Institute for the Study of Culture & Society



    As the new Director of the Institute for the Study of Culture & Society at BGSU, I am looking forward to reimagining the role     of ICS as a public humanities hub for BGSU’s campus and for the northwest Ohio region. I believe that ICS can, and should,       play a transformative role in nurturing innovative arts, humanities, and social science research, and in helping to                         communicate the value and significance of that work to the wider public. Since its founding in 1996, ICS has spurred                   collaboration across traditional disciplinary boundaries in order to develop new knowledge. Now, in its 20th year, our                 mission is to share that expertise with our community, and to bring the community’s hard-won knowledge back into our           classrooms and research. I am eager to hear your ideas for how ICS can support and translate interdisciplinary knowledge       for the benefit of all.


    The Institute for the Study of Culture & Society supports faculty collaboration across traditional disciplinary boundaries, and     serves as an incubator for innovative research and teaching. ICS supports the academic goals of the University by helping         faculty to develop, communicate, and disseminate their scholarly and creative work to constituencies across campus and         throughout the region. With our public events and outreach efforts, we bring issues of vital national and global importance       to Northwest Ohio, and, in turn, bring community knowledge back into the university.


    To be a recognized leader in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, in order to facilitate research, teaching, and the               transmission of knowledge across Northwest Ohio. To play a transformative role in the intellectual and social life of the             region, by making academic scholarship accessible, meaningful, and empowering to the public. To foster reciprocity and           community engagement between BGSU university and the wider public.

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    The Institute for the Study of Culture & Society announced its four Scholars- and Artists-in-                   Residence Fellows for 2017-2018:

    -Walter Grunden (History) studies how Japanese organizational culture affects contemporary science and technological             production. (Fall 2017)

    -Lara Lengel (Communication) is researching sex trafficking and sex tourism and Costa Rica. (Fall 2017)

    -Sheri Wells-Jensen (English) brings together xenolingistics, biology, and disability studies to consider how an intelligent            blind alien race would survive and develop in the universe. (Spring 2018)

    -Nancy Patterson (School of Teaching and Learning) is researching Ohio social studies classrooms and how democratic             processes and freedom of speech are being taught.  (Spring 2018)

    The fellowship was particularly competitive this year, and the four winners were selected for the intellectual significance of       their research and the social relevance and public impact of their work on university and area communities.



    Rebecca J. Kinney | Popular Culture |
    Talk scheduled for Wednesday, March 29 2017, 10:30-Noon in BTSU 207

Rebecca J. Kinney is an Assistant Professor in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies and Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University. During her ICS fellowship she will be at work on her book, Rust Belt Chinatowns: Restaurants, Race, and Redevelopment in the Twenty First Century. By placing Asian American space at the center of a Rust Belt story her ethnographic research simultaneously challenges the coastal bias of Asian American Studies and the black-white bias of studies of the urban Great Lakes. Dr. Kinney’s first book, Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America’s Postindustrial Frontier (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) examines how contemporary ideas of Detroit circulate in film, photography, magazines and online in order to map this discourse as a continuation of the                                                                                     mythology of the frontier in American culture.                                                                                                                             

    Cheryl Lachowski | General Studies Writing |
    Talk scheduled for Monday, April 3 2017, at 8:00PM in the Planetarium

Cheryl Lachowski is a Lecturer in the General Studies Writing program who has had numerous poems published in academic journals and has won a national award for her poetry collection Homing. Her fellowship project for Spring 2017 is entitled “Ditches: A Montage of the Great Black Swamp,” which will eventually be a book-length work consisting of poems, prose poems, and creative non-fiction in two parts: Watershed and Homestead. The purpose is to give a multi-dimensional voice to the land through a mix of natural, human, and spiritual histories of the Great Black Swamp in NW Ohio as it is transformed from a glacial lake to forested swampland to industrialized mono-crop mega-farms.

    Christina Guenther | German | Talk scheduled for November 7, 2016

Christina Guenther is an associate professor of German in the Department of German, Russian & East Asian Languages. Her teaching and research focus on contemporary German/ Austrian literature & culture, the Holocaust, memory, and migration studies. Her project “Julya Rabinowich’s Transnational Poetics: Remembering Border-Crossings in Theater and Fiction” explores how contemporary Austrian writer Julya Rabinowich engages literary genres to foreground experiences and consequences of migration and, thereby, encourages a critical dialog about social justice and human rights across borders. The project considers Rabinowich’s contribution to the process of transnational memory-making and its implications with regard to collective identity construction in this                                                                               transnational era.

    Michael Arrigo | School of Art | Talk scheduled for November 10, 2016

Leg Up/Land On Your Feet is a multimedia artwork that uses video interviews, installation art, and performative game play to explore our assumptions and cherished ideals about fairness, opportunity, risk, responsibility, failure and success. The artwork brings together experiential, narrative and quantitative ways of representing and understanding the world. There is power and truth in our individual experiences. There is power and truth in our shared stories, and there is power and truth in data.Leg Up/Land On Your Feet will be a thoughtful and entertaining space where these powers converge and these truths collide. For more info: