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Digital Dissertations

This group is for anyone who is interested in writing a digital dissertation (or creating a digital component to an otherwise ‘traditional’ dissertation). Please join, introduce yourself in the “welcome and introductions” section, and keep the conversation going in the forums.


Fellowship Opportunity: Archives & Performance Fellowship, Penobscot River

  • Please see the post below for information about the Archives & Performance Fellowship regarding the Penobscot River and watershed. Masters students are eligible to apply.

    Lisa Rhody

    A year-long interdisciplinary fellowship experimenting with research and performance approaches to understand stories and histories of the Penobscot River and watershed

    APPLICATIONS DUE: April 10, 2019
    FELLOWSHIP PERIOD: May 2019-May 2020
    Please share widely!


    What possibilities emerge when we look at social repair and environmental care as public, creative acts? The Archives & Performance Fellowship is a paid, year-long opportunity for four Fellows that follows the tradition of Wabanaki Guiding, connecting Native and non-Native people to place through experience, language, and story. Fellows will experiment with research and performance approaches to understand stories and histories of the Penobscot River and watershed. They will collaborate to create new work, inspired by their learning, that addresses ecological recovery and social justice. Fellowship activities will be led by Penobscot Nation partners and will center indigenous knowledge and experience.

    The Fellowship year will include a regular check-in schedule, workshops and skill-shares, two intensives that immerse Fellows in research and performance methods, and a public performance and/or presentation of work created. This work may take many forms including but not limited to narrative play scripts, research papers, multi-media and video-based performance, spoken word, movement-based work, music and songwriting, cross-genre journals and/or any combination of forms and formats. Fellows will receive a $1500 stipend, dramaturgical/research support, connections with the broader In Kinship community, photo and video process documentation, and space to present their work.

    The broad goal of this project is to activate potential for richly layered research, cross-discipline dialogue, and creative process to shift public understanding of our shared environments and histories. It is driven by a desire to understand how the (hi)story of the Penobscot River is preserved and told and, at the same time, to work against linear, progress-based narratives of the river that represent the past as something static that is disconnected from the present and future.


    We are looking for applications from people working in any field or discipline who are interested in performance, ecological work, and collaborating with people outside of their own area of expertise. No matter how much experience you have making theatre or performance work, if some (or all) of the following questions are exciting to you, please apply! We want to hear from you!
    How can we approach the history of the Penobscot River as alive, inseparable from its present and future?
    What methodologies can be used to disrupt dominant narratives and colonial approaches to knowledge preservation?
    How can artists, activists, community members, and scholars engaged in ecological issues better learn from and support one another?
    How might subjugated forms of knowledge create broad impact and meaningful change?
    How can we honor non-human voices and narratives that are important to the river?
    We will prioritize applicants who live and/or work in the Penobscot watershed region. Equity and inclusion of a broad array of voices is at the core of In Kinship; we especially encourage people from traditionally underrepresented or misrepresented communities to apply. The project is following guidance from members of Penobscot Indian Nation, and Fellows of all backgrounds should expect to discuss colonization histories and practice respect for Penobscot cultural and political sovereignty.


    Fellows should expect to commit about 5 hours per week to fellowship activities (more during the May and September research intensives) until the rehearsal period beginning in February 2020. During the rehearsal period, Fellows should expect to commit about 10 hours per week. An overview of the schedule follows:
    March 11, 2019: Applications open
    April 10: Applications due
    April 20: Fellows notified
    April: First meeting, check-ins, early project development
    May: Research intensive at University of Maine, Orono
    June-August: Check-ins, short workshops scheduled in consultation with Fellows
    September: Guided on-river research intensive scheduled in consultation with Fellows and guides
    October 2019-January 2020: Check-ins, short workshops scheduled in consultation with Fellows, work shares
    February 2020: Rehearsals for final showing scheduled in consultation with Fellows
    March 2020: Public showing of project(s)
    April 2020: Fellowship reflections and celebration


    Applicants should send the materials requested below as email attachments and/or links addressed to Cory Tamler, Project Director, at or Darren Ranco, Educational Coordinator, at Please use the subject: “In Kinship Fellowship Application”. There are no page or length limits, but we will spend 20-30 minutes reviewing your application, so please assemble it with this in mind.

