Graduate Exchange Program

2017-18 Projects

Youth Interrupting Images of Violence and History: The Talk Back
Gioconda Coello (Curriculum and Instruction)
Community Partner: Centro Hispano

This is a collaborative project with Ligia (Licho) Lopez Ph.D, Faisal Abdu'Allah Ph.D in partnership with Centro Hispano. The project aims to create a dialogue between Latinx and Afro-Latinx students from Madison and Mayan student-teachers in Guatemala. Madison students will reflect upon images selected by Mayan youth, make their own critique and produce new images that continue the dialogue. The workshops will be dedicated to reflect upon the images, their relation to the life of the students and how they want to represent their stories. Art will set up a conversation with larger and ongoing problems of racism and discrimination in the US and Latin America. The product will be an exhibit inviting viewers to learn, meditate, inquire, and reflect upon social and racial relations, politics and families, history and geography, and migration from the perspective of Latinx and Afro-Latinx youth.

Becoming Visible: Crafting Identity with Street Pulse Newspaper
Ruth Kellar (English)
Community Partner: Street Pulse Homeless Cooperative

This project hopes to help the vendors and writers of Street Pulse newspaper articulate their identities as individuals and as perceiving, interdependent members of a community. In a series of workshops, this project will bring writers from UW-Madison’s student population together with homeless vendors, talking and reading as a group in order to explore the potential that attentiveness and dialogue offer for becoming “visible.” Further sounding the distinctness that “story” offers, writers and vendors will work together in partnerships to craft narrative profiles for each vendor, developing their voices and establishing the conversation that grounds each unique individuality.

Rural Lives and Literature: Connecting the University with Rural Communities through Storytelling
Julia Meuse (English)
Community Partner: Dane County Library Service

This project seeks to forge stronger ties between the university and the underserved communities of rural Dane County and attempts to redress the increasingly urgent problem of regional, cultural and political polarity that plays out along a rural/urban divide. The combined reading and writing group will be held in local village libraries or civic spaces, where we’ll engage with classics of rural literature as well as provide opportunities for residents to tell their own stories. Acknowledging that cities can function as barriers to access, it takes seriously the Wisconsin Idea’s call to ensure “the borders of the university are the borders of the state” by physically moving out beyond the university setting and into the agricultural communities that perform a vital role in our state.

Humanities at the Humane Society
Laura Perry (English)

Community Partner: Dane County Humane Society

Sheltering and supporting vulnerable animals is deeply connected to sheltering and supporting vulnerable human populations. “Humanities at the Humane Society” will recognize the work of the Dane County Humane Society to address the intersecting needs of at-risk individuals, both human and animal. Through collecting stories of staff, volunteers, adopters, and animals, the project will document the shared legacies of social justice activism and animal welfare advocacy. The project’s website and accompanying materials will tell these stories together, inviting contributions from community members and helping to commemorate the upcoming centennial anniversary of the Dane County Humane Society.

Making Art Accessible: Improving the Museum Experience for Blind and Visually Impaired Community Members
Holly Rubalcava (Art History)
Community Partner: Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired and Chazen Museum of Art 

The project aims to make local art museums more inviting and accessible to blind and visually-impaired citizens of Dane County and surrounding areas. Working with the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Chazen Museum of Art, we will address the community’s needs and desires to have a meaningful art museum experience. I hope to create assistive tools, including audio guides, braille and/or large print labels and handouts or line drawings of paintings, that can be used by visually-impaired patrons to enjoy the Chazen Museum of Art’s excellent permanent collection.

The First Generation Project
Richelle Wilson (German, Nordic, and Slavic)
Community Partner: Madison Metropolitan School District

The First Generation Project is an after-school program for high school students who are “firsts”: the first in the family to go to college, come out, experience a faith transition, move out-of-state, or otherwise do something different (or differently). The students will be introduced to engaging literature, film, and other artistic works that speak to their situations. By analyzing and discussing these texts in a supportive environment, the students will develop and strengthen their communication and discussion skills; this will better equip them to express themselves to family and community members and host important bridge-building discussions. The program will also practically prepare the students for college, both by giving them the tools to write a compelling personal statement for their applications and by introducing them to discussion-based learning environment of college-level courses.