Envisioning the Future Academy

Envisioning the Future Academy: A HuMetricsHSS Convocation was a virtual event run in two sessions on May 9th and 10th, 2024.

This virtual event brought together scholars, administrators, and activists at the forefront of creating a more supportive, equitable, just, and values-driven academy. Institutional transformation can be slow and difficult, and yet increasingly we see examples of successful growth. Panelists spoke about their work, ranging from formally recognizing a broader range of academic work, creating stronger working conditions for contingent faculty and staff, and transforming policies that allow for stronger faculty governance.

Day One:

Envisioning the Future Academy - Opening Panel Transcript


Sonja Fritzsche (moderator): Sonja Fritzsche is Professor of German Studies and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Administration in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. In addition, she served as Department Chair and for six years as Associate Dean for Academic Personnel. In these roles, she has focused on values-enacted leadership that includes equitable and inclusive searches and faculty review procedures, College-wide faculty development and leadership initiatives that employ “transformative listening” (ADFL Bulletin 2022), creating habits of diversity, equity, and inclusion across the College, and non-tenure stream mentoring and career pathways. Fritzsche has published widely in the area of twentieth/twenty-first century German Studies, particularly comparative Cold War/Eastern European utopian film/literature and disability studies. She has also published on the Charting Pathways of Intellectual Leadership initiative (2022) together with colleagues Bill Hart-Davidson and Chris Long.

Trevor Parry-Giles: Trevor Parry-Giles is a Professor in the Department of Communication and the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs & Research in the College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Maryland. Dr. Parry-Giles’s research and teaching focus on the historical and contemporary relationships between rhetoric, politics, law, and popular culture. The author or editor of four books, Dr. Parry-Giles is a recipient of the Kohrs Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism and the Diamond Anniversary Book Award from the National Communication Association. He is also a recipient of the University of Maryland’s Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award (2019), was a HuMetricsHSS Community Fellow (sponsored by the HuMetricsHSS Humane Metrics Initiative with support from the Mellon Foundation), and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Eastern Communication Association.

Stephanie ShonekanStephanie Shonekan is professor of ethnomusicology and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland. From 2003-2011, she was a faculty member at Columbia College Chicago and was also the director of the Black World Studies Program and the associate director of the Cultural Studies Program. From 2011-2018, she was a faculty member at the University of Missouri in the Black Studies Department and the School of Music. She became chair of the Black Studies department at the University of Missouri from 2015-2018. While at Mizzou, Dr. Shonekan created and ran various programs geared towards inclusion and diversity on campus. For example, she created a campuswide program called Citizenship@Mizzou, a mandatory program for all incoming students to the university. The program was also customized for faculty and staff. She also created The Huddle, a mentoring program for underrepresented faculty across the campus.

Kiril Tomoff: Kiril Tomoff joined the faculty at University of California, Riverside in 2001 after completing with distinction his Ph.D. in Russian and Soviet History at the University of Chicago.  He completed his undergraduate work summa cum laude at the University of Arizona in 1992.  His research interests include the intersection of musical life and Russian and Soviet history, as well as twentieth-century world history, transnational cultural exchange, and the Cold War.  He is the author numerous articles and two books: Virtuosi Abroad:  Soviet Music and Imperial Competition during the Early Cold War, 1945-1958 (Cornell, 2015), and Creative Union: The Professional Organization of Soviet Composers, 1939-1953 (Cornell, 2006).  He is also co-editor, with Golfo Alexopoulos and Julie Hessler, of Writing the Stalin Era: Sheila Fitzpatrick and Soviet Historiography (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).  He is a past Director of the University of California's Moscow Study Center (2004-05), a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad Fellow (1998-99), and a Senior Fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University (2012-13).  At UCR, he has served as the Vice Chair (2015-16) and Chair (2016-18) of the History Department, and he is now Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.  He is currently working on a major research project tentatively entitled "Dominant Chords:  Music and Soviet Cultural Empire, 1945-1958."  Besides modern Russian history, his teaching interests include 20th-century Europe, the Cold War, and the 20th-century world.

Day Two:

Envisioning the Future Academy - Panel One Transcript


Rachel Borchardt: Rachel Borchardt is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at American University in Washington, DC. Her research focuses on equitable models for producing and evaluating scholarship, and she is the co-author of the 2016 OA book Meaningful Metrics: A 21st-Century Librarian’s Guide to Bibliometrics, Altmetrics, and Research Impact. She serves as a core member for an NSF Accelerating Research Translation grant, a university-wide grant which aims to integrate societal impact into research translation activities at AU, as well as a team member for an NSF ADVANCE grant, where she is working to educate administrators and other campus evaluators on use of the Boyer Model and how it facilitates evaluation of societal and other forms of non-traditional impact.

