Faculty Working Groups

Anti-Racism and Action

Leader: Elaine MacDougall (English)

The Anti-Racism and Action Faculty Working Group seeks to promote new coalitions, conversations, and creative work surrounding anti-racism. Envisioned as a collaborative, interdisciplinary community of scholars that will support this work and spur research and teaching activity focused on anti-racism, the group meets regularly to read, discuss, listen to experts, and/or plan research and activism, as the members may decide. UMBC faculty from any department, faculty from other area colleges and universities, and advanced UMBC graduate students are invited to join.

Data Studies

Leaders: Jessica Pfeifer (Philosophy) and Susan Sterett (Public Policy)

Data analysis, in both for-profit and public governance, can contribute to improving lives or exacerbating inequality or exposure to risk. The Data Studies Faculty Working Group explores problems about the questions people ask, how they share information, and how the availability of online records draws more people into surveillance by both state and private actors. How does one ask good questions driven by shared concerns, rather than availability of records? How do you craft collaborative analyses?  The group meets to discuss the implications of the rise of data analytics.

Digital Storytelling and Civic Agency in Higher Education

Leaders: Bill Shewbridge (Media and Communication Studies) and Bev Bickel (Language, Literacy, and Culture)

The Digital Storytelling and Civic Agency in Higher Education Faculty Working Group explores the research focus of digital storytelling including discussions of digital literacies and competencies in the humanities and social sciences, narrative and storytelling research, and classroom work across disciplines. They serve as a steering body for ongoing digital storytelling activities and connect with other campus work that involves storytelling for civic agency and engagement. The group promotes opportunities for faculty involved in digital storytelling research to share their experiences through presentations, workshops, roundtables and a one-day conference.

Disability Studies

Leader: Drew Holladay (English)

The Disability Studies Faculty Group group focuses on reading interdisciplinary scholarship in disability studies (DS) and its application in higher education and other contexts. They read and discuss DS and DS-related theories of embodiment, epistemology, methodology, subaltern politics, and cultural analysis. Applications of DS include programs of inclusion, universal design, and accessibility in education and elsewhere (such as accessibility in technology and digital spaces). Group conversations can include how faculty can use DS scholarship in their classes and to redesign their own teaching practices.


Leaders: Sara Poggio (Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communications) and T. H. (Tim) Gindling (Economics)

The Immigration Faculty Working Group brings together faculty members and graduate students who study international migration to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching, research, and service related to international migration at UMBC. International migration is a complex phenomenon, with cultural, economic and political aspects. Its causes, processes and consequences have been analyzed in multiple disciplines, from a variety of theoretical perspectives and with different research methods. UMBC currently has several faculty members and graduate students whose work on immigration reflects this diversity of approaches. However, for the most part, this work has been carried out independently, by individual faculty members and graduate students within their home departments. There is an untapped potential for interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching, research and service related to this broad theme.

Latin American Feminisms

Leaders: María Célleri (Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies), Tania Lizarazo (Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communications and Global Studies), Yolanda Valencia (Geography and Environmental Systems), and Thania Muñoz D. (Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication)

The Latin American Feminisms Working Group is an interdisciplinary multilingual research group that focuses on feminist and decolonial Latin American and Caribbean scholarship from a hemispheric perspective. Attentive to the inequitable politics of translation between South America and North America, the group centers scholarship from and for Latin America and the Caribbean. In particular, it considers the formation of Latin American and Caribbean feminisms from a decolonial and intersectional framework that honors the work of Indigenous, Black, and Brown women. They bring together faculty, graduate students, artists, and community members from the humanities and social sciences to engage in and debate issues around race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, mobility, feminism and decoloniality as these pertain to the Latin American and Caribbean hemisphere, which begins in the Southern Cone and extends to the Latinx/Chicanx diaspora. We read and discuss recent work around Latin American and Caribbean studies, invite scholars from Latin America to speak about their work, as well as collaborate to support our work and move our research projects forward.

Sound Studies

Leader: Earl Brooks (English)

Over the past decade, sound studies has been generating a buzz in disciplines across the humanities. Contributing to that conversation, the Sound Studies Faculty Working Group seeks to facilitate more cross-disciplinary discussions about sound and bring together faculty members with shared interests to encourage collaboration. The group discusses relevant sound studies issues from different disciplinary perspectives, has informal presentations of their own in-process work, and listens to invited talks from guest speakers.