Past Research Projects & Working Groups


Humanities Without Walls

HWW logo

Ohio State’s Humanities Institute is part of a consortium of 15 universities in the Midwest that has received a $3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create new avenues for collaborative research, teaching and the production of scholarship in the humanities, forging and sustaining areas of inquiry with cross-institution cooperation.

In January 2015, three projects were selected as winners of Global Midwest grants for a total award amount of $77,000. The projects are:

  • The Religious Soundmap of the Midwest

Organized by Isaac Weiner, Assistant Professor, Comparative Studies

Faculty and Students pose in front of statue

What does religion in the Midwestern United States sound like? Where does one hear it? How might we understand religious diversity differently if we begin by listening for it? These questions animate the Religious Soundmap Project, which will invite multiple public audiences to experience the religious diversity of the Midwest through sound.

Working under faculty supervision, student researchers are producing high-quality audio recordings of religion in practice. These recordings will be edited, archived, and integrated, along with interviews, visual images, explanatory texts, and interpretive essays, onto a publicly accessible online mapping platform. This innovative digital humanities project will provide new research and pedagogical tools for scholars, experiential learning opportunities for students, and an interactive resource for the general public.

  • ThereThere

An online journal of contemporary global art focused on works exhibited in museums, studios and gallery spaces across the Midwest, organized by Kris Paulsen, assistant professor; and Lisa Florman, professor and chair, Department of Art History.

A symposium will take place in February 2016 at the Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University, featuring curators, artists and scholars from across the region. These papers will be turned into the feature articles for the first issue of the online journal, the focus of which will be creating arts worlds and the Midwest as a site for contemporary art. Additional curators, students and scholars have been invited to produce reviews of exhibitions taking place across the Midwest.

  • The Midwest Heritage Language Network

Organized by Glenn Martinez, Professor and Chair, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

The network has made significant progress in the creation of a corpus of heritage language speech samples from the Midwest. This past year was dedicated mostly to cleaning and systematizing a large corpus of interviews with heritage speakers of Spanish from the Chicago area. This year, the network will calibrate the interviews in order to design a standardized methodology, an IRB template and a data management plan.


Humanities Without Walls: Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Program

Designed to equip the next generation of humanities scholars to work effectively in the public realm, provides summer stipends for graduate students to affiliate with Chicago-based cultural institutions through the Chicago Humanities Festival. Elizabeth Newton (History) and Kelly Taylor (Classics) are the 2016 recipients of the Public Humanities fellowships.