2023 PDGR Abstracts

1) The Refugee Experience, Past & Present – A Dance Theater Project. 

Ferolyn Angell, Lecturer in Dance, Humanities Division, University of Minnesota, Morris Campus. This project will use Dance Theater in a live performance and film and will focus on the refugee experience using sources found in writings of a refugee from Nazi Germany and interviews with immigrants and refugees in modern times.

2) Enhancements for a Textbook Accessible for Distance Education.

Marilyn Delong, Professor Emeritus, College of Design, Department of Design, Housing & Apparel, Twin Cities Campus. This project involves an online textbook that is made accessible to everyone at any time through the University library project. Marilyn DeLong has co-authored a textbook available for an undergraduate trends class in the College of Design. During the pandemic this large class was offered online only and post pandemic, sections are offered both in person and online. Two papers presented at recent conferences explored the marketability of the book. Student surveys of those using the online material have provided very positive evaluations of the book content. However, they also indicated that some added enhancements would be desirable, such as concrete examples of the “Trend Challenges” in each chapter, suggestions for activities and visual materials to support the text. I am asking for funding to hire a graduate student and/or an undergraduate student to contribute to such enhancements.

3) Travel Funds to Deliver a Paper to the XX International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress on Church, State, and Women’s Rights in Greece from World War II to the End of the Twentieth Century.

Vicky Demos (AKA Vasilikie Demos), Professor Emerita of Sociology Retired from the Division of the Social Sciences, Morris Campus. I’m requesting funding to travel to Melbourne, Australia, where I will attend the XX World Congress of Sociology on Resurgent Authoritarianism: Sociology of New Entanglements of Religions, Politics, and Economies (June 25-July 1) and deliver a paper on Church, State, and Women’s Rights in Greece from World War II to the end of the Twentieth Century. The paper responds to the theme of the conference, and it is completing a study of more than thirty years and culminating in a book on the construction of ethnicity/nationality among women in Greece and those of Greek background in Australia and the United States.

4) Minnesota’s Human Rights Stories.

Barbara A Frey, Director, Human Rights Program, Institute for Global Studies, Human Rights Program, Twin Cities Campus. Barbara Frey proposes to record a series of 8 to 10 oral history video interviews of human rights scholars and activists for the Minnesota Human Rights Archive. The MHR Archive is a collaborative project supported by Archives and Special Collections at the University of Minnesota Library which aims to preserve the memory of human rights activism for the benefit of research and education, and to empower those working to defend rights in future generations. The proposed oral interviews will highlight narrators with Minnesota connections who have worked as activists on racial justice, women’s human rights, and anti-torture campaigns. Their stories will be used in the MHR Archive’s fall 2023 inaugural exhibit, “Minnesota’s Human Rights Stories: Global Reach of Local Activism,” in Anderson Library. This funding will largely support student researchers for the project. 

5) Caddisfly Biodiversity of Ecuador: Discovery, Description, and Evolution.

 Ralph W. Holzenthal, Professor, Department of Entomology, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences, Twin Cities Campus. Caddisflies, or Trichoptera, are a diverse, cosmopolitan group of obligate freshwater inhabiting insects. The aquatic larvae are a vitally important component of the biota of rivers and lakes. As they feed, larvae process and cycle organic material to organisms at other trophic levels, including fish. Fly anglers mimic caddisflies in their lures to catch trout and other gamefish. The larvae are susceptible to pollution and other unnatural disturbances to water bodies and are used as biological indicators of water quality by various governmental agencies. There are about 17,000 species known. Much of this diversity occurs in tropical mountains, where much remains to be discovered and described. Over the last decade, research in Ecuador has discovered a remarkable diversity of species, including many endemic ones and dozens of new species. About 350 species have been discovered so far in Ecuador, but models predict that this represents only half of the species diversity. Information on this diversity has been used to support conservation of Ecuador’s unique ecosystems as well as elucidate new information on tropical caddisfly biology, ecology, and evolution. In this proposal I request funds to continue to explore this unique, but still largely unknown component of Earth’s biodiversity.

