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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

NSF REU Site: Interdisciplinary Study of the Politics of Place

Award number: 2243249   |  Award abstract

This REU site project immerses students in a 10-week summer research experience where they learn and put into practice interdisciplinary methods to study race, power, and the politics of place within the American South. Participants will work alongside of and learn from an interdisciplinary group of faculty, receiving hands-on instruction in research design, data collection, and data analysis. Additionally, students will participate in faculty-directed research projects that focus on understanding how race, place, and power intersect, with a special emphasis on how to conceptualize, operationalize, and study these concepts through an interdisciplinary, multi-methodological perspective.
Examples of research projects include

  1. studying how immigrants are incorporated into the sociopolitical and economic lives of communities that are not traditional migration destinations;
  2. examining how the cultural, political, and religious context of Mississippi shapes the health and well-being of underrepresented Mississippians;
  3. examining how food culture is used in the practice of placemaking and the evolution of regional identity;
  4. exploring inequalities in the criminal justice system with respect to sentencing prescriptions for diverse defendants; and
  5. examining how, in an era where status is increasingly scrutinized, groups are making sense of their place within America’s social structure. Students will be matched to research projects based on their substantive interests as well as the specific research skills they are most interested in developing.