

Application Requirements and Procedure

Applications must include the following:

  • Cover page
  • Project narrative
  • CV
  • Budget and timeline

See here for complete submission guidelines.

Please submit materials electronically in pdf or Word docx to YOUR HUMANITIES CENTER or INSTITUTE DIRECTOR (for UConn Faculty that’s by September 15, 2021 by 5pm. Directors will then forward the proposal to the NEHC board.

See here for information about past award recipients.

Questions and requests for more information are encouraged and should be directed to

2020–2021: A Year in Review

UCHI 2020–21: A Year in Review

How do you measure a year on Zoom?


Number of virtual events: 31 webinars and 2 workshops

Total webinar attendance: 1520

Number of countries attendees zoomed in from: 30

Events interrupted by technical difficulties: 1


Pie chart showing fellows' self-reported estimated screen time per day. 4-6 hours: 26.7%; 6–8 hours: 26.7%; 8-10 hours: 40%; 10+ hours: 6.7%

Percentage of fellows who spend 8-10 hours looking at screens each day: 40

Average number of hours our fellows spent on Zoom/Webex/etc in a week: 7.4

Average attendance at fellows’ talks: 49

Largest audience for a fellow’s talk: 100

Percentage of fellows who completed 20–30% of their projects during the fellowship year: 60

Percentage of fellows who completed more than 30% of their projects during the fellowship year: 33.3

Pie chart showing fellows' self-reported estimated percentage of project completed during the fellowship year. 10-20% completed, 6.7%; 20–30% completed, 60%; more than 30% completed, 33.3%

Journal articles published or forthcoming: 9

Revised book manuscripts completed: 2

Poems published or forthcoming: 4

Fellowships awarded: 2

Literary agents acquired: 1

Percentage of fellows who are most looking forward to visiting freely with family and friends in a post-pandemic world: 40

Percentage of fellows who are especially excited to go to a museum or gallery after the pandemic: 20

Pie chart showing fellows' answers to the question "Of the options below, what are you especially excited to do in a post pandemic world?" Visit freely with family and friends: 40%; Eat in a restaurant: 0%; Go to the movies: 0%; Attend a live performance (a play, concert, etc.): 13.3%; Travel: 20%; Go to a museum, art gallery, or a similar cultural institution: 20%; host a gathering in your home: 6.7%

Number of applications for the 2021–22 Visiting Humanities Fellowship: 142

Number of 2021–22 Visiting Humanities Fellows: 2

Number of incoming 2021–22 fellows: 15

UCHI across campus

Number of active working groups: 9

Book support awards given: 5

Conferences, colloquia, and speakers funded: 17

Sharon Harris Book Award winners: 1 (plus an honorable mention)

UCHI on the Internet

Number of videos posted to YouTube: 19

Podcast episodes released: 7

Podcast episodes remaining in the Future of Truth season: 3

Number of tweets tweeted from @UCHI_UConn: 736

New England Humanities Consortium

New member institutions added to the current 11 institutions: 3

Projected participation in the Faculty of Color Working Group’s upcoming symposium: 57 (up from ~30 of the first symposium)

Active NEHC-funded collaborative projects: 7

What did our fellows and former fellows accomplish this year?

They published monographs: Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, Robert T. Chase, Alea Henle, Tracy Llanera, Jeremy PressmanPeter Zarrow
—-Forthcoming: Martha J. Cutter, The Many Resurrections of Henry Box Brown (University of Pennsylvania Press, March 2022), Jonathan Robins, Lani Watson

And edited collections: Asha Bhandary, Robert T. Chase, Rebecca Ruth Gould, Joseph Ulatowski
—-Forthcoming: Anke Finger, Robin Greeley

They published journal articles and book chapters: Alexander Anievas (plus these), Asha Bhandary, Rebecca Ruth Gould (these too), Jessica Linker, Jonathan Robins, Helen Rozwadowski (one more), Sara Silverstein, Nu-Anh Tran, Joseph Ulatowski (and a few more)
—-Forthcoming: Sean Frederick Forbes, “An Afro-Latino’s Poetic and Creative Hungers,” in Latinx Poetics Anthology, eds. Natalie Scenters-Zapico and Ruben Quesada (University of New Mexico Press, Spring 2021)

