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HX 2022-2023

Annual Theme

Each year, the HumanitiesX Advisory Council selects a topical theme that is both timely and lends itself to humanities inquiry. In 2021, in the context of much public debate about the issue, the Council selected The Environment: Crisis and Action as the theme for the 2022-23 academic year.


The 2022-23 cohort of HumanitiesX fellows included three teams, each comprised of two faculty members from DePaul's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, a community partner from a Chicago-area nonprofit organization, and two Student Fellows.

Each team collaboratively developed a HumanitiesX course related to environmental issues, offered to DePaul students in Spring Quarter 2023.

View the 2022-23 Course Showcases

Team Active Transportation Alliance

  • Tim Elliot

    Tim Elliot

      Assistant Professor, Writing, Rhetoric & Discourse
      View Bio
  • Danielle Vance-McMullen

    Danielle Vance-McMullen

    • Assistant Professor, School of Public Service
    • View Bio
  • Jim Merrell

    Jim Merrell

  • Laura Murphy

    Laura Murphy

      Undergraduate Student
  • Mariam Zaki

    Mariam Zaki

      Graduate Student
      Public Health
Engaging Youth in Community-Centered Advocacy explored how to involve youth in community-centered advocacy projects. Working with community partner, Active Transportation Alliance (ATA), the course focused on creating texts and designing engagement strategies to involve local youth with the coalition of community members and planning experts who are envisioning the future of Big Marsh Park on Chicago’s Southeast side. Through readings, site visits, and in conversation with community members, students learned how Friends of Big Marsh and other community organizations have successfully advocated for a park at a former industrial site and investigate why young people are underrepresented in this and other advocacy efforts. In collaboration with ATA, students worked on teams to research, design, and pilot awareness and engagement tactics—such as stories about Big Marsh and its possibilities told in digital media and youth-centered surveys and listening sessions. The overall goal was to create processes to better engage young people in the continued redevelopment of Big Marsh and in community-centered advocacy projects in general.

Team Friends of the Chicago River

  • Steve Harp

    Steve Harp

      Associate Professor, Photography and Media Art
      View Bio
  • Miles Harvey

    Miles Harvey

    • Professor and Chair, English; Director, DePaul Publishing Institute
    • View Bio
  • BeckyLyons

    Becky Lyons

    • Director of Environment, Equity, and Engagement, Friends of the Chicago River
    • View Organization
  • Miranda Kincer

    Miranda Kincer

      Undergraduate Student
      Writing, Rhetoric, & Discourse
  • Mayra Shuja

    Mayra Shuja

      Graduate Student
      Sustainable Urban Development
Rivers of Life: Chicago's South Side and Its Waterways in Words and Images explored and documented human interaction with the Calumet River system on Chicago’s South Side, focusing on issues of environmental justice and environmental racism. In conjunction with the DePaul Publishing Institute, Big Shoulders Books, and course partner Friends of the Chicago River, students in the course began working on a book of oral-history narratives and photographs that document the Calumet River system and its surrounding communities at this pivotal moment for the environment. Student-interviewer/editors were tasked with helping community members tell their own stories in their own words, interviewing stakeholders and shaping the raw transcripts into narratives for this book. Additional layers of meaning were brought to these narratives through documentary photography. In addition to photographing the people whose stories will appear in the book, student-photographers were charged with documenting the waterways of the Calumet system, as well as the surrounding communities and industrial areas. The project aimed to provide Friends of the Chicago River with a readily accessible narrative that allows activists and teachers to examine the human dimensions of an otherwise abstract issue.

Team Sophia's Choice

  • Li Jin

    Li Jin

      Associate Professor and Program Director, Chinese Studies
      View Bio
  • Phillip Stalley

    Phillip Stalley

    • Associate Professor, Political Science; Endowed Professor, Environmental Diplomacy
    • View Bio
  • Sophia Wong Boccio

    Sophia Wong Boccio

  • Emily Figueroa

    Emily Figueroa

      Undergraduate Student
  • Madeline Meyer

    Madeline Meyer

      Undergraduate Student
China's Environmental Voices explored how Chinese artists and writers interpret, portray, and confront the widespread environmental degradation in China. Toward that end, students were introduced to a range of Chinese environmental voices, including those of painters, photographers, filmmakers, and fiction writers. We used the work of Chinese artists and academics not only to better understand China’s environmental challenges, but also to reflect upon the broader causes and consequences of environmental destruction and our own roles in the systems that contribute to it. Students had the opportunity to share what they learned with an audience beyond the classroom through our course partnership with Sophia’s​ Choice, a local nonprofit that runs the annual Asian Pop-Up Cinema festival, with whom they organized a public film screening that showcased China’s leading environmental voices.