UW News

March 2, 2021

Faculty/staff honors: Field research grant, staffer’s play streams, cartoon remembrance

Recent honors and achievements by University of Washington faculty and staff include a grant for field research in the Middle East, a staffer’s play being streamed by a Seattle theater and a professor’s cartoon remembrance of a relative lost to COVID-19.

Stroum Center’s Smadar Ben-Natan receives $40,000 grant for Israel-Palestine incarceration research

Smadar Ben-Natan

Smadar Ben-Natan, a postdoctoral fellow in Israel studies in the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, has received a grant of $40,000 from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation to support her research on incarceration in the context of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Ben-Natan’s research project is titled “The Carceral State in Conflict: Between Reconciliation and Radicalization.” She will examine how incarceration policies regarding Palestinian political prisoners in Israel since 1967 have affected reconciliation and peacebuilding versus radicalization and escalation of conflict in the region.

The foundation named Ben-Natan one of its 2020 cohort of HFG Distinguished Scholars. “In selecting awardees, highest priority was given to research that addresses urgent, present-day problems of violence — what produces it, how it operates, and what prevents or reduces it,” the foundation stated.

The grant will support two months of research and field work in Israel and Palestine, and may be renewed for another year in 2022. Ben-Natan is the 2020-2022 Benaroya Postdoctoral Fellow in Israel Studies. The Stroum Center is part of the Jackson School of International Studies.

Read an article on the Stroum Center website.

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Play by School of Drama’s Holly Arsenault to stream March 8-21 via Seattle Public Theater

Holly Arsenault

A reading of “The Great Inconvenience,” a full-length play by Holly Arsenault, director of engagement for the UW School of Drama, will stream March 8-21 as part of Seattle Public Theater’s Locally Grown series. Find tickets online.

The play is set in the American West of 2050 following a second civil war. “It’s set in a time where our past history has been whitewashed and perverted,” Arsenault told the Seattle Times in 2018, when the play was produced by the Annex Theatre. “I imagined what would happen if everything went as badly as it could possibly go.”

Read a 2019 Whole U profile of Arsenault.

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José Alaniz cartoon remembers uncle lost to COVID

The Museum of South Texas History is gathering memories of people in the Rio Grande Valley lost to COVID-19 in an ongoing project called The Bearing Witness Initiative.

José Alaniz, UW professor of Slavic languages and literatures, is a lifelong cartoonist who grew up in South Texas. He submitted a four-panel remembrance of his uncle, Cruz Huijon, who died due to COVID in August.

Alaniz published “The Phantom Zone and Other Stories,” a book of comics and prose, in 2020. He also is affiliated with cinema studies and disability studies at the UW.