Graduate students Alesha Claveria & Heath Pennington awarded summer minigrants (MRCI)

The Department of Theater and Dance is immensely proud to announce that two graduate students Alesha Claveria & Heath Pennington were awarded summer minigrants for Multidisciplinary Research on COVID-19 and its Impacts (MRCI).

Claveria's project, working title The Great Dying, proposes to create two companion pieces (a dramatic play and a conference presentation) to explore the impacts of COVID-19 through the lens of epidemic/pandemic as a historic and ongoing tool of colonialism and genocide against Native North Americans.

Pennington's project, entitled Effects of Covid-19 on BDSM Practitioners and Practices, asks how practitioners of BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism) are negotiating the Coronavirus crisis and its limitations. Because the majority of BDSM practices are organized around consent, safety, and a code of ethics, this study hopes to yield findings that can help those within and outside of the BDSM community negotiate safer sexual practices during and after the pandemic.

The MRCI Graduate Student Minigrant program supports research and creative projects by individual graduate students or teams of UCSB graduate students during the 2020 Summer Session that provide insight into COVID-19 and its impacts. The grant program encourages applications from a wide variety of disciplines to explore the many dimensions of impact.

The purpose of the grant program is not only to fund valuable research and creative projects but also to create a multi-disciplinary community that allows graduate students to learn from each other about different research approaches and about communicating research to a variety of audiences.

To foster this community, the MRCI program will hold a series of webinars as part of the proposal and research funding process. Awardees will also participate in discussions and share their final research findings with the community.