The Institute for the Humanities is pleased to announce the six University of Michigan projects granted seed funding through The Global Midwest initiative of Humanities Without Walls. This new, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded consortium consists of fifteen humanities institutes, including the U-M Institute for the Humanities, and is led by Director and Principal Investigator Dianne Harris of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) at the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign.

The Global Midwest initiative funds cross-institutional teams of faculty and graduate students pursuing research that focuses on a grand challenge: “The Global Midwest.” It is intended to stimulate collaborative research that rethinks and reveals the Midwest as a key site—both now and in the past—in shaping global economies and cultures.

“I’m excited about the diversity of projects coming from UM faculty, the range of cross-institutional collaborative networks set in motion, and the array of activities designed to communicate new understandings of “the global Midwest” to multiple publics,” said Sidonie Smith, director of the Institute for the Humanities.

The six projects are:

  • African Immigrants and the Global Midwest: Mapping Spaces of Experience, Horizons, and Humanitarian Zones in Detroit and the Twin Cities (Nancy Hunt, history and obstetrics & gynecology)
  • The Multilingual Midwest and Translation/Interpretation for Social Justice (Silke-Maria Weineck, German; and Yopie Prins, English)
  • The Midwest Performance Network (Holly Hughes, art & design, theatre & drama, women’s studies)
  • Exploring the Feasibility of a Digital Collections Aggregator for the Great Lakes Region (Paul Conway, information)
  • Midwest Media (filmic cultures in the Midwest) (Daniel Herbert, screen arts & cultures; and Richard Abel, international film & media)
  • The Midwaste: Residual Geographies (waste studies) (Andrew Herscher, architecture, Slavic, history of art; Shira Schwartz, comparative literature graduate student; and Nick Caverly, anthropology graduate student)

Each of these projects involves collaboration between U-M faculty and faculty at one or more of the other institutions comprising the consortium.

For more information on Humanities Without Walls and The Global Midwest, visit