The Inclusion Imperative is a major five-year initiative promoting diversity and inclusive excellence in the humanities. The program is made possible through a grant to UMBC from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
PROGRAM YEAR HIGHLIGHTS
UMBC and the Dresher Center for the Humanities launched year one of the five-year Inclusion Imperative Program in 2017-2018. With guidance from the program’s steering committee, which is comprised of faculty and administrators from UMBC and partners Bowie State University, Coppin State University, and Howard University, we promoted and shared program information on our campuses. Our accomplishments in this first year include:
Selecting our first Visiting Faculty Fellows
The Inclusion Imperative’s Visiting Faculty Fellowship Program welcomed applications from full-time faculty of all ranks who are pursuing humanities-based research at colleges and universities in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia, and who are committed to diversity in the academy and to the advancement of groups historically underrepresented in the professoriate.
Following a successful competition in fall 2017, the selection committee offered our inaugural fellowships to Dr. Katherine Bankole-Medina, Professor of History, Coppin State University, and Dr. Theresa Runstedtler, Associate Professor of History, American University. Both will be in residence in the Dresher Center in academic year 2018-19. During their tenure, the Visiting Fellows will advance their research projects and participate in Inclusion Imperative and Dresher Center activities. Dr. Bankole-Medina will study accounts of African American health and clinical care from 1877 to 1918, drawn from the Maryland Medical Journal. Dr. Runstedtler will explore the intersection of blackness, masculinity, labor, and criminalization through the lens of 1970s professional basketball.
Conducting two Humanities Teaching Labs
Humanities Teaching Labs (HTLabs) are designed to introduce faculty and students to new media tools and methods for community-engaged humanities teaching and learning. We were pleased to hold two HTLabs this spring.
Frederick Douglass Day marked the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass in February 2018 with a public celebration and “transcribe-a-thon,” where faculty and students learned how to develop and use digital crowdsourcing projects in the classroom. Participants also helped transcribe portions of the Freedmen’s Bureau Papers, as part of a national activity organized by the Colored Conventions Project and the Smithsonian Transcription Center. Read more about the event here.
Digital Humanities and Difference in Research and Teaching, held in March 2018, featured a keynote talk by Dr. Roopika Risam, Assistant Professor of English, Salem State University, on her digital humanities project, Mapping W.E.B. DuBois. Four UMBC faculty panelists presented their current digital humanities research and discussed how they integrate diversity-focused digital humanities projects in their classrooms. Read more about the event here.
Inaugurating the Diversity Teaching Network in the Humanities
The program’s regional Diversity Teaching Network develops activities that expand conversations on diversity in the curriculum, advance community-engaged and other socially aware humanities pedagogies, and create a supportive environment for faculty at UMBC, our partner institutions, and other area colleges and universities.
Our first Network workshop, Pursuing Inclusive Teaching in the Classroom, included a keynote address from Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and President of the National Academy of Education, who is a renowned expert on culturally responsive teaching. The UMBC Faculty Development Center offered a workshop on inclusive teaching that addressed the contexts of race, class, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, and learning styles. Faculty from UMBC, Bowie State University, Coppin State University, and Johns Hopkins University were among the workshop participants.