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A few minutes with: Bantz Community Fellowship recipients Susan Hyatt and Paul Mullins
May 11, 2017

Susan Hyatt and Paul Mullins, anthropology professors in the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Liberal Arts, received the first Charles R. Bantz Chancellor's Community Fellowship Award for their work on "Invisible Indianapolis: Race, Heritage and Community Memory in the Circle City."



Susan Hyatt and Paul Mullins, anthropology professors in the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Liberal Arts, received the first Charles R. Bantz Chancellor's Community Fellowship Award for their work on "Invisible Indianapolis: Race, Heritage and Community Memory in the Circle City."

The project examines the history and culture of Indianapolis neighborhoods that have vanished over the years due to various factors such as redlining and segregation, gentrification, and postwar highway construction. The professors' year as Chancellor's Community fellows culminates Friday with a symposium called "Discover Invisible Indianapolis," featuring workshops on how to research the hidden history of your own neighborhood.

Hyatt and Mullins talked with IU Communications at the IUPUI Campus Center about how they collaborated, how the public can discover neighborhood histories and how they look at Indy with an eye toward uncovering "the invisible."

Q: You have both explored parts of the city individually. How did you come together to combine your expertise and earn the Chancellor's Community Fellowship?

InvisibleIndianapolis2017Susan Hyatt

SUSAN HYATT: The backstory is that both Paul and I have a long history of doing collaborative work in neighborhoods in Indianapolis. Paul's an archaeologist, and I'm a cultural anthropologist, but nonetheless we were both very interested in uncovering the hidden stories of neighborhoods. I worked on a big project on the south side called The Neighborhood of Saturdays that reconstructed an unknown story in Indianapolis about a neighborhood -- around where Lucas Oil Stadium is -- that had once been home to African-American and Jewish immigrants who developed quite close bonds over the 30 or 40 years that they shared that space.

In the meantime, Paul had done extensive work on the west side and had reconstructed the history of the neighborhood that used to be right where we're sitting. We heard about the Bantz Fellowship and had the idea to bring our two tracks together under a single umbrella and look at the ways we might theorize how spaces and neighborhoods change using ethnographic materials and material culture.

PAUL MULLINS: We wanted to fan out a little bit beyond the couple of places we knew and to do place-based and historical storytelling that had a very clear connection to the contemporary landscape. I'm particularly interested in telling stories about inequality, the color line and displacement in neighborhoods that might not otherwise have a story told about them or might not really appear in traditional historical narratives.

Q: When you received the fellowship, did you have a list of areas you wanted to cover?

PM: To a certain extent. We had a very idiosyncratic list of "this would be interesting, and this would be interesting." Some we could do ethnographically. Some have a cool material culture, some have both, some have neither. And some are just modest little histories that we could do in a nice blog, 800 or 1000 words, that were never going to be papers in themselves but are kind of interesting little stories nevertheless. So we just hopped around. We did some stuff on the near-south side expanding on Sue's work and some stuff here in the near-west side expanding on my work, but also some little-known occurrences that caught our eye along the way -- like Chinese immigrants to the city, things that I didn't know anything about -- and thought, "That might be an interesting story."

Q: When do you know that you have a concrete story? Do you hit a lot of dead ends?

PM: There's never a dead end. There's always a story.

SH: Even if there's not the story you thought there was going to be, there's a story to be told. I've always liked the way that Paul framed "Invisible Indianapolis," in which is every site is a historic site but not in the way that we conventionally think of sites of historic significance -- not necessarily with historic markers or monuments or grand buildings that people will visit. Every neighborhood has a story to tell about people who once lived there, or the people who still live there, or the people who have passed through there. Those are the stories we were looking for.

InvisibleIndianapolis2017Paul Mullins

Q: Generations ago, there were many media outlets that didn't exist today, from newspapers to community newsletters. How useful are those in your research?

