The Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration seeks proposals from faculty in all departments to be mentors for a Graduate Research Fellow. Graduate Research Fellows are paid to assist faculty in their research. The Shapiro Center will support incoming graduate students for the 2017/2018 academic year.

Shapiro Center Graduate Research Fellowship [PDF]


2017–18 Shapiro Fellows

The Graduate Research Fellowship Award encourages research culture and provides intellectual and financial support to first year graduate students. The Fellow supports faculty in their research, creating opportunities for mentorship and professional development in research-based art practices for incoming graduate students who are selected through the admissions process.

Kerry Richardson (Faculty) and Graduate Fellow Jonatan Martinez's research project is The WarGames Tactical Media Collective. From the popular game America's Army to the expanded use of remote warfare via drones, videogames have become a key recruiting, training and operational tool for the US Military. The WarGames Tactical Media Collective is an ad hoc group of military veterans, media artists and teens who are collaboratively creating a series of art games that look critically at war. We see these art games as tactical media, designed to challenge the status quo in commercial videogames by calling into question both their visual aesthetics and the ideologies embedded in their gameplay. The WarGames Tactical Media Collective is a project of the Plug-In Studio, a socially engaged new media art group that collaborates with young people and adults in diverse Chicago neighborhoods. Adjunct Full Professor Kerry Richardson co-founded the Plug-In Studio with Steve Ciampaglia in 2012.

Abigail Glaum-Lathbury (Faculty) and Graduate Fellow Parvin Peivandi's research will develop into a publication of a book on the history of counter-fashion, to be titled The Rational Dress Society Presents: a History of Counter-Fashion. The book will be in collaboration with Los Angeles-based artist Maura Brewer called The Rational Dress Society. Together, they developed an experimental, un-gendered mono-garment called JUMPSUIT. The garment is designed to offer an alternative to the current fashion industry, aiming to replace all clothing in perpetuity. JUMPSUIT is both a wearable garment and a conversation. The history of counter-fashion, the practice of dressing as an expression of shared ideology research will culminate in a book and an online archive.

Robb Drinkwater (Faculty + Staff) with Graduate Fellow Ziv Ze'Ev Cohen examine speculative technology, as both an academic and art works to better understand the urban condition, from the microscopic to the macroscopic. They will focus on the person as the central object of urbanism. The research search has several components such as fabrication and programming of a wearable personal air quality monitor, making and deploying outdoor microphones to monitor the ambient audio environment, then collecting and analyzing the data for a better understanding of urban acoustics. And lastly, the creation of small sensor packs which collect data (temperature, humidity, air pressure, light level, motion, etc.) within the confines of an urban apartment.

Lisa Vinebaum (Faculty) and Graduate Fellow Kate Pritchard's project is Social Fabrics: The Art of Community. They will connect today's collaborative and socially-engaged projects by fiber artists to prior examples of communally-created, political textiles. The research is centrally concerned with past and present projects that bring people together to act against racial and economic injustices, emphasizing the role that textiles played and continue to play in struggles against colonialism, enslavement, racial violence, and white supremacy in the United States and beyond. The project considers various types of community—some more short-term and fleeting and others more durational—and it seeks to better understand how fiber materials and techniques can be used to foster social bonds and social change.

Jim Trainor (Faculty) along with Graduate Fellow Wanbli Wichakpi Hamilton-Gamache will work to develop "A Short History of the Overkill." They will do research on the controversial theory that the extinctions of almost all large mammal species in late prehistory, worldwide, were caused by human hunting. Jim will create an animated film to take on facts surrounding this theory from paleontological and archaeological circles. The new animation style mixes traditional hand-drawn animation(mostly cycles) with digital camera moves.

Patrick Lynn Rivers and Kai Wood Mah (Faculty) with Graduate Fellow Faysal Altunbozar will advance the final part of a book project titled Surviving a Massive Refugee Situation: A Manual for Designers. This will entail preparing a progressive urban plan for Komatipoort, a South African community along the South Africa-Mozambique border. In response to a 2012 South African government plan to build a "model" refugee camp near Komatipoort, the progressive plan will be used to undo the physical "state of exception" created for forced migrants to inhabit as a result of the government's "model." Project members will meaningfully play with notions of "the border" in a context where Mozambique is parsed from South Africa, with much of the South African side encompassing the world-famous Kruger conservation park. To this end, project members will use interdisciplinary speculative design to highlight Kruger's history before Kruger, the nation-state, colonization, and even human habitation—when species across difference were entangled without humanist exception. The project is an extension of Rivers and Mah's situated design research practice Afield.