Spring 2020 Faculty Grant Awardees


The below scholars were awarded funds in the spring of 2020 for research and creative work to be completed during the summer and fall of 2020. Please note that due to the coronavirus, some of these planned conference presentations and events have been canceled or postponed. The MHC will continue to support these endeavors if/when events are rescheduled in the future.



Michael Howard (Philosophy)

Egalitarian Justifications for Universal Basic Income

Howard was awarded money to travel to the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, to present at a graduate seminar in political theory on egalitarian justifications for universal basic income, and to participate in a conference on basic income experiments.





Jon Ippolito (New Media)

Engaging Online Humanities Students with Digital Badges

Ippolito proposed to use funds to expand the university’s Just-in-Time Learning platform to serve humanities professors better for the needs of distance education, by creating a user-friendly web interface to help non-technical faculty create interactive tutorials for online classes.




Ian J. Jesse (Bureau of Labor Education)

Mother Jones in Heaven-A Musical by Si Kahn

PhD candidate Jesse plans to use funds to host a performance of Mother Jones in Heaven, a one-woman musical that explores the life of labor activist Mary Harris Jones. The production would coincide with a new Labor Studies topics course that examines the history of Women, work, and labor in the United States. Maine labor union activists will engage the artist and audience in a short discussion of current struggles and issues during the question and answer period that follows the show.



Jessica Miller (Philosophy)Jessica Miller

Moral Metaphors in Clinical Ethics

Miller was awarded funds to support travel for presenting a paper at the Association for Medical Humanities conference at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Her work examines how metaphors help us to share experiences and also understand conceptual knowledge. Her paper examines the way metaphors are deployed in the theory and practice of clinical ethics, and analyzes the implicit reliance of clinical ethics on metaphors and significance of this reliance for theory and practice.



Dominic Piacentini (Anthropology, Office of Research Administration)

Wild Foods & Natural Gas: Making and Unmaking Property in North Central West Virginia

These funds supported Piancentini in his ethnographic fieldwork investigating how plants, natural gas pipeline development, and people all discursively shape conceptualizations of “property” and “access” in Appalachia, a region in which extract and export economic models have dominated the management of property and resources.





Gregory Zaro (Anthropology)

Building Interactive 360 Experiences to Enhance Student Learning and Community Engagement

Zero’ project involves creating original 360-degree still and video imagery centered on UMaine Anthropology programs of research to enhance classroom learning and more effectively engage the broader public with our research and mission. These 360 image sets will be produced with an Insta360 One X camera and organized into interactive digital stories for student and community engagement.