PM: It depends on the specific events. Like the Chinese immigration story: Occasionally, there were pieces in the newspaper archives about a local immigrant or a new laundry or a murder in the Chinese community, but they were always told in what you would characterize as xenophobic period commentary. We get the same sorts of things on the near-south side, very similar things in the African-American near-west side. There's a lot of primary data. It's often told in very ideological-period kinds of ways, but virtually always there's somebody around somewhere who has a memory of at least some of those people or events. There's almost always someone to talk to in contemporary descendant communities. Sometimes they don't even know they have that memory; they just need a jog. We just have to poke at them a little bit, and suddenly they'll unleash a story they heard from their family members or from community elders.

SH: We have such a wealth of digitized resources for this kind of research in Indianapolis, including Sanborn maps -- the city directories that have been digitized -- and the census data; you can piece together an amazing amount about a community. I was astonished to see how much Paul could find out about someone's life.

PM: The university has been committed to digitizing a lot of primary resources; we digitized a ton of city directories in the city beginning in the mid-19th century, and we have local newspapers digitized. There's a lot in the public domain that anybody can access; it's just a matter of knowing where the resources are. Teaching the skills is not all that challenging. The basic methodology can be done by anybody.

Q: And isn't that part of the symposium, telling people how they can do this themselves?

SH: Exactly. We have three people coming in who are very skilled at using different databases and different digitized sources that are available for free to anybody with an internet connection. It's a lot less intimidating to do something like this now than it was 20 years ago.

PM: In 10 years, it's been revolutionized. More things get digitized all the time. The university library has been like a machine in terms of digitizing historical resources. When I got here in 1999, we had to go through the censuses on microfilm and write everything down -- it took forever. Now, the newspapers are digitized, and it's searchable. This is a lovely time to be a digital researcher.

Q: I walk around the city and see stadiums, new condos and tall buildings, whereas you probably see all these old communities. Has this work changed how you view where we live?

PM: I always saw the historic landscape at the same time. Some of these neighborhoods had become empty lots; I'm glad to see them developed and with cool new architecture. And with others, sometimes you see new buildings go up and feel kind of sad; you know that's where the Senate Avenue YMCA was, or some other important social institution that many people have forgotten. That building or landscape is still in an elder's memory, though, so I thought we should tell those stories.

We have a tendency to look past most of the landscape. Sometimes I find stuff that I just didn't know about, and I know the city quite well. I drive through and find stuff that I'm fascinated with and knew nothing about. There are a lot more stories to tell in Indianapolis, and we're just hoping that other people will take up the cause and tell those stories of all these little neighborhoods all over the place.

By: John Schwarb, Senior Communications Specialist/Content Strategist, IUPUI

Archaeologists are accustomed to dealing with mud when working on an archaeological site. However, it is mud from the bottom of a lake that was the focus of a recent article in “Nature’s Scientific Reports” by Jeremy Wilson (Anthropology), Broxton Bird (Earth Sciences), and other colleagues that has garnered significant interest from the scientific community, the media and the public. In their article, entitled “Midcontinental Native American population dynamics and late Holocene hydroclimate extremes,” the IUPUI research team reconstructs precipitation patterns over the past 2,000 years using sediment cores extracted from Martin Lake in northeastern Indiana; by looking at this material, they have been able to link observed climatological changes to a range of effects. They have used regional archaeological databases to show that population’s dietary shifts to maize (corn) agriculture as well as looking at the impact of the construction of fortifications around Native villages, and changes in population densities within the major river valleys of the lower Midwest.

Isotopic measures from the lake sediments revealed a pronounced shift to warm and wet summers associated with the Medieval Climatic Anomaly between AD 950-1000, which facilitated the adoption of maize agriculture and rising population densities among Mississippians and related cultures, such as the Fort Ancient and Monongahela. Over the next two centuries, urban centers would appear across the lower Midwest with growing seasons conducive to high agricultural yields and elevated population densities. By AD 1150, a pronounced, multi-decadal warm-season drought correlates with the appearance of fortifications around many urban centers, including Anthropology’s field site of Lawrenz Gun Club (11Cs4) in west-central Illinois, suggesting socio-political stress and conflict was partly triggered by resource shortfalls. And while warm-season precipitation would return for a time to the mid-continent and facilitate continued maize farming around urban centers, the lithic and isotopic values from Martin Lake indicate the strongest warm-season mega-drought between AD 1400 and 1470, demarcating the onset of the Little Ice Age. Urban centers and population densities precipitously declined during the 15th century, leading to the development of the “Vacant Quarter,” a vast area of the mid-continent uninhabited by significant numbers of Native peoples until the mid-17th century.