Reviews: Asha Bhandary, Sara Silverstein

Magazine articles: Scott Wallace (another, plus one in Mizzou Magazine, Spring 2021), Dimitris Xygalatas

And poetry: Kerry Carnahan (two more)
—-Forthcoming: Sean Frederick Forbes, Kerry Carnahan (a chapbook from Lettuce Run Books entitled “The Experience of Being a Cathedral”), Amanda Crawford (“Golden Grass,” in New Square Literary Magazine, Spring 2021)

They created digital projects: Asha Bhandary, Sarah Willen

Gave interviews: Andrea Celli, Sean Frederick Forbes, Rebecca Ruth Gould, Scott Wallace, Dimitris Xygalatas (plus these)

And talks: Sean Frederick Forbes, Rebecca Ruth Gould (plus this one), Joseph Ulatowski (this too), Scott Wallace (and more)

Did readings: Sean Frederick Forbes (and these too)

Were profiled in magazines and newspapers: Scott Wallace, Sarah Willen

Signed with literary agents: Amanda Crawford

Co-directed a summer institute: Mary K. Bercaw Edwards

They started or accepted new jobs: Jessica Linker

And fellowships: Nathan Braccio, Nicole Breault (plus this), Daniel Hershenzon, Jessica Linker, Debapriya Sarkar, Joseph Ulatowski (2021–22 Karol Wojtyla-Pope St John Paul II visiting residential fellow at the St John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin)

Won awards or grants: Jessica Linker (and this), Aimee Loiselle, Margo L. Machida, Sarah Willen (and more)

And were awarded tenure and/or promotion: Andrea Celli, Brendan Kane, Jeremy Pressman, Lynne Tirrell, and Michael E. Nagle

Congrats, all!

The 2021 Sharon Harris Book Award

UCHI is honored to announce the winner of the Sharon Harris Book Award for 2021:

Grégoire Pierrot headshot

Grégory Pierrot

Associate Professor of English, UConn

for his book

The Black Avenger in Atlantic Culture (University of Georgia Press, 2019)

The Black Avenger in Atlantic Culture book coverThe Harris Book Award Committee notes, “Grégory Pierrot’s The Black Avenger in Atlantic Culture is a brilliantly focused and highly original exploration of the political aims of the shifting narratives of exceptional black avengers who rise in violence and retribution against their oppressors. This expansive and in-depth study is, as Pierrot points out, ‘a history of an essential trope of Atlantic modernity.’ Examining literary and historical texts from Haiti to the United States, to Britain and France, from the late seventeenth century forward, this is an expansive and groundbreaking work that explores new scholarly territories in racism and resistance.”

Honorable mention:

Ariel Lambe headshot

Ariel Mae Lambe

Assistant Professor of History, UConn

for her book

No Barrier Can Contain It: Cuban Antifascism and the Spanish Civil War (UNC Press, 2019)

No Barrier Can Contain It book coverNo Barrier Can Contain It: Cuban Antifascism and the Spanish Civil War offers a fascinating, transnational study of Cuban antifascists and activists during the 1920s and 1930s, in Cuba and beyond. Drawing on archival material from Cuba, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, and the United States, this well-researched work frames antifascism as an international movement and in so doing contributes not only to the field of Cuban history but also to the history of the Spanish Civil War.”

We thank the award committee for their service. The Sharon Harris Book Award recognizes scholarly depth and intellectual acuity and highlights the importance of humanities scholarship. The 2021 award was open to UConn tenured, tenure-track, emeritus, or in-residence faculty who published a monograph between January 2018 and December 31, 2020.

Subversiones Filosóficas presents Gareth Williams

The study group Subversiones Filosóficas, housed at the department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages in UConn, sponsored by El Instituto: Institute for Latina/o, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies and the UConn Humanities Institute, invites you to:

Él no es: Infrapolitics and the Experience of Tragedy

A virtual talk and Q&A with Gareth Williams

Friday, April 23rd at 12:30 pm

Gareth Williams is a professor of Latin American Studies and Critical Theory at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also the author of numerous books that explore Latin America in the context of unfettered neoliberalism and globalization, with particular interest in the history of political thought and the genealogies of continental philosophy, Marxism, post-Marxism, and psychoanalysis. His latest book, Infrapolitical Passages: Global Turmoil, Narco-Accumulation and the Post Sovereign State (Fordham UP, 2021), explores the exhaustion of current political determinations and proposes the Infrapolitical as an alternative to thinking biopolitical productions of subjectivity and life.

Please find the Zoom link on the event flyer. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact group facilitators Damian Deamici, Reynaldo Lastre, or Luis Beltrán Álvarez.

DHMS Presents Simon Burrows on Digitally Mapping the French Book Trade

The Digital Humanities and Media Studies Initiative Presents: Enlightenment in Ledgers: Digital Mapping the French Book Trade. Professor of History, Western Sydney, Simon Burrows. Live. Online. Registration required. April 21, 2021, 6:30pm.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at or by phone (860) 486-9057.

The Digital Humanities and Media Studies Initiative presents:

Enlightenment in Ledgers: Digitally Mapping the French Book Trade

Simon Burrows (Professor of History, Western Sydney University)

April 21, 2021, 6:30–8:00pm

An online webinar. Registration is required for attendance.

It is now 50 years since Robert Darnton issued his clarion call for literary and cultural historians to look beyond the canon and Pierre Bourdieu unveiled his vision of the ‘literary field’ as an outcome of political and cultural power relations. Historians, not least Darnton himself, have responded creatively to the twin challenges, in the process contributing to the development of a vibrant new interdisciplinary field, book history. Yet determining the cultural resonance of texts or uncovering the real-world impact of political interventions presents major methodological and practical difficulties. Where are we to look for our evidence and how can we gain representative insights? One major tool for this research is historical bibliometric evidence of the circulation of books—including those outside the canon and even lost to the historical or bibliographic record. The sources for such work are multiple and lend themselves to digital analysis, but they also present daunting challenges of interpretation, comparison, and collation. This paper discusses one attempt to confront these challenges, by bringing together book trade, customs, and licensing evidence from old regime France in an industrial level survey of the dissemination of books. It will discuss sources, data processing, and digital methods and platforms used in the French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe, before assessing how far digital analysis revises our understandings of the ‘literary field’, including the efficacy of the French book police, the reception of enlightenment texts, popular religiosity, or even how the French paper industry helped shape literary production on the eve of the revolution of 1789. The paper will also discuss future prospects and challenges for historical bibliometric research.

Simon Burrows is Professor of History at Western Sydney University, Australia, where he leads the Digital Humanities Research Initiative and is known for his innovative work on French exiles and the publishing trade from the enlightenment to the French revolution. He is Principal Investigator of the French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe (FBTEE) database project, which has been funded successively by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council, Western Sydney University, and the Australian Research Council. The FBTEE project was awarded the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Digital Resource Prize in 2017. Simon is also overseeing digital development on the AHRC’s ‘Libraries, Communities, and Cultural Formation’ project, an international initiative based at the University of Liverpool and was co-founder and founding Director of the Centre for the Comparative History of Print at the University of Leeds. He has published four monographs including French Exile Journalism and European Politics, 1792-1814 (2000), Blackmail, Scandal and Revolution (2006), and co-edited major essay collections on subjects as diverse as the eighteenth-century press, cultural transfers, and the cross-dressing French diplomat Charles d’Eon de Beaumont. His most recent major works are The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe II: Enlightenment Bestsellers (Bloomsbury, 2018), and co-editor with Glenn Roe of Digitizing Enlightenment: Digital Humanities and the Transformation of Eighteenth-Century Studies (Oxford Studies in Enlightenment, 2020).

Design and Research for Healthy Communities and Healthcare Facilities

UCHI proud to co-sponsor a virtual conference, co-organized by Françoise Dussart (Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut) and Sohyun Park (Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, University of Connecticut)

Design and Research for Healthy Communities and Healthcare Facilities

May 17, 2021, 9:00 AM-4:15 PM EDT
Registration is required.

