GAP Fellows

Gap Fellows

Dr. Caitlin Bruce, Assistant Professor of Communications, has been awarded a Global Academic Partnership (GAP) grant for her project Global Creative Cities: Exploring Transnational Youth and Graffiti Cultures. Over the next two years, Dr. Bruce will be organizing a series of events (talks, workshops, and art production events) to develop an international dialogue around the themes of creative cities, youth, and graffiti practice within a global frame. Since the 1980s, graffiti has been a global phenomenon activated by transnational circuits of youth collectives. More recently, street art as an image-driven form of urban art has been yoked to city development projects as part of global adoption and localization of creative cities discourse. At a local, regional, national, and international level, street art and murals have been used for civic engagement, graffiti abatement, self-determination, beautification, and for urban redevelopment. There is a wave of exciting scholarship about the relationship between youth cultures, governmental apparatus, the culture industry, and activism. The constellation of graffiti, creative cities, and youth connect in specific cities across the globe, but there has been no sustained comparative work thinking these categories together. 

Adam Lowenstein works on issues relating to the cinema as a mode of historical, cultural, and aesthetic confrontation. His teaching and research link these issues to the relays between genre films and art films, cinema and digital media, the politics of spectatorship, and the construction of national cinemas (with particular attention to American, Australian, British, Canadian, French, Israeli, Italian, and Japanese cases). His areas of interest range from surrealism to trauma studies to Frankfurt School film and cultural theory. He is especially invested in horror studies and is the Director of Pitt’s Horror Studies Working Group as well as a board member of the George A. Romero Foundation. He played a central role in the acquisition of the George A. Romero Collection for Pitt’s Horror Studies Archive, an initiative that continues to grow through the University Library System’s Department of Archives and Special Collections. As GAP Fellow Dr. Lowenstein will work with colleagues to diversify and globalize the Horror Studies Archive recently created by Pitt's University Library System. The Global Horror Studies Archival and Research Network will be the first of its kind. Horror is a truly global vocabulary. Each nation has its own historically- and culturally- specific inflections regarding horror, but nearly every country in the world has an artistic horror tradition of some kind that is recognizable through the lens of the others, and all are shaped by transnational influences and global developments. To learn more and attend a virtual Global Horror Studios Session click here!  

Past GAP Fellows

Dr. Karen Park, assistant professor of linguistics, has been awarded a Global Academic Partnership (GAP) grant for "Integrating Scholarship and Practice Towards a Global Model of Biocultural Conservation." Along with collaborators at the University of Oxford, the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and BirdLife International, Park studies how people across diverse language backgrounds engage with the natural world through naming, metaphor, and myth.  She and her research team are applying this research to the hypothesis that linguistic diversity has the potential to protect biodiversity and are investigating the mutual benefits of uniting linguistic and biological conservation. (To learn more about how language encodes our knowledge of the natural world, watch Park's "Musings from Cloud Cuckoo Land.") GAP funds will support a series of related language documentation workshops, graduate student exchanges, and public outreach events beginning in Fall 2018. The centerpiece will be a Biocultural Diversity Conference to take place at Pitt in September 2019 to explore the intersections of linguistic and biological diversity, culture, and conservation practice. This exciting project complements Park's other research on language change and endangerment in the Pacific and theoretical approaches to structure and meaning in language.  In a similar vein, another ongoing GAP project on refugees as an emerging frontier of humanitarian governance led by Dr. Heath Cabot is also entering its second year as part of a GSC initiative on migration.
Assistant Professor, Former GAP Fellow
As the Posvar Chair for International Security Studies and Director of the Matthew B. Ridgway Center, Williams conducts several student working groups, including the Russian Contract Killer Database which has compiled extensive evidence on Russian contract killings since the 1990s. Aside from his extensive consulting work for organizations like the United Nations and the CIA, he has also given Congressional testimony on organized crime.
Professor, Chair at the Matthew B. Ridgway Center