ICS Fellows to Examine Personal, Social, Historical Issues

ICS-fellows
Lisa Hanasono, Lara Martin Lengel, Melissa Miller, Arne Spohr

The Institute for the Study of Culture and Society (ICS) has announced its Faculty Fellows for 2018-19. ICS supports faculty in conducting innovative academic work, in part by freeing selected Fellows from teaching and service responsibilities for one semester in order to devote unimpeded time to research and/or creative projects.

To be selected for a fellowship, applicants must present projects with both intellectual and social relevance, and that can engage the broader public — an important goal of ICS. The Fellows will also each share their work in a public lecture.

Chosen for next year were Drs. Lisa Hanasono, associate professor of media and communication; Lara Martin Lengel, professor of media and communication; Melissa Miller, associate professor of political science; and Arne Spohr, associate professor of musicology.

“I am really excited and inspired by next year’s fellows, whose work is directly engaged with crucial social issues, from human trafficking to social stigma around gender and race,” said Dr. Jolie Sheffer, ICS director. Each Fellow is also committed to sharing their work with the public and to collaborating with community organizations, improving their research and enriching our region.”

Hanasono’s project, titled “The M-Word: Shattering the Silence of Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss,” is about how miscarriage is discussed (or, more often, not discussed) in our society. She will explore the silencing of pregnancy loss and how the media, medical fields and individuals can better support women and families through more effective communication about the emotional, physical, and psychological dimensions of pregnancy loss. She also plans to collect stories, poetry and artwork from community members to create an edited book about coping with pregnancy loss. Her lecture will be scheduled for fall 2018.

Lengel’s project, “Community Organizations’ Role in Combating Sex Trafficking and Sex Tourism” addresses faith-based organizations’ (FBOs) role in combatting sex trafficking of women and children in Costa Rica. She will analyze how the decriminalization of sex work in Costa Rica affects FBOs’ advocacy and support efforts. Lengel’s project includes organizing a summit at BGSU coinciding with Human Trafficking Awareness Month to encourage participation of, and ongoing collaboration with, community members and organizations. Her lecture will be scheduled for fall 2018.

With larger numbers of women running for public office than ever before, Miller’s project looks specifically at candidates who are mothers and how those roles intersect. Titled “Moms on the Run,” the project asks what specific challenges mother-candidates face, how mother-candidates are perceived by voters, and how mother-candidates address stereotypes about them. Miller plans to deliver a series of public talks to groups such as the League of Women Voters, service clubs, churches and other community organizations, providing practical recommendations for voters evaluating candidates who are mothers. Her lecture will be scheduled in spring 2019.

Spohr’s project, “Privileged Dependency: The Legal and Social Position of Black Musicians in Early Modern Germany,” exposes the realities faced by black musicians in the era of slavery and European colonialism. Despite some popular views that these musicians enjoyed relative freedom, Spohr’s work reveals the racist, tenuous, difficult experiences of these musicians. He also plans to organize a one-day conference on “Early Modern European Blackness,” which will feature research presentations as well as a public concert featuring works of early modern European black composers. His lecture will be scheduled in spring 2019.