While shifts in attitudes towards the design of community environments and healthcare facilities have been increasingly important in the last decades especially in Europe, the USA, Australia, and Canada, the new pandemic era reignites some perennial issues as well as demands for new solutions. Neighborhood environments, parks, children’s hospitals, birthing centers, aging care facilities as well as local clinics and hospitals have influenced health and behavior outcome, especially among the disadvantaged populations such as children and older adults. More than ever as Covid-19 disrupts our engagement with one another and the world at large forcing us to reflect and rethink the intersections of urban planning, architectural and landscape designs, and public health.

This Interdisciplinary Virtual Conference draws attention to the historical and contemporary contexts within which healthy communities and healthcare facilities-related projects get realized as well as how their performances and outcomes are measured. In a pandemic era, conference presenters explore how issues of class, gender, ethnicity, and age contribute intellectually and literally shaping designs and their execution. Drawing on theoretical frameworks and empirical observations, presenters explore insights and questions which arise through cross-disciplinary dialogues, and examine how social and identity politics shape the architecture of care and are working to build better healing spaces.

The day is organized around the following themes with invited keynote speakers and presenters for each session:

  • Architecture for Healthcare
  • Architecture of care during Pandemics
  • Landscapes for Health
  • Environmental Health and Human Health

This conference is supported by the Humanities Institute; the Office of the Vice President for Research; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; College of Agriculture; Health and Natural Resources Department of Anthropology; Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

See the conference website for more details.

Please register by May 16.

Announcing the 2021–22 Humanities Institute Fellows

The University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI) is proud to announce its incoming class of humanities fellows. This year, as UCHI celebrates its twentieth anniversary, we are excited to host two visiting fellows, four dissertation scholars, and nine UConn faculty fellows—including the Henry Luce Foundation Future of Truth fellow and the Mellon UCHI Faculty of Color Working Group Fellow. We have fellows representing a broad swath of disciplines, including History; English; Philosophy; Political Science; Sociology; Communication; Anthropology; Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies; Africana Studies; Asian & Asian American Studies; Human Development & Family Sciences; and Art & Art History. Their projects span from the Renaissance to the present and cover a wide range of topics from racism in the academy to environmental justice. For more information on our fellowship program see our Become a Fellow page. More details about our twentieth anniversary 2021–22 fellows and their projects are forthcoming. Welcome fellows!


Visiting Residential Fellows

Sherie Randolph headshot

Sherie M. Randolph (History and Sociology – Georgia Institute of Technology)
“‘Bad’ Black Mothers: A History of Transgression”

Shiloh Whitney headshot

Shiloh Whitney (Philosophy – Fordham University)
“Emotional Labor: Affective Economies and Affective Injustice”

UConn Faculty Fellows

Meina Cai headshot

Meina Cai (Political Science and Asian and Asian American Studies)
“The Art of Negotiations: Legal Discrimination, Contention Pyramid, and Land Rights Development in China”

Haile Eshe Cole headshot

Haile Eshe Cole (Anthropology and Africana Studies)
“Belly: Topographies of Black Reproduction”

Shardé Davis headshot

Shardé M. Davis (Communication; Africana Studies; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
UCHI Faculty of Color Working Group Fellow
“Being #BlackintheIvory: Contending with Racism in the American University”

Prakash Kashwan headshot

Prakash Kashwan (Political Science)
“Rooted Radicalism: Transformative Change for Food, Energy, Water, and Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Change.”

Laura Mauldin headshot

Laura Mauldin (Human Development & Family Sciences; Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies; and Sociology)
“For All We Care”

Micki McElya headshot

Micki McElya (History)
“No More Miss America! How Protesting the 1968 Pageant Changed a Nation”

Kathryn Moore headshot

Kathryn Blair Moore (Art & Art History)
“The Other Space of the Arabesque: Italian Renaissance Art at the Limits of Representation”

Fiona Vernal headshot

Fiona Vernal (History and Africana Studies)
“Hartford Bound: Mobility, Race, and Identity in the Post-World War II Era (1940-2020)”

Sarah S. Willen headshot

Sarah S. Willen (Anthropology)
Future of Truth Fellow
“‘Chronicling the Meantime’: Creating a Book about the Pandemic Journaling Project”

Dissertation Research Scholars

Erik Freeman headshot

Erik Freeman (History)
Draper Dissertation Fellow
“The Mormon International: Communitarian Politics and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1890”

Carol Gray headshot

Carol Gray (Political Science)
“Law as Politics by Other Means: An Egyptian Case Study as a Template for Human Rights Reform”

Drew Johnson headshot

Drew Johnson (Philosophy)
“A Hybrid Theory of Ethical Thought and Discourse”

Anna Ziering headshot

Anna Ziering (English)
“Dirty Forms: Masochism and the Revision of Power in Multi-Ethnic U.S. Literature and Culture”

UConn Reads: Irish Travellers

Irish Travellers: The Nation State, a Marginalized Minority, and Climate Crisis. A panel discussion with Mary Burke (UConn), Malcolm Sen (UMass Amherst), and Jamie Johnson (Photographer). Live. Online. Registration reuiqred. APril 8, 2021, 4:00pm. UConn Reads. The Future of Truth. UConn Humanities Institute.

Irish Travellers: The Nation State, a Marginalized Minority, and Climate Crisis

April 8, 2021, 4:00pm. An online panel discussion. Registration required.

Join us for this panel discussion on Irish Travellers, part of the UConn Reads program, which focuses on The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (University of Chicago, 2016) by Amitav Ghosh.

The panel, organized by Mary Burke (Professor of English, University of Connecticut), considers global issues of environmental racism, environmental justice, and climate crisis with specific reference to Travellers, a racialized and historically nomadic indigenous Irish ethnic minority. Travellers’ traditional lifestyle, centered around mobile recycle and repair services offered to dominant Irish society, was an inadvertently environmentalist practice that was repressed and degraded by postwar Ireland’s coercive settlement policies, the wider implications of which will be read against the coming climate crisis and its threat to make refugees of millions with no cultural memory of the nomadic mode upon which to draw. The panel consists of UConn’s Mary Burke, author of a cultural history of Travellers with Oxford UP, UMass Amherst’s Malcolm Sen, editor of the forthcoming Cambridge History of Irish Literature and the Environment, and photographer Jamie Johnson, who has just published a collection of photographs of contemporary Traveller children. Leanne McDonagh (Traveller artist) and Mícheál Ó hAodha (scholar-activist) will serve as respondents.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at or by phone (860) 486-9057.

The Political Theory Workshop Presents: Brooks Kirchgassner


Enemies of the State: The Black Panther Party’s Phenomenological Approach to Solidarity

Brooks Kirchgassner, Ph.D. Student, Political Science, UConn
with commentary by Benjamin Stumpf, Ph.D. Student, Political Science, UConn
April 5th, 2021, 12:15–1:30pm on Zoom

What are the conditions of possibility in which those who are raced white could create and augment a political alliance based on practices of solidarity with individuals who are raced as non-white? What about individuals who identify as racially mixed, or multi-racial with people who identify as mono-racial? This paper argues that a phenomenological approach is best suited to understanding the function of race in the Black Panther Party’s organizing efforts in creating The Rainbow Coalition in Chicago, Illinois, the implications and conclusions of which could potentially be applied to efforts of interracial solidarities in other contexts in the U.S. (or other settler-colonial societies).

As a direct challenge to liberal, state-based solutions to racist institutions, Kirchgassner argues that the Panthers’ strategy was a phenomenological, and radical, one in that they did not view racial identity as innate or purely external to one’s self (Monahan 2011). Instead, the Panthers’ goal in building a Rainbow Coalition was to lay the foundations of a political solidarity that would not only have Black, white, Latinx, and Indigenous peoples work together to achieve specific goals, but transform how these individuals and groups saw themselves as political agents in creating de-centered community spaces to respond to the needs that the state (local and federal) ignored. With white participants, this involved a conscious refusal to participate in what Charles Mills calls the “civic and political responsibilities” of white members of the racial contract (1997, 14), in particular the “structured blindness and opacities” of the white racial order.

With generous support from the UConn Humanities Institute.

Questions? Email

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