More about the minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation:

Innovative Work by Brandeis Faculty Supported by Grants from CAST Program

January 12, 2015

The faculty committee of the minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) has just awarded grants of $2,000 each to four members of the Brandeis faculty, for research and creative projects.

The awards will support creative and scholarly inquiry into theory and practice at the nexus of arts, culture and social change; enhance teaching and advising; and animate an interdisciplinary conversation about creativity, social justice and peacebuilding through the arts.

These awards are possible through generous funding from the Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Foundation and the vision of Naomi Sinnreich P ’13.

Grant recipients will share their work with the Brandeis community in the fall of 2015.

The inaugural CAST Faculty Grant projects:

Performance and the Rehumanization of the Other

Prof. Adrianne Krstansky (Theater) will study the themes of resistance, rehumanization and reconciliation that are the organizing principle of the Acting Together on the World Stage anthology and documentary produced by the Ethics Center’s Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts and Theatre Without Borders: “I wish to understand how the making of theater with communities in crisis contributes to these ‘three Rs’,” says Krstansky. She will synthesize her research by developing the syllabus for an undergraduate course on theater and race.

The Birdsong Project

Prof. Judith Eissenberg (Music) will collaborate with Prof. Dan Perlman (Biology), students, a composer and guest artists to produce a new musical work incorporating the songs of birds at risk of extinction. “Musicians and scientists will be working together to amplify the voices of our fellow non-human beings in an effort to forge a more positive relationship between humans, animals and the environment,” says Eissenberg.

My American Girls

Prof. Azlin Perdomo, (Hispanic Studies, Romance Studies) will create an interactive art website that will engage students in the lives of five undocumented women she will interview. “Visually and structurally, it will closely resemble the American Girl website to invite the viewer to compare and confront how these immigrant women, not legally recognized as citizens, are indeed Americans,” says Perdomo.

Choreographing the Disabled Body: Gender, Performance, and Zionism in the work of Tamar Borer

Prof. Ilana Szobel (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies) will engage students in her research into the work of prominent Israeli artist Tamar Borer. Despite a car accident that left her paralyzed in both legs, Borer continues to dance, create, teach and perform. “The project addresses Tamar Borer’s art in relation to Israeli dance and culture in order to explore control and fragility, as well as sexuality, along with femininity and sexual vulnerability,” says Szobel. “Additionally, this study contextualizes Borer’s work within its larger Israeli political settings.”