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FREE Center Research and Connection Clusters build feminist community

April 2, 2024

FREE Center Research and Connection Clusters build feminist community

Group of artists hold sign that says trace layer play collective

This spring, the FREE Center awarded funding to twelve Research and Connection Clusters that bring together faculty, graduate students and community partners to advance feminist scholarship around shared areas of interest. 

Since the award announcement in February, these clusters have worked to build feminist community on campus and throughout the Columbus community through informal gatherings, public-facing events and hands-on workshops.  

Below are highlights of some of the cluster initiatives taking place this semester.  

F.A.R. (Feminist Art Research) 

The F.A.R. cluster played a role in hosting a screening of short films in celebration of Women’s History Month at the Wexner Center for the Arts Film/Video Theater. Taken from Ntozake Shange’s poem of the same title, “A Laying on of Hands” teases the introversions of Black girlhood, contemplating the seeded laments that pulse through the dreams, spirituality and lineage of Black girls. The series of shorts invites audiences to examine the heft of the stories we inherit and their effects on how we negotiate our place in the world.

trace layer play 

trace layer play, an arts-based research collective made up of graduate students and alumni from the Department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy, recently completed their immersive incubator in Hopkins Hall Gallery. trace layer play is designed to identify, visualize and chart the research trajectories of each group member. The title, trace layer play, illuminates the active process of delineating, overlapping and connecting ideas. The installation included recordings of dialog, sonic interventions, viewer remote and analog input, all of which overlapped in order to expose the messiness of the research process.  

Reproductive Justice  

In March, the Reproductive Justice cluster held its first meeting in which faculty and graduate students gathered for dinner and conversation. The meeting provided an opportunity for scholars from a wide range of disciplines — from public health to history to philosophy — to share their research interests, make connections and brainstorm opportunities for future collaboration.  

Latinx Visual Feminist Culture 

This month, the Latinx Visual Feminist Culture cluster will host its first Latinx Feminist Comics Art Lunch and Workshop. The meeting will serve as a safe space for Latinx scholars and students to think about BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) feminist art perceptions. Participants will read and analyze together the social interventions of Latinx feminist graphic artists and will create their own personal visual feminist narratives.  

To learn more about the FREE Center’s Research and Connection Clusters, visit the FREE Center website