Final proposals are due October 15, 2022
ACS is seeking collaborators to join the projects proposed below. These preproposals cover a wide range of disciplines and interests and fall under the categories of innovative curriculum, collaborative instruction, or diversity and inclusion. The project leads seek collaborative partners to enhance the work and extend it across ACS campuses.
If you are interested in collaborating on any of these projects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, October 3, 2022, and we will facilitate connection.
Note: These preproposals are in development and not yet funded. Click here to learn more about our grant guidelines.
Project 1: Engaging with multilingualism in the Liberal Arts context by Abril Jimenez, Davidson College
Liberal Arts education emphasizes the importance of civic engagement and social justice. Unfortunately, the talents and strengths of multilingual speakers are often undermined by traditional views of language supremacy and by the lack of visibility that minority languages face in spaces beyond language classrooms. Many institutions that adopt social justice frameworks to guide their diversity, equity, and inclusion practices fail to address language justice, or simplify the problem by reducing it to a grammar issue (e.g., the use of gender-neutral pronouns). The issue of language justice is much broader than that, as it involves recognizing when our practices reinforce linguistic superiority, as well as actively opening spaces of power to minority languages.
For the ACS grant, I am proposing the creation of a multilingual survey (MS) specifically designed for small Liberal Arts institutions, taking Davidson College as the model for the initial stage of this survey. The MS will gather information about the linguistic practices in which students, faculty, and staff engage on and off campus, and it will also collect data on the attitudes and ideologies towards multilingualism that prevail in our institution. This project is motivated by the work of linguistics faculty and researchers at Rutgers University with heritage (i.e., minority) speakers, my recent participation in the ACS Inclusive Pedagogy Institute, and my own professional interests as a linguist working with bilingualism and second language acquisition. While the initial goal is to create the MS for Davidson College, the ultimate goal is to design an open-access instrument that can be used by other institutions.
Project 2: Facilitating Constructive Dialogue in a Challenging World by Kitty Maynard, University of Richmond, and Paul Hanstedt, Washington and Lee
Our goal is to use this grant to engage faculty in the exploration of both short-term practices that can “cool off” the immediate pressures of a tense and divided classroom and long-term conversations designed to address both the attitudinal and structural causes of this toxic atmosphere, all while maintaining our focus on the complexities of free expression across a wide spectrum of political thought. On the short-term front, we will engage with experts on leading difficult conversations, reconciliation, and change management, all as a means of equipping participants for the immediate demands of the classroom. On this front, we also have some initial ideas/questions about the ways in which faculty can educate students on information literacy and ways in which research writing might be turned into something more comprehensive that carries over into daily life.
With regard to the long-term, we’d like participants on our campuses to consider the causes, implications, and possible solutions of and to these problems. We wish to explore this second level of conversation as a means of leading the broader cultural dialogue forward. We’re also interested in this second level of conversation, however, as a possible means of resetting institutional and classroom practices.
In addition, we’re interested in bringing in some of the very thoughtful research and work being done by resource librarians and other scholars with regard to information literacy. We are looking for at least one more partner in this endeavor, and we hope to create practices and structures that are exportable to the larger ACS population.
Project 3: The Drama of Language Teaching and Learning by Laura Chinchilla, Centre College and Carlos Velez Salas, Trinity University
Language courses often employ dramatic techniques: students move in the classroom to ask questions from each other, act out dialogues, and play games for oral communicative practice. These activities are usually performed with explicit goals related to grammar or vocabulary. We would like to bring together faculty members from ACS campuses who are interested in engaging movement and creativity in the language classroom beyond traditional communicative activities. Our goal is to develop interdisciplinary pedagogical practices that are informed by dramatic and performance techniques that originate in the languages and cultures we teach. We hope this will guide students to an embodied and deeper experience with the target language and culture. Since we work in Spanish/Latin American Studies we plan to explore the rich world of dramatic and performance practices in Latin America and the United States.
We envision this project as a space of play, exploration, and collaboration. The first phase of the project will consist of reading groups in each participating campus. After this initial work we plan to come together for a workshop where we can rehearse techniques, present lesson plans, and formalize pedagogical ideas that can then be implemented across ACS campuses. From the workshops, we plan to create a handbook/online repository of our experience and record our pedagogical insights. We see this as a vital instrument for documenting our work and sharing it with colleagues in the ACS and abroad.
Project 4: Inter-institutional Affinity Groups by Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Sewanee
The populations of diverse faculty and staff, particularly those identifying as BIPOC and LGBTQ+, are relatively small on many of the ACS campuses. However, being “the only” person or “one of a few” of any given identity in a department or even an institution can pose extreme challenges to developing a sense of belonging in the workplace and community.
A recent 2019 ACE report, Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, found that BIPOC faculty and staff often face unique challenges at their institutions. In fact, students often question the authority and expertise of BIPOC faculty in the classroom. Similarly, BIPOC staff report encountering barriers to advancement or promotions.
Currently, several of the ACS institutions have, or are in the process of establishing, University-recognized groups that can promote inclusion and belonging, and support networking, community-building, and other professional and personal development opportunities for LGBTQ, women or BIPOC faculty and staff.
We have identified three institutions that wish to collaborate on a project to build inter-institutional, identity-based affinity groups: Sewanee, Furman, and Trinity. Our initial goals are to:
- Foster a connection for our identity-based affinity groups around similar backgrounds and interests.
- Establish virtual gatherings that provide safe space for members to speak freely about their personal and professional experiences without well-meaning allies.
- Build community, a sense of belonging, and inclusion across the ACS institutions.
Project 5: Developing a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Curriculum for staff by Cynthia King, Furman University
Currently, not seeking any further collaboration.