DK Summer Institute 2016

Announcing Summer Institute 2016 Call for Applications

Democratizing Knowledge/Mellon Summer Institute
Just Academic Spaces: Creating New Publics through Radical Literacies Syracuse University, 13-18 June 2016

The DK/Mellon 2016 Summer Institute will bring together faculty,
advanced doctoral students, and activist-scholars from the humanities and social sciences across the US to examine the current state of US higher education; explore productive dialogues between community organizations, activists, and scholar-activists; and work on collaborative strategies to create a more just academy. Together, scholar-activists and community partners will share how these collaborations build new, sometimes unexpected, kinds of publics between critical academic scholarship and community-based organizations.

The Institute will begin on Day One with an intellectual, pedagogical, and curricular orientation to situate the current state of higher education institutions and the communities in which they are located. On Days Two through Five, participants will partake in skills-building workshops as well as visit different community-focused agencies with the goal of producing a final project. The three agencies are La Casita, the Dunbar Center and Art Rage. La Casita is a program of the College of Arts and Sciences established to advance an educational and cultural agenda of civic engagement through research, cultural heritage preservation, media, and the arts, bridging the Hispanic communities of Syracuse University and Central New York. Art Rage is a small, non-profit urban gallery dedicated to not only showing creative objects, but supporting a humanistic conscience. The Dunbar Center is a community-based center committed to providing comprehensive services and leadership that promote successful families and communities.

This project will share pedagogical and curricular responses designed to democratize institutional structures; integrate gender, sexuality, class, race, and indigenous and transnational experiences throughout all learning and knowledge-producing spaces; garner institutional support to create structures that dismantle entrenched inequities and exclusion; and develop community partnerships based on mutual respect for experience and knowledge. The institute culminates on Day Six in a day-long symposium where participants will share their reflections/projects and engage in a dialogue about bringing their knowledges from the Institute to their home institutions and communities.

The Institute is designed by the SU Democratizing Knowledge Collective, and directed by SU faculty Linda Carty and Chandra Talpade Mohanty. Invited workshop leaders include Barbara Ransby, Professor, African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Amina Mama, Professor, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, and Co-Director of the Social Justice Initiative, UC Davis; Margo Okazawa-Rey, Professor, School of Human and Organizational Development, Fielding Graduate University, CA, and Jane Watson Irwin Chair in Women’s Studies at Hamilton College; Delores Delgado Bernal, Professor, Education, Culture, and Society at the University of Utah; and colleagues from the Participatory Action Research Center for Education Organizing (PARCEO). Subsequent iterations of the Institute will take place at Rutgers-Newark (2017) and Spelman College (2018).

Eligibility: Doctoral Students who have completed at least two years of course work, postdoctoral scholars, and pre-tenure faculty in contingent and tenure-track positions who are working on issues related to the topic of the Institute. Minority scholars and those who are at HBCUs and other primarily minority-serving institutions are especially encouraged to apply. Room and board is fully covered for the 15 successful applicants. If needed, financial assistance is also available for travel to Syracuse.

Application requirements:

Cover letter detailing your interest in “Just Academic Spaces,” including a description of a project you are currently engaged in or want to develop in the future as an outcome of the Institute.

Name and contact of two referees   

Short Curriculum Vitae (2 pages)

Apply here!

Application Deadline: 1 February 2016 (notification by 20 February 2016)

For further information, please contact Meredith Madden, DK Program Assistant and Dellareese T Jackson, DK/Mellon Graduate Assistant at

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