Fall 2019 CityStudioSTL Faculty Course Grants

Students and community partners at the final review for "In\Visible St. Louis," spring 2019.

Posted by Liz Kramer December 5, 2019

The Sam Fox School awarded fall 2019 CityStudioSTL Faculty Course Grants to associate professor Patty Heyda, assistant professor Meghan Kirkwood, and senior lecturer Michael Allen. Awarded by a jury of faculty and community engagement staff, these grants support faculty and encourage community-engaged teaching in the St. Louis region.

In\Visible St. Louis: People, Place, and Power in the Divided City

This established interdisciplinary course is taught by professor David Cunningham, associate professor Patty Heyda, and assistant professor Caitlyn Collins. The course approaches the study of segregation and inequality in St. Louis as deeply relational and contextual—that is, embedded in a particular space and place, and manifest through social-political relations. Students are immersed in the history, theory, and contemporary academic debates surrounding inequality, segregation, and social justice initiatives in urban cities across the U.S. Students will initiate collaborative research projects that align with the needs of ArchCity Defenders, a local legal advocacy organization that serves the region’s historically disadvantaged populations. This interdisciplinary course is jointly offered by Department of Sociology and the Sam Fox School, and was initially supported by the Divided City initiative. Read more about this course in our recent projects page here.

Photography Studio: Material and Culture

For over thirty years, Washington University and the University City Commission on Arts & Letters have collaborated to help students develop and create work for public spaces and audiences. Neighborhoods look forward to the annual installation of new artworks each spring, and value the perspectives brought by students into their communities. As a continuation of this partnership, assistant professor Meghan Kirkwood will lead two exhibitions of student photography in University City. As part of the photography studio, students will investigate the River des Peres, a part of the city that is often overlooked by residents, but one that provides important and natural resources. Based on their research, student will create lenticular prints—images that change or move as the print is viewed from different angles. Through the collaboration, exhibition, and public reception, the community will have a chance to learn about how art students make site-specific work, and students will be able share their knowledge of new photographic processes. Read more about the University City Public Art initiative here.

Vacant/Wild/Ruined: Feral Urbanism

Led by senior lecturer Michael Allen, this seminar will work with Old North St. Louis to develop new strategies for dealing with vacant properties. Students will partner with the Old North St Louis Restoration Group to develop tools for identification, assessment, and repurposing of vacant lots and buildings. Student work may include: development of a public map; building condition assessments; renderings that demonstrate potential new conditions; manuals for rehabbing vacant houses; and preliminary designs for an arts center in a now-vacant factory. The work will deepen students’ understanding of existing urban areas, the products of urban decline, the problems of urban vacancy, and how to work with community by supporting its needs. Neighborhood residents will lead tours of conditions, brief the students on community desires, and review student work. The final review will coincide with a public exhibition where work will be on view for neighborhood residents.