    Application deadline: April 10, 2019.
    Personal statement/statement of interest (potential formats: document, video, audio)
    Work sample (choose format that shows off what you do: document, video, images, project webpage, etc.)
    CV/resume (document or link)
    Contact info


    The Fellowship is open and exploratory. We welcome applicants with a specific idea for a project, but this is not necessary to apply. In general, if you want to tackle questions about the environment and social change connected to the Penobscot watershed and you are excited by the idea of working with a multi-disciplinary group of people, you should definitely apply. Here are some possible scenarios:
    You\’re an indigenous environmental justice activist who\’s curious about how the arts can help mobilize your community\’s stories to create broad culture shift.
    You\’re an academic doing research on the Penobscot watershed, and you want to figure out how to reach a broader audience with your work.
    You’re an indigenous artist working with culture as medicine, and you want to reveal and create resilient Tribal archives of collective memory.
    You\’re a playwright with a draft of a play about histories of the Penobscot River region that is in need of interdisciplinary and intercultural perspective.
    You are working on ecological issues in Maine and want to learn and practice how to do this work intersectionally.
    You\’re a performer who wants agency in your creative process and to use your artistry to contribute to social change.
    You work across video and digital media and want to include hands-on research and outdoor experiences in your artistic practice.
    Projects/platforms we find inspirational, and examples of projects Fellows might dream up, include:
    Listening to Country (Marrugeku) []
    Thoreau-Wabanaki 150th Anniversary Tour []
    Walking at the Edge of Water (Dancing Earth) []
    Geyser Land (Mary Ellen Strom/Ann Carlson) []
    Works on Water []
    Building a Better Fishtrap (Angela\’s Pulse) []
    Then A Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing At Stars (Emily Johnson/Catalyst Dance) []
    Dancing Sovereignty (Mique\’l Dangeli) []
    Mare Liberum []
    Dear Enemy (Christy Gast) []
    36.5 / a durational performance with the sea (Sarah Cameron Sunde) []
    Center for Humans and Nature []
    Superhero Clubhouse []
    Initiative for Indigenous Futures []


    Produced by Open Waters ( []), In Kinship is a multi-year community art and performance project that looks at how we connect and care for each other within the Penobscot River Watershed ecosystem.


    Cory Tamler, Project Director and In Kinship Lead Artist
    Cory Tamler ( []) is a writer, translator, and interdisciplinary artist whose practice is rooted in theatre, performance as research, and community organizing. She has created research-based performance projects in the U.S., Germany, and Serbia, and is a core artist with civic arts organization Open Waters (Maine). Cory has been a Fulbright Scholar (Berlin) and a Fellow at the New Museum for Contemporary Art. As a Ph.D. student at The Graduate Center, CUNY, she studies open-ended artistic work from social practice to community-based theatre. She teaches at Brooklyn College and is a member of Commitment Experiment, an experimental performance collective.

    Darren Ranco, Ph.D., Educational Coordinator
    Darren Ranco is a faculty member with the University of Maine’s Department of Anthropology, as well as the Chair of Native American Programs and Coordinator of Native American Research. His research focuses on the ways in which indigenous communities in the United States resist environmental destruction by using indigenous diplomacies and critiques of liberalism to protect cultural resources, and how state knowledge systems continue to expose indigenous peoples to an inordinate amount of environmental risk. Ranco is a member of the Penobscot Nation, and is particularly interested in how better research relationships can be made between universities, Native and non-Native researchers, and indigenous communities. Ranco is also involved in developing mentoring programs for Native American students at the University of Maine and developing a statewide STEM education program for Native American students.

    Jennie Hahn, Producing Director & In Kinship Lead Artist
    Jennie Hahn is a civic performance artist working at the intersections of environmental stewardship, ecological arts practice, and public dialogue in her home state of Maine. Projects include Farms & Fables, an original play created in collaboration with Maine farmers, and a co-designed partnership to incorporate performance techniques into policy development practices with Stephanie Gilbert of the Maine Department of Agriculture. Since 2015, Jennie has curated In Kinship, a collection of collaborative civic performance works focused on environmental resilience and ecological recovery in the Penobscot River Watershed. Jennie is an MFA student in Intermedia at the University of Maine, Orono.

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