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College of Arts and Sciences

Research/Creative Groups: 2022-2023

The Humanities Collaborative is sponsoring seven groups for the 2022-2023 academic year . These groups are pursuing public, critical, creative, or digital humanities projects, as well as sponsoring programming that reaches undergraduate- and graduate-student audiences.

Current groups are conceived expansively, to include critical workshops, works-in-progress, and public outreach. Please check back soon for more details about each group and their upcoming events!

Note: University departments or affiliations are listed in parentheses.

The Comics Studies at USC Working Group is an interdisciplinary collaboration that works to support the USC community in the study and teaching of comics and to aid in the development and use of USC’s significant comics-related resources. The group seeks to build from these resources to establish USC as a hub for comics studies and comics culture throughout the state and region. During the next year the group envisions taking steps to augment the existing network of faculty, students, and practitioners around USC, enhancing the accessibility and encourage the use of the University Libraries’ remarkable comics collections, and provide a forum to discuss and present both the work of the group’s members as well as key innovations and interventions in comics studies and practice.


  • Dawn Campbell (Women’s and Gender Studies)  
  • Northrop Davis (Media Arts) 
  • Rebecca Janzen (Languages, Literatures, & Cultures)  
  • Andy Kunka (USC Sumter—English, Eisner Award Nominee) 
  • Mark Minett (Film & Media Studies and English) 
  • David Shay (Rare Books) 
  • Timothy Simmons (Thomas Cooper Library)
  • Marius Valdes (Studio Art—Design and Illustration)  
  • Susan Vanderborg (English)  
  • (Co-PI) Michael Weisenburg (Rare Books) 
  • (Co-PI) Qiana Whitted (English and African American Studies, Eisner Award Winner) 

This collaborative effort engages students from backgrounds currently underrepresented in archaeology. We will facilitate undergraduates at USC and local HBCUs who are interested in archaeology to participate in career-building programs, such as speaker networking events, professional conferences, and field schools. These efforts aim to reduce structural barriers preventing inclusion and to establish trajectories for students to enter archaeology graduate programs.


  • (PI) Kelly Goldberg (Anthropology) 
  • (PI) Adam King (SCIAA) 
  • (PI) Nina Schreiner (Anthropology) 
  • Joanna Casey (Anthropology)
  • Althea Counts (TRIO)
  • Eric Crawford (Benedict Honors College)
  • Holly Crocker (English, Humanities Collaborative)
  • Eric Jones (Anthropology)
  • Meeghan Kane (Benedict History)
  • Jonathan Leader (SCIAA)
  • Allison McLetchie (SC State)
  • Julie Morris (Undergrad Research)
  • Kim Overmier (USC Honors College)
  • Jennifer Reynolds (Anthropology)
  • Caroline Wallace (LGBTQ/Office of Multicultural Student Affairs)
  • Terry Weik (Anthropology)


  • (PI) Dr. James Risk, Faculty Associate for CAS’s Founding Documents Initiative and Instructor for History
  • Stephanie Davis, Founding Documents Post Doc for Political Science
  • Kendall Deas, Founding Documents Post Doc for African American Studies
  • David “Mac” Marquis, Founding Documents Post Doc for History
  • Madeline Steiner, Founding Documents Post Doc for History
  • Dr. Rodney Taylor, Founding Documents Post Doc for African American Studies  (

Classically, the study of perception aims to understand its limits what is the lowest level of physical stimuli that can be detected. It seeks to define thresholds, the boundaries between the visible and invisible. The topic of (in)visibility within the humanities can take on many meanings, such as the thresholds between public and private spaces, the believed and ignored, the shown and hidden, surface and depth, the masked and unmasked. Our collaboration bridges the science and philosophy of perception with the aesthetics and physicality of making, as we question the meaning of visibility and invisibility, culminating in a public exhibition and symposium. We hope to understand how the line between states of visibility and invisibility may be both marked and mutable, and open points of critical inquiry within the present cultural moment.


