Isaac Weiner Wins Global Midwest Grant from Humanities without Walls Consortium

January 16, 2015
Isaac Weiner

Congratulations to Isaac Weiner, assistant professor in Comparative Studies, who recieved $30,000 for the Religious Soundmap of the Midwest project from the Global Midwest Grants from Humanities without Walls Consortium. Weiner's project was one of three Ohio State projects that were awarded grants from the consortium.

Humanities without Walls is a consortium that links humanities centers at 15 Midwestern research universities, including Ohio State’s Humanities Institute. The consortium was founded three years ago with a $3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and exists to create new avenues for collaborative research, teaching and the production of scholarship in the humanities, according to Rick Livingston, associate director at the Humanities Institute.  The consortium is based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Earlier this year, Ohio State’s Humanities Institute presented planning grants to six university projects. Of the six, four of the proposals were presented to the consortium for consideration. Each of the projects includes collaborators from at least one of the other consortium member universities.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for stimulating intra-institutional and cross-institutional research,” Livingston explained. “It draws on the idea that the different institutions can contribute to projects in different ways.”
The Religious Soundmap of the Midwest project will use audio recording and digital mapping technology to study the religious diversity of American cities. Student researchers will produce audio recordings of religious practices across a wide range of local sites. These recordings will be integrated along with interviews, visual images and explanatory texts, onto a publicly accessible, online mapping platform, which will provide a valuable research tool and pedagogical resource for specialists and non-specialists alike. The project is being headed by Isaac Weiner at Ohio State and Amy DeRogatis at Michigan State University.
“We are thrilled to receive this recognition of our project from the consortium,” said Weiner. “The grant will provide critical support for launching the Religious Soundmap project and will allow us to hire graduate and undergraduate student researchers, who will be trained to produce high-quality field recordings of religion ‘in practice’ throughout the central Ohio region.”