Congratulations to Dr. Tanya Saunders (Latin American Studies) and Dr. Manoucheka Celeste (African American Studies), for receiving the Intersections: Research-into-Teaching Grant for their project, “How does Blackness travel locally and across the globe?” The grant, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is awarded by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere.

“Intersections Groups demonstrate the urgency for scholars to mobilize interdisciplinary collaboration with the humanities in order to respond to grand challenges,” says Prof. Barbara Mennel, Interim Director of the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. “Importantly, the Intersections Groups will translate scholarship into teaching to expose first-year students to the significance of the humanities in multiple thematic contexts.”

Saunders will serve as the grant PI and Celeste as the Co-PI. Group members for the project include Paul Ortiz (History), Michael Leslie (Telecommunication), Nicholas Vargas (Latin American Studies), Benjamin Hebblethwaite (Languages, Literature & Culture), and Bryce Henson (African American Studies), who played a key role in developing the grant proposal. Affiliates of the group include Sharon Austin (Director, African American Studies Program), Efraín Barradas, (Center for Latin American Studies), Christopher Busey (Teaching and Teaching Education), Coco Fusco (School of Art + Art History), Lillian Guerra (History), Jillian Hernandez (Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research), and Agnes Leslie (Center for African Studies).

The group aims to further our understanding of how Blackness travels across the globe via diverse Black communities, politics, and identities. Through culturally sustaining pedagogies, the group will offer tools for higher education to support the cultural practices of communities of color, improving over-all campus climate and the retention of students and faculty members of color.

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