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Current Faculty Working Groups

Continuing 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.

Digital Storytelling and Civic Agency in Higher Education

Leaders: Bill Shewbridge (Media and Communication Studies) and Bev Bickel (Language, Literacy, and Culture)

This group explores the research focus of digital storytelling including discussions of digital literacies and competencies in the humanities and social sciences, narrative and storytelling research, and classroom work across disciplines. The working group serves as a steering body for ongoing digital storytelling activities and connects with other campus work that involves storytelling for civic agency and engagement. The group promotes opportunities for faculty involved in digital storytelling research to share their experiences through presentations, workshops, roundtables and a possible one-day conference.

Disability Studies

Leaders: Drew Holladay (English) and Helena Mentis (Information Systems)

This group will focus on reading interdisciplinary scholarship in disability studies (DS) and its application in higher education and other contexts. They will read and discuss DS and DS-related theories of embodiment, epistemology, methodology, subaltern politics, and cultural analysis. Applications of DS include programs of inclusion, universal design, and accessibility in education and elsewhere (such as accessibility in technology and digital spaces). Group conversations will include how faculty can use DS scholarship in their classes and to redesign their own teaching practices.


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

The Immigration Faculty Working Group brings 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 theme.

Latin American Feminisms

Leaders: María Célleri (Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies), Tania Lizarazo (Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communications and Global Studies), Yolanda Valencia (Geography and Environmental Systems), and Thania Muñoz D. (Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication)

The Latin American Feminisms Working Group is an interdisciplinary multilingual research group that focuses on feminist and decolonial Latin American and Caribbean scholarship from a hemispheric perspective. Attentive to the inequitable politics of translation between South America and North America, the group centers scholarship from and for Latin America and the Caribbean.In particular, it considers the formation of Latin American and Caribbean feminisms from a decolonial and intersectional framework that honors the work of Indigenous, Black, and Brown women.We bring together faculty, graduate students, artists, and community members from the humanities and social sciences to engage in and debate issues around race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, mobility, feminism and decoloniality as these pertain to the Latin American and Caribbean hemisphere, which begins in the Southern Cone and extends to the Latinx/Chicanx diaspora. We read and discuss recent work around Latin American and Caribbean studies, invite scholars from Latin America to speak about their work, as well as collaborate to support our work and move our research projects forward.

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.