Director of gender studies selected as first democracy researcher of the 21st century




University of Arkansas

With the goal of embracing democratic engagement and civic education through arts education and community engagement, INTERFORM has appointed Gender Studies Program Director and Communications Professor Lisa Corrigan, her first 21st Century Democracy Fellow.

CEO Robin Wallis Atkinson said, “INTERFORM is so excited about this fellowship, and as an organization dedicated to equity and inclusion, we believe we have a unique opportunity to communicate the importance of civic engagement to people who may not yet be part of the arts organizations and artists are leading the cutting-edge conversations that need to become important to society. We believe that democratic engagement can and should be viewed through a creative and progressive lens.

As the first Democracy Fellow of the 21st Century, Professor Corrigan will deliver a series of lectures, workshops and community interventions in a project she calls “The New Civics”.

Corrigan explains, “‘The New Civics’ is designed to offer inspiration and instruction in four areas: building inclusive democracy, politics and political engagement, community organizing and media literacy. is to help fill the gaps with and for organizations and communities in Northwest Arkansas who feel their political culture needs to be refined to include assessments of: democratic decision-making and the institution building, equitable distribution of resources, mutual aid and traditional political advocacy I am very grateful to INTERFORM for this opportunity and for their tremendous leadership in the regions on issues of equity and justice in the arts community of northwest Arkansas.”

Having spent two decades working in political communication, policy development, and community engagement, Corrigan sees this fellowship as “an opportunity to grow his collaborations with arts institutions in the region and across the state to expand their footprint in building democratic institutions and civic engagement”. .”

Professor Corrigan is the award-winning author of Prison Power: How Prison Politics Influenced the Black Liberation Movement (University Press of Mississippi, 2016), which received the 2017 Diamond Anniversary Book Award from the National Communication Association and the 2017 Outstanding Book Award from the Division of African American Communication and Culture, and Black Feelings: Race and Affect in the Long Sixties (University Press of Mississippi, 2020), which received the 2021 Honorable Mention for the Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award in the Outstanding Public Address Scholarship category. Additionally, Corrigan is the publisher of #MeToo: A Rhetorical Zeitgeist (Routledge, 2022). Most recently, she was a 2021-2022 Residential Research Fellow at the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas.

About INTERFORM: INTERFORM is a 501c3 nonprofit organization at the forefront of creative growth and change in our community. We envision a self-contained, design-driven fashion and arts industry in Northwest Arkansas, and we are building strong programs to directly support this vision. We encourage greater levels of creativity and provide the right education and resources to develop our designers and artists. We elevate and center the creative works of those who are underrepresented and use our platform to encourage others to do the same. We’re here to propel creatives forward and help them on their professional journey.

About Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with three schools, 16 departments, and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college offers the core curriculum to all University of Arkansas students and is named after J. William Fulbright, a former college president and longtime U.S. senator.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas offers an internationally competitive education to undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes to new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while providing services to academic and professional disciplines.

About Wanda Reilly

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