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Current Faculty Working Groups

New Faculty Working Groups

Data Studies

Leaders: Jessica Pfeifer (Philosophy) and Susan Sterett (Public Policy)

Data analysis in both for-profit and public governance can contribute to improving lives or exacerbating inequality or exposure to risk. This group will explore problems about the questions people ask, how people share information, and how the availability of online records draws more people into surveillance by both state and private actors. We’ll consider how one asks good questions driven by shared concerns, rather than availability of records, and how one crafts collaborative analyses. We’ll look at what are data and how are data made. Data analysis relies on computing power and digitization of records, so scholarship on the citizen-government interface is also relevant. Scholars across the social sciences and humanities have experience with these matters, and need to work together on the implications of the rise of data analytics.

Reading Sara Ahmed

Leader: Carole McCann (Gender + Women’s Studies)

This group will discuss Sara Ahmed’s work in preparation for her campus visit in February 2019 for the Korenman Lecture and Humanities Forum Speaker Series. The group will pay close attention to Ahmed’s use of affect theory and phenomenology to further feminist cultural criticism. The group will select from a small list of key texts, including Queer Phenomenology, Willful Subjects, On Being Included, Living a Feminist Life, and The Cultural Politics of Emotion, to gain a deeper understanding of the development of Ahmed’s critical perspective.

Continuing Faculty Working Groups

Doing Digital Humanities

Leader: Anne Sarah Rubin (History/Imaging Research Center)

This working group is open to faculty interested in broadening their digital humanities practice, regardless of their skill level. Often faculty want to start incorporating digital humanities work – broadly defined—into their teaching and scholarship, but are unsure of how to start or what the best approach will be. The group will emphasize the practical over the theoretical. This group will meet to first identify an area of exploration, like data mining, network analysis, or spatial mapping, and will then work together with easily available software and tutorials to learn together. By the end of the academic year, we should each have something to show.


Leaders: Sara Poggio (Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communications), T. H. (Tim) Gindling (Economics), Felipe Filomeno (Political Science and Global Studies)

The Faculty Working Group on Immigration will bring together faculty members and graduate students who study international migration. Its purpose is to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching, research and service related to international migration at UMBC. International migration is a complex phenomenon, with cultural, economic and political aspects. Its causes, processes and consequences have been analyzed in multiple disciplines, from a variety of theoretical perspectives and with different research methods. UMBC currently has several faculty members and graduate students whose work on immigration reflects this diversity of approaches. However, for the most part, this work has been carried out independently, by individual faculty members and graduate students within their home departments. There is an untapped potential for interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching, research and service related to this broad thematic.

Sound Studies

Leaders: Maleda Belilgne (Africana Studies) and  Earl Brooks (English)

Over the past decade, sound studies has been generating a buzz in disciplines across the humanities. The dual purpose of this group is to: 1) facilitate more cross-disciplinary discussions about sound, and 2) bring together faculty members with shared interests to encourage collaboration. The group discusses relevant sound studies issues from different disciplinary perspectives, has informal presentations of their own in-process work, and listens to invited talks from guest speakers.

For a list of previous Faculty Working Groups, please visit the Archives page.