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The Summer Institute in the Arts & Humanities
Schedule - 2007 Summer Institute
New Directions in Cultural Research: Community Collaboration Practice
Sixth Annual Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities
11:00-11:10 Welcome and Introduction
11:10-12:00 Session I, Craig Jeffrey, Mentor
GEAR UP Project: Workshop for Youth: Facilitating Student Voice
Our group partnered with the University of Washington State GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) to engage in research on the a lack of student voice in secondary schools and the structural factors that hinder students' success. Our collaborative praxis-based research took the form of developing a workshop for facilitating student voice. Through the development and practice of the workshop as well as scholarly research we sought to discover the importance of and possibilities for facilitating student voice. The symposium presentation will present our findings based on the workshop; it will also pose questions about issues in secondary education and GEAR UP's role in addressing them.
12:10-1:00 Session II, Kari Lerum, Mentor
Youth, Conflict, & Creative Social Change
In collaboration with the Safe Schools Coalition, our research team set out to investigate bullying in schools, particularly in middle and high school. We viewed existing anti-bullying programs, read professional research reports, and interviewed local experts. In addition to these standard research methods, we also engaged in reflexive research by discussing, evaluating, and reflecting on our own experiences with bullying. To hear from others who have experienced, witnessed or even perpetrated social conflict, we created an online survey and planned, publicized and conducted a focus group for youth and young adults. The focus group was also reflexive in that we simultaneously moderated, observed, and participated in the conversation. We concluded that bullying is a reflection and extension of the violence embedded in power structures. As a way of intervening in these power structures, we constructed a “toolkit” for youth and their allies with a variety of creative, interactive interventions. We leave this project with a commitment to the importance of reflection and creativity, both as an innovative research method and as a process that enables progressive social change.
1:00-1:30 Break/Refreshments in the Sculpture Court
1:30-2:20 Session III: Ron Krabill, Mentor
Won’t you be my neighbor? Tent City 4 and the Experience of Home(lessness)
Our work this summer undertook a community collaborative research project with Tent City 4, a semi-permanent homeless encampment on the Eastside, run through democratic self-governance. During the research project, we explored the following question: what is the best way to create an authentic body of knowledge relevant to community, home and what it is to be a good neighbor in relation to the emergent community of Tent City 4? We worked within the experiences of ourselves, Tent City 4 residents, and other stakeholders throughout the process, in order to resist the typical depictions of people experiencing homelessness, while examining the multiple, sometimes contradictory meanings of these often-invoked concepts. By both utilizing and critiquing our various sources of information, including analysis of media sources, scholarly articles, forms of visual documentation, and self-reflexive methods of research, we constructed both an installation and a documentary film to be used for education and advocacy.
2:30-3:20 Session IV, Georgia M. Roberts, Mentor
Praxis Makes Perfect: Re-envisioning the Role of Activists Academics in Community Organizing
Our collaboration with Powerful Voices (PV), an organization focused on developing leadership and critical thinking skills in adolescent women, was two-fold. Members of the PV staff asked us to document the curriculum for their summer DYVAS program and contribute additional lesson plans and writing prompts. This partnership afforded us the opportunity to explore questions of how university-based activists and artists can participate in community-based work without replicating and/or re-inscribing social hierarchies embedded in the academic institutions that we represent. We built relationships with our community partners that challenged traditional binaries of expert researcher and subject-informant through participation in DYVAS classroom activities and critical discussion in meetings with PV staff alongside more traditional research methods such as recording observations, conducting interviews, and scholarly reading. The end of our participation with the Summer Institute has brought to the fore the necessity of long-term, ongoing work both with our community partners specifically and social justice education generally. We look forward to continuing the conversations we have begun here and building on the work set into motion.
3:20-3:30 Symposium Wrap-Up