6) Severity Hierarchy in the Temper Outbursts of a Large Cohort of Psychiatrically Referred Youth.

Michael Potegal, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Program in Occupational Therapy, Center for Allied Health Professions, Twin Cities Campus. This proposal requests support for a consultation with statisticians at the University of Minnesota’s Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center (BDAC) for the analysis of the temper tantrums of psychiatrically referred youth and for subsequent presentation of the results. Preliminary analysis suggests that these tantrums may form a statistical “nested hierarchy” in which progressively more aggressive and damaging behaviors are added at each level of the hierarchy. The results would be clinically important because it also appears that the severity of tantrums may be associated with the general irritability and self-directed harm of the youth, their psychiatric diagnoses, degree of functional impairment in everyday life and use of clinical services including emergency room visits, hospitalizations and treatment with psychotropic medications. The theoretical significance of these results is the inference that escalating tantrum severity is driven by increasing intensity of anger, which my previous work has shown to be one of the two basic emotional/behavioral components of tantrums.

7) Sculpture Exhibition and Participation in The National Cast Iron Art Conference at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, Birmingham, AL; April 5-8, 2023.

Wayne E. Potratz, Professor Emeritus and Scholar of the College Emeritus Department of Art, College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities Campus. In April of 1988, Professor Thomas D. Gipe and I co-directed the first International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art. More than 250 artists from around the country and from England, Scotland, Belgium, Canada, and Japan came to Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, AL for three days of exhibitions, demonstrations, lectures, and panels. In the 35 years since that initial conference, the international conference just held its 9 th conference in Berlin [ September 15-21 ] and that initial conference has spawned regional conferences, such as the Western Iron Art Conference [ the 7th was just completed at USD in Vermillion, SD ] and Iron Tribe [ held biennially at New Mexico Highlands University ] and the National Cast Iron Art Conference. UMRA funding has allowed me to participate in the 8th and 9th International conferences and the 7th WIAC with exhibition participation, panel presentations, and lectures based on my ongoing creative research. For the National Conference at Sloss in April, I have proposed a panel presentation entitled “Iron Shift Critique: The Things I Love/Hate about Current Practice in Iron Art”. UMRA funding will allow me to travel to and participate in the 2023 conference.

8) A New Component for the Website to Serve the Needs of Groups on the Campuses of the University of Minnesota and Minnesota Citizens.

Riv-Ellen Prell, Professor Emerita of American Studies (affiliated with Center for Jewish Studies), College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities Campus. I am seeking funds to add an educational module to the website This website was developed alongside the 2017 University of Minnesota Library exhibition A Campus Divided: Progressives and Anticommunists, Racism and Antisemitism at the University of Minnesota 1930-1942, whose research and curation I led. The debate and movement that the exhibition inspired culminated in 2022 when the Board of Regents adopted a policy that allowed for applications by students, staff, and faculty, as well as Minnesota citizens, to propose renaming or retaining names on buildings that had been named more than 75 years ago. The website has had over 40,000 visitors in the last five years and is used by people throughout the world with interests in issues of higher education, racism, and antisemitism, as well as student movements. The proposed module will aid users of the website to better understand how the new University of Minnesota building renaming process works, and to help them to find useful archival documents and historical essays to aid them in this work.

9) Representing Subjectivity in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Madelon Sprengnether, Regents Professor Emerita, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities Campus. Representing Subjectivity in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Psychoanalysts, literary scholars, and most ordinary people share the assumption that we possess self-awareness (including the capacity for memory and reflection) and hence complex inner lives. Yet how did we develop this uniquely human trait? Is it written into our DNA, part of our evolutionary code? Or did it emerge over time, as an aspect of history and culture? My essay does not propose to answer this question, but rather to present it as a thought experiment. How does Shakespeare convey the illusion of complex consciousness in dramatic form? What may we learn from him, and how might his plays have influenced Western European ideas and attitudes (including those of Freud) about inwardness and individual self-consciousness or subjectivity?