OAD Research Collective – Program Description
The OAD Research Collective is an interdisciplinary group of PhD students from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University researching topics of particular interest to underrepresented groups, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. Building upon GSAS’s understanding of diversity as an academic value that drives research innovation, the OAD Research Collective seeks to create a safe environment where students can share their research with colleagues coming from different personal experiences and disciplinary backgrounds. We strive to create a shared sense of community among our members, seeking to promote the dissemination of innovative research projects through an ongoing group conversation that will culminate with the Inaugural OAD Research Symposium on April 2017.
The OAD Research Collective aims to foster a dialogue among its members about the role of diversity at Columbia University, and in higher education more broadly. Taking a step away from the individual, we seek to promote a conversation about the impact that innovative research affecting underrepresented groups has on the larger academic community. A central aim of the OAD Research Collective is that its members work on creative research and presentation strategies, which can allow them to communicate their projects to audiences coming from different disciplinary trainings and social settings. We encourage students to think of their projects through the prism of public scholarship in ways that allow them to communicate their work to the audiences who are affected by their research.
The first cohort of the OAD Research Collective will convene during the Spring 2017 semester. Over the course of the program, each student will craft a public presentation of his or her research to be presented at the OAD Research Symposium in April 2017. You will be required to attend a monthly meeting between the months of January and April. Each group meeting will last three hours. The purpose of these meetings will be to develop each project through a critical collective conversation. Food and drinks will be served at every meeting.
The OAD Research Collective will function as an alternate learning space where students can engage in horizontal leadership and sound boarding strategies to develop research projects. Each student will choose one object/artifact, a very specific element from his or her research archive or data, a question, a theory, a hypothesis, an artwork, a method, a space, or a theorist. Students will submit this research object/artifact before the first meeting through the wiki space (see below). In the subsequent gatherings, students will bring a new development of their research project incorporating the suggestions made by the collective in previous meetings. Students can work on conference-style papers, but other innovative forms of presentation such as a song, a poem, a spoken word, a video, or an art piece are also encouraged.
Monthly meetings are mandatory. Students will be required to attend all group meetings in order to be eligible to present at the Research Symposium. In doing so, the OAD Research Collective seeks to promote accountability among its members, making the importance of showing up consistently for your colleagues a core value of the community. The dates and times of meetings will be determined in conversation with participants.
Students will schedule individual meetings with Dean Geathers at least two weeks before the symposium in April. In these meetings, students will do a final run through the research presentation. Students will also be able to meet with Dean Geathers during monthly drop-in hours to be held on Friday afternoons at OAD.
The OAD Research Collective will also convene through a dedicated research wiki. The aims of this resource are manifold. First, it will serve as a space to maintain the collective dialogue between the monthly meetings. Second, it will serve as a forum where students can post questions or concerns regarding their research and presentation project. Third, it will function as a forum to discuss and share online resources about diversity in higher education.