  • (PI) Melanie Palomares (Psychology)
  • (PI) Sara Schneckloth (School of Visual Art and Design -SVAD)
  • Stephanie Allen, Undergraduate (SVAD Studio Art and English, Honors College)
  • John Ceballes, Instructor (Philosophy)
    Brent Dedas
    , Associate Professor (SVAD Studio Art)
  • John Fitz Rogers, Professor (School of Music)
  • Carleen Maur, Assistant Professor (SVAD Media Arts)
  • Beth Myers, Instructor (Psychology)
  • Mary Robinson, Professor (SVAD Studio Art)
  • Katherine Ryker, Associate Professor (School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment, Geology Education)
  • Jennifer Vendemia, Associate Professor (Psychology)
  • Doug Wedell, Professor (Department of Psychology, Director, Institute of Mind and Brain)

Despite its historic and contemporary importance, lumbering, manufacturing, and conserving South Carolina’s forests had been grossly under researched until this year, when members of this group began meeting to share findings and generate content for a new anthology that will, we believe, not only shift the narrative about the industrial history of the state but also launch important efforts in environmental humanities and other fields. The timing is auspicious as we approach the confluence of several notable anniversaries: the 2024 centennial of the death of the Chicago lumberman whose will established the Francis Beidler Charitable Trust that, in the 1970s, facilitated the creation of both Congaree National Monument/Park and SC Audubon’s Francis Beidler Forest, each of which will soon mark their 50th anniversaries and the 2027 centennial of the founding of South Carolina’s Forestry Commission, an important state agency that presaged South Carolina Parks.  


  • (PI) Jessica Elfenbein, Professor of History, USC Columbia
  • Edward Blessing, Archivist, South Caroliniana Library, USC Columbia
  • Debbie Bloom, Librarian and Project Archivist, Columbia
  • Jordan Davis, PhD student, Anthropology and Archeology, University of Texas, Austin (2022 MA recipient, USC’s Anthropology program)
  • Amie Freeman, Librarian, USC Columbia
  • T. Robert Hart, Instructor of History, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  • Al Hester, South Carolina Parks
  • Mark Kinzer, National Park Service, Atlanta
  • Matt Johnson, Francis Beidler Forest, Audubon SC
  • Andrea L’Hommedieu, Oral Historian, USC Columbia
  • Kelsey Moore, PhD student, History, Johns Hopkins University
  • Tom Lekan, Professor of History, USC Columbia
  • Morgan Vickers, PhD student, Geography, University of California, Berkeley

SouthernGauge is a film screening series in Columbia, SC that brings experimental, independent, and new cinema to the greater Columbia area. Bringing together faculty and staff from the Moving Image Research Collection, School of Visual Art and Design and Data and Communication, SouthernGauge celebrates the underground and the experimental while also fostering community collaboration through regular 16mm and digital screenings and new media experiences throughout the city.


Carleen Maur, Faculty in School of visual Art and Design
Laura Major, Staff in the Moving Image Research Collection
Chaz Evans, Faculty in School of Visual Art and Design
Kimberly O'Quinn, Staff in Moving Image Research Collection
George Fetner, Staff in College of Information and Communication

Despite a destructive series of colonial invasions, revolutions, and internal wars, in the twentieth century the transpacific region saw an unprecedented increase in the number of creative collaborations that crossed national, linguistic, and cultural boundaries. The intermingling of creative and political enterprises has often served as a subject of public scorn and intellectual dismissal, especially in instances of cultural collaboration produced by creative artists compelled to interface with adversarial political entities or ideologies, but recent scholarship attempts to transcend historical biases and limiting models of rigid dichotomies. Through a series of monthly seminars throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, the members of this research group hope to collectively develop robust and flexible theoretical frameworks for analyzing the creative potentials of artistic and political collaborations in the region. Our efforts will culminate in the fall of 2022 with a research project workshop and multiple guest speaker public events.


  • (PI) Kunio Hara, Associate Professor (Music)
  • (PI) Gregory Patterson, Assistant Professor (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
  • (PI) Amanda Wangwright, Associate Professor (School of Visual Art and Design)
  • Byeongwon Ha, Assistant Professor, Media Arts (School of Visual Art and Design)
  • Guo Jie, Associate Professor (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
  • Cheng (Grace) Yan, Assistant Professor (Sport and Entertainment Management)
  • Fang Man, Associate Professor (Music)
  • Chihchi Sunny Tsai, Ph.D. Student


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.