Moving forward, Wilson, Bird and their research team plan to examine the geographic and temporal scope of climatological change during the late Holocene in mid-continental North America in future research by examining lake sediments from South Dakota, Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois. This research program will continue to involve undergraduates and graduate students from Anthropology, Earth Sciences and other programs at IUPUI that are interested in conducting multidisciplinary studies linking the human and natural records. Stay tuned for old mud, diverse datasets, and new observations!

A successful year with notable faculty and student awards, new publications and a colleague and friend concludes his distinguished IUPUI journey | Larry Zimmerman: A collaborative anthropologist at the trowel’s edge | “States of Incarceration” in Indianapolis April 13- May 14, 2017 | Ongoing partnership with Catholic Charities Indianapolis Refugee and Immigrant Services | Hyatt and Mullins named inaugural Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellows | Resolving the muddy picture of climate change

Charles Bantz, former Chancellor of IUPUI, is known nationally for his initiatives in promoting and nurturing our university’s commitment to civic engagement. In recognition of that legacy, in 2015, the campus established the Charles R. Bantz Chancellor's Community Fellowship. Anthropology Department faculty Susan Hyatt and Paul Mullins were selected to serve as the inaugural Bantz Fellows for academic year 2016-17.

Our project “Invisible Indianapolis: Race, Heritage and Community Memory in the Circle City” examines the histories of a series of seemingly “invisible” Indianapolis neighborhoods. The research focuses on places where the material remains of community heritage are fragmentary, unnoticed, or entirely effaced. Invisible Indianapolis underscores the stories of American life in a breadth of seemingly commonplace places transformed by factors including real estate “redlining,” racial and religious discrimination, postwar highway construction, and gentrification. 

The project is being conducted in collaboration with community partners including Ransom Place Neighborhood Association, Old Southside Neighborhood Association, and SEND (South East Neighborhood Development) in Fountain Square.  Hyatt and Mullins have also worked with a team of undergraduates and graduate students to utilize archival and digital resources that can shed light on the history of these communities. Research from the project can be found on the Invisible Indianapolis blog which includes case studies on such little-known aspects of our city’s past as the 1870-1939 Indianapolis Asylum for Friendless Colored Children, the 1885-1918 Marion County Workhouse, Chinese immigration to Indianapolis, service laborers in the Crow’s Nest neighborhood and the history of African-American undertakers.

This past November, Invisible Indianapolis sponsored a program that was part of the annual Spirit & Place festival. Over 80 community residents gathered at the Concord Neighborhood Center to participate in a discussion about the impact of the construction of I-70 on the near south side of the city.

From April 19-22 this year, the National Council for Public History held its annual meeting in Indianapolis. “Invisible Indianapolis” participated actively in sponsoring events that were part of this program. The research team, including graduate students Kyle Huskins and Jeremy Lahey, and undergraduate Lynette Taylor, presented papers on their work at one of the conference panels. In addition, we designed a pop-up exhibit that tells the history of Kahn’s Tailoring, once a nationally known firm that hired Jewish immigrants who arrived in Indianapolis from southern Europe in the early part of the 20th century.  The exhibit was displayed both at the conference and at the old factory building, located at 800 North Capital, which is now a newly-renovated apartment building. Lastly, the Invisible Indianapolis team organized and narrated a bus tour that focused on near southside sites that were part of the oral history project, The Neighborhood of Saturdays, an undertaking that students and faculty undertook to record the little-known history of the African-American and Jewish communities who once lived side-by-side on the near southside of the city. The old neighborhood was eventually destroyed by waves of urban renewal, upward mobility, and the construction of I-70.

