Faculty Resource Network

An academic partnership devoted to faculty development. Now in our fourth decade, we remain committed to this partnership, and to fostering connection, collaboration, and collegiality among our members.

Network Winter 2019

Where: San Juan, Puerto Rico

When: January 14-18, 2019

Application Deadline: Monday, October 1, 2018

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Network Winter Frequently Asked Questions

The 2018 Network Winter seminars, which will be held from January 14-18, 2019 at the University of the Sacred Heart (Universidad del Sagrado Corazón) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, will provide a comprehensive study of the power of the individual to affect change, examining this theme from various disciplinary perspectives. The schedule will include plenary sessions where each seminar convener will present an overview of their seminar topic to the entire group of program participants.

Performance as the Embodied Text Of Caribbean Resistance


About the Seminar:

With the rest of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico shares a brilliant history of experimental creativity in the visual and performing arts. Everyday objects, images, and spaces assume variegated and highly impacted plastic and aesthetic dimensions. Our seminar illuminates and celebrates examples of visual representation, performance art, alternative theater, and festival arts in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean spaces during the last four decades. Artist and artwork, performer and performance engage unresolved issues of empire and dependency, racialization, gender-sexual domination, and economic inequality that have marked life in the Caribbean since 1492.

In discussing creativity, resistance, and transformation, we will explore the notion of “shared bodies, shared spaces” (Erika Fischer-Lichte) with an emphasis on role reversal, community, touch, and liveness. In addition, we will consider a tapestry of interactive critical works by Roberto Fernández Retamar, Antonio Benítez-Rojo, Joseph Roach, Jill Dolan, and Barbara Ehrenreich for a deeper understanding of the power of Caribbean visual and performing arts.

The first half of the seminar focuses on theory, visual arts, installation, and assemblage; popular arts of mas(k)-making and masquerade; and protest art in demonstrations, graffiti, and political street theater. The second half highlights alternative theater practices from the 1980s to the present, and the almost simultaneous emergence of performance art. Although work by Puerto Rican artists and groups will receive particular attention, discussion will include comparable examples from other Caribbean societies.


About the Convener:

Lowell Fiet was educated at the University of Wisconsin (PhD 1973) and has taught at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras since 1978. His dozens of reviews, articles, and books focus on Caribbean and Puerto Rican theater, drama, and performance. He is the founding editor of Sargasso, launched the Rockefeller Foundation-supported “Caribbean 2000” project, organized three National Endowment for the Humanities summer projects, and designed and for several years coordinated the UPR-Río Piedras PhD Program in Caribbean literature and linguistics. He was Eugenio María de Hostos Honorary Professor at UPR in 2001-2003, and has also served as the director of the Interdisciplinary Studies program in Humanities and the Institute of Caribbean Studies in Social Sciences. His books include El teatro puertorriqueño reimaginado (2004) and Caballeros, vejigantes, locas y viejos: Santiago Apóstol y los performeros afro-puertorriqueños (2007). His current work focuses on festival and carnival masks.

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The Power of One – A Political Perspective


About the Seminar:

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”   — Edward Everett Hale

Throughout this seminar, we will consider how knowledge of our social milieu can support strategic leadership in order to overcome adversity in an intricate political world. As we assess our particular and shared realities from the standpoint of the theory of complexity and Foucault’s notion of power, we will examine how horizontal knowledge and collective leadership may promote good citizenship and a more inclusive society. We will also address the challenges of navigating a society characterized by the inequality and corruption that results from the wrongful use of power. In analyzing the ways in which leadership can be used to promote the common good, we will consider specific social contemporary situations, such as the current political struggles for inclusion, equity, and sexual rights.


About the Convener:

Jorge Benítez-Nazario was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1959. Since obtaining a PhD in Political Sociology at UW-Madison in 1986, he has held various positions at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras campus, including professor of political science (1986-1999), associate director of the Honors Program (1996-1999), associate dean of academic affairs (2000-2003), professor of social policy (2003-2017), director of the Institute of Social Policy (2005-2008, 2015-2017), and director of the Doctoral Program in Administration and Analysis of Social Policy (2015-2017). He has lectured, conducted research, and published on the topics of political culture, political tolerance, political participation and elections, poverty and exclusion, citizenship and human capital. He has been a regular collaborator with the international research project World Values Survey since 1995. Dr. Benítez-Nazario previously participated in NYU’s Faculty Resource Network as a seminar convener during the summer of 2012.

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Women’s Activism in the Americas


About the Seminar:

The seminar will explore the individual and collective activisms of women of color, primarily as organizers, political figures, and public intellectuals during the late 20th century. Focusing mainly on the Puerto Rican and African American contexts, we will examine various women’s rights mobilizations that emerged to bring about social justice around race and gender in two different regions of the Americas. In addition to exploring various organizational efforts, the seminar (echoing THE POWER OF ONE rubric) will highlight the lives of various individuals, including Shirley Chisholm, Sila María Calderón, Pauli Murray, Barbara Smith, Mayra Santos-Febres, and Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, whose struggles against multiple inequalities impacted electoral politics, women’s lives and NGOs in significant ways.


About the Conveners:

Beverly Guy-Sheftall is founding director of the Women’s Research & Resource Center and Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College. She is past president of the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA). Along with her co-editors, she published the first anthology of Black women’s literature, Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in Literature. Her recent books include Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities (with Johnnetta Betsch Cole) and Still Brave: The Evolution of Black Women’s Studies (with Stanlie M. James and Frances Smith Foster). In progress is a study of the radical politics of Coretta Scott King.

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