Katherine D. Harris: Director of Public Programming & Professor of Literature & Digital Humanities, Harris has spent her career at San Jose State University, a comprehensive master's-granting institution, and leads the College's initiatives around Public Humanities, directs several grant-funded projects focused on community engagement, and teaches history of the book and print culture. Long a proponent of embedding pedagogy into the field of Digital Humanities, first with ProjectBamboo and then as one of the original 2011 panelists on the "Future of DH," she continued this crusade as co-editor of the award-winning Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities. She chaired the California Open Educational Resources Council (funded by CA State funds, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Gates Foundation), a state-wide initiative to implement OER into the 123 campuses of the California State University, University of California, and California Community Colleges. She is the current project investigator for the DH@CSU initiative to build a DH consortium across all 23 CSU campuses funded by the Digital Ethnic Futures Consortium (Mellon Foundation), serves as a DEFCon mentor to DEFCon Teaching and Capacity Building Fellows to implement Digital Humanities on their campuses, and has authored monographs and collaborative articles on nineteenth-century literary scholarship and Digital Humanities pedagogy. During her three years as chair of the College of H&A Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Committee, she successfully implemented the HuMetricsHSS model in an effort to shift culture around holistic and humane RTP practices.

Lasana Kazembe: Dr. Lasana D. Kazembe is an Emmy-nominated poet, educator, and critical Black scholar whose work examines culture, history, education, and the arts. Dr. Kazembe’s research expertise spans culturally sustaining pedagogy, reflective teaching, and sociocultural foundations of education. Additionally, his work examines cultural memory and teacher mastery with a focus on locating and reinscribing shared histories, memories, meanings, traditions, culture, accumulated folk experiences of Africana peoples. As Poet and Spoken Word Artist, Dr. Kazembe has presented at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., and venues in Canada and Africa. As Teaching Artist, he facilitates creative writing and arts learning programs within youth detention centers, prisons, community centers, K12 schools, and other learning spaces. As a curriculum development specialist, Dr. Kazembe develops learning enrichment opportunities that intersect education, creative arts, literacy, and history. His aesthetic sensibilities are steeped in the deep, rich, and sentient genealogy of the African Diasporic experience and is interlaced with storied traditions found in jazz, blues, spirituals, Hip Hop and the deep well of Africana/Black American cultural traditions spoken and written.

Katina Rogers: Katina Rogers is a writer, educator, and independent scholar. She is the author of Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: Thriving in and beyond the Classroom (Duke University Press, 2020) and Presence of Absence: Meditations on the Unsayable in Writing (punctum books, 2024). In 2021 she founded Inkcap Consulting to work with colleges and universities to design and implement creative, sustainable, and equitable structures for humanities education. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, LA Review of Books, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

This panel was moderated by HuMetricsHSS Co-PI Nicky Agate, whose bio can be found on our Team page.

Envisioning the Future Academy - Closing Panel Transcript


Kimberly R. Moffitt: Dr. Kimberly R. Moffitt is Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, professor of Language, Literacy & Culture and affiliate professor of Africana Studies. Her teaching interests include culture, media studies/criticism, Black hair and body politics, sports and media, and popular culture. Dr. Moffitt’s research focuses on mediated representations of marginalized groups as well as the politicized nature of Black hair and the body. She has published five co-edited volumes, including Michelle Obama and the FLOTUS Effect: Platform, Presence, and Agency (Race, Representation, and American Political Institutions) (Lexington Books, 2019), Gladiators in Suits: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Representation in Scandal (Syracuse University Press, 2019), Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair and Body Politics in Africana Communities (Hampton Press, 2010), The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign (SUNY Press, 2010) and The 1980s: A Transitional Decade? (Lexington Books, 2011).

Psyche Williams-Forson: Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson is Professor and Chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park. She is an affiliate faculty member of the Theatre, Dance, and Performing Studies, the Departments of Anthropology, African American Studies, The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity. She is a material culturalist who examines the lives of African Americans living in the United States from the late 19th century to the present. Her research explores the ways in which Black people (broadly define) engage their material worlds, especially with food and food cultures as well as historical legacies of race and gender (mis)representation. She has conducted extensive research throughout the United States in this area using intersectionality, cultural studies, popular culture, and more to inform our understanding of these phenomena.

This final panel was moderated by HuMetrics Co-PI Bonnie Thornton Dill, whose bio can be found on our Team page.