The year of events will conclude with a symposium that will be free and open to the public, on Friday, May 12th at Indiana Landmarks.

Photo: Beatrice Miller and Letha Bevely, former southsiders, attending the Spirit & Place event on the impact of I-70 construction.

A successful year with notable faculty and student awards, new publications and a colleague and friend concludes his distinguished IUPUI journey | Larry Zimmerman: A collaborative anthropologist at the trowel’s edge | “States of Incarceration” in Indianapolis April 13- May 14, 2017 | Ongoing partnership with Catholic Charities Indianapolis Refugee and Immigrant Services | Hyatt and Mullins named inaugural Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellows | Resolving the muddy picture of climate change

At the end of this academic year, Dr. Larry Zimmerman will retire from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) after 13 years as professor of anthropology and museum studies and public scholar of native american representation, a position shared with the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. His career has spanned more than 40 years, has taken him to various states and countries and has affected many people (including this author). Although he never imagined the direction his career would go in, his work has always revolved around collaborative anthropology. 

When a new position of Public Scholar of Native American Representation, a partnership between IUPUI and the Eiteljorg Museum, opened at IUPUI in 2004, Zimmerman was excited because it combined many of the activities he had done in his career. It involved building a new museum studies MA program, developing a community archaeology program, teaching Native American representation, and collaborating with the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. At IUPUI, Zimmerman has taught courses which link anthropology and museum studies and which often center on Native American issues; he also works with the Native American Student Alliance, and has helped to develop a Native Studies minor and certificate.

At the Eiteljorg Museum, he has worked with the museum’s relatively few archaeology collections, answered visitor questions, provided tours especially to international visitors and university students, trained guides, and planned exhibits. He has also advised local museums, and the Indiana Native American Indian Affairs Commission on NAGPRA, assisted with repatriation and worked with acquisitions of both traditional materials and contemporary art. He has also learned a tremendous amount about contemporary Native American fine art as the Eiteljorg has what is arguably the world’s largest and finest collection, although he admits he still has much to learn! 

Soon Dr. Zimmerman will conclude his long career in collaborative anthropology.  He will stay in Indianapolis and continue to work on several projects. As he says, “I intend to stay busy, and I intend to stay out of my wife’s way”, which I imagine he says with a smile.

At the end of our conversation, I asked Dr. Zimmerman if he had anything else to add. These are the words I leave you with: “Even though it can be a pain, even though it’s damn hard, collaboration can be damn fun.”

Dr. Zimmerman will be missed by his colleagues, students and community partners.  In his honor, we have established the Larry J. Zimmerman Fund for Student Research (account 1380012628).

Footnote:
*(This tribute to Larry Zimmerman, who will retire this spring, was published in the journal, Collaborative Anthropologies (vol.8, nos 1-2).  It was written by one of Larry’s former students, Alyssa Boge. The full version of this article can be found here.)
** [After teaching for 22 years at the University of South Dakota. From 1998-2002, Zimmerman taught at the University of Iowa.  From 2002-2004, he served the Minnesota Historical Society as Head of the Archaeology Department.]

A successful year with notable faculty and student awards, new publications and a colleague and friend concludes his distinguished IUPUI journey | Larry Zimmerman: A collaborative anthropologist at the trowel’s edge | “States of Incarceration” in Indianapolis April 13- May 14, 2017 | Ongoing partnership with Catholic Charities Indianapolis Refugee and Immigrant Services | Hyatt and Mullins named inaugural Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellows | Resolving the muddy picture of climate change

Members of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI were among the faculty and students honored at the Chancellor’s Academic Honors Convocation, part of IUPUI’s annual recognition for achievements, held April 21 in the Hine Hall Auditorium. Chancellor Nasser Paydar hosts the event.

Each year those who best represent IUPUI in its core values (teaching and learning; research, scholarship and creative activity; civic engagement; and diversity, collaboration and best practices) are recognized for their efforts.

Liberal Arts honorees include:

Jennifer Guiliano (assistant professor of history) received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Multicultural Teaching.

Modupe Labode (associate professor of history and museum studies, public scholar of African American history and museums, public scholar of Africana Studies, adjunct professor of Africana Studies, director of undergraduate studies in history) received the Chancellor's Diversity Scholar Award.

Scott Pegg (professor and chair of Political Science) received the Chancellor's Faculty Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement.

Many liberal arts faculty members were recognized with Trustee Teaching Awards. These included Holly Cusack McVeigh (assistant professor of anthropology and museum studies), Elizabeth Goering (associate professor of communication studies), Karen Kovacik (professor of English), John McCormick (professor of political science), Honner Orlando (lecturer in English, EAP coordinator), Mike Polites (senior lecture in communication studies), Jennifer Thorington Springer (associate professor of English, Africana studies), Jing Wang (associate professor of Chinese language and culture), and Scott Weeden (senior lecturer in English).

Krista Hoffman-Longtin was recognized for external achievement as a 2016 member of the Indiana Business Journal’s “40 under 40” list.

Ayobami Egunyomi (Senior, French/global and international studies; minor, political science) was also named the Liberal Arts Chancellor’s Scholar.

“What an honor to be present at the Chancellor’s Academic Honors Convocation,” said Thomas J. Davis, IU School Liberal Arts dean. "To see our outstanding faculty and students honored reminded me how fortunate I am to work with such dedicated people and serve such wonderful students."

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy E. Johnson has announced the appointment of Gina Sanchez Gibau as associate vice chancellor for faculty diversity and inclusion.

Gibau has served as associate dean for student affairs in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI since 2011. She will begin her new position in April.

As associate vice chancellor for faculty diversity and inclusion, Gibau will provide leadership and vision for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented faculty, particularly faculty of color, as well as the diversification of the graduate student pipeline into the academy. She will also support leadership development and networking among underrepresented faculty and engage in research and scholarly activity related to faculty diversity and inclusion.

"As an urban campus with a diverse student body, we must consistently strive to build a more welcoming and inclusive campus culture," Johnson said. "The creation of this position speaks to the importance of this work to faculty affairs at IUPUI. Recruiting -- but also retaining and advancing -- diverse faculty is an important goal in our campus diversity plan, and this position will help provide strategic leadership for this work. I'm delighted that Gina is taking on this role, which builds on her impressive 16 years of scholarship and service to the campus community."

As associate dean for student affairs in the School of Liberal Arts, Gibau managed recruitment, orientation and retention, academic advising, career development, scholarships, and commencement and graduation processes for the school, which has more than 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students.

She expanded student services and coordinated the implementation of a new centralized advising system in the school. She also developed and implemented -- with Karen Bravo, professor of law and associate dean for international affairs at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law -- the IUPUI Next Generation 2.0 faculty and staff leadership-development program for women and underrepresented minorities, sponsored in part by the Office of Academic Affairs and managed by the Office for Women

"I believe this role is critical to the continued vitality of the campus," said Gibau, who is also currently an associate professor of anthropology, a senior faculty member in University College and an adjunct faculty member in Africana studies. "For IUPUI to stand poised to welcome a more diverse student population, it is important to cultivate an environment that reflects and enacts its institutional value of diversity. Students need to see more people like themselves in faculty and leadership roles. I am excited for the opportunity to move the campus forward toward these goals."

Gibau arrived at IUPUI in 2000 as an assistant professor of anthropology. During her 16 years on campus, she has served as a co-chair for the campus Foundations of Excellence Transfer Focus self-study, as a member of the IUPUI task force on Latino student recruitment and retention, and as an at-large representative and University College representative on the IUPUI Faculty Council. She was the acting chair for the Department of Anthropology in 2010.

Gibau earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American and Caribbean affairs from Rollins College in 1991; a Master of Arts in Latin American studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1993; and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999.

INDIANAPOLIS -- What caused the rