Work seeded at the Obermann Center often grows into larger and more complex projects years later. We are always pleased to see the ways that our funding creates ripple effects, whether two people meet via an Obermann event and go on to collaborate, or an Obermann-supported group writes a proposal that is accepted and blossoms into several years of research and exploration. Several such projects came to fruition this year.
In Summer 2013, as part of our Interdisciplinary Research Grant program, Amber Brian (Spanish & Portuguese, CLAS), Bradley Benton (History and Philosophy, North Dakota State University), and Pablo García Loaeza (World Languages & Literatures, West Virginia University) spent a month working at the Obermann Center to translate a native-centered narrative about the conquest of Mexico by Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl. A year later, they received a $250,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant that supported the preparation of their translation and edition of the major work by Ixtlilxochitl. The book, History of the Chichimeca Nation, was published by the University of Oklahoma Press.
Major federal grant
The Algorithms and Social Media Working Group, which has been affiliated with the Obermann Center since 2015, was awarded a three-year $1,026,047 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense through the Minerva Research Initiative to study the relationships between algorithmic personalization and radicalization (i.e., how algorithms reinforce the adoption of extreme political, social, and cultural views). This is a collaborative, interdisciplinary project that includes Brian Ekdale (Journalism & Mass Communication, CLAS), currently the director of the Working Group; Tim Havens (Communication Studies and African American Studies, CLAS); Rishab Nithyanand (Computer Science, CLAS); Andrew High, (Communication Studies, Penn State University); and Raven Maragh-Lloyd, who received her PhD from the University of Iowa and is now an assistant professor of Communication Studies at Gonzaga University. Read a full article about this group’s work.
New community/campus podcast
When Nathan Platte (Music and Cinematic Arts, CLAS) met Rebecca Fons (Programming Director, FilmScene) during an Obermann Conversation in April 2019, they discovered a shared passion for all things cinema. Platte, who was an Obermann Fellow-in-Residence in Fall 2018, curated a series with FilmScene in Spring 2020, which was cut short by COVID. Last summer, he reached out to Fons and suggested that they create a podcast together that might buoy the presence of the non-profit while it was forced to remain closed. FilmCastPodScene, which is co-hosted by the duo and produced by Platte, has recorded twelve episodes as of this writing.