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L. J. Pollard featured in May 18, 1918, Exhibitors Herald from Allyson Nadia Field's project "Early Black Cinema in Chicago"

PAST FRANKE FACULTY GRANTS

2021-22

 

EARLY BLACK CINEMA IN CHICAGO
Allyson Nadia Field, Cinema & Media Studies

Early Black Cinema in Chicago aims to provide scholarly and public access to the rich and multifaceted filmmaking endeavors of African Americans in the first decades of the twentieth century. The initial case study focuses on Luther J. Pollard and the Ebony Film Corporation which was active in the mid to late 1910s, motivated by the recent discovery of surviving interviews with Pollard, a figure who has long been enigmatic for film historians. The Franke faculty grant enabled us to hire the Chicago Film Archives to process 16mm film and audio material related to Ebony Film Co. in the Grisham collection. Additionally, our project benefited greatly from the support of two undergraduate research assistants made possible by the CCRF and the Franke.

REIMAGINING COSMOPOLITANISM 
Dipesh Chakrabarty, South Asian Languages & Civilizations and History

Reimagining Cosmopolitanism held our first workshop at the Franke Institute in May of 2022. This two-day event brought together ten international scholars to discuss their draft contributions to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Cosmopolitanism. The hybrid in-person/virtual conversation was extremely beneficial in providing feedback for individual writers and for shaping the direction of the volume as a whole. We have received additional project funding, and we will convene additional author workshops and public programs during the upcoming academic year.

THE AFGHAN HERITAGE MAPPING PARTNERSHIP
Gil Stein, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations

Supported by the U.S. State Department, the Afghan Heritage Mapping Partnership is a cultural heritage preservation project that utilizes satellite remote sensing imagery, aided by an artificial intelligence deep learning computer algorithm, to locate and document the archaeological sites in Afghanistan that are at risk of destruction. The Franke faculty grant enabled us to hire and train two graduate students as remote sensing data analysts focused on-site verification to determine whether or not the sites identified by the computer are, in fact, actual ancient settlements. Without their help, there is no way we would have been able to finish our archaeological map of Afghanistan before the end of our project.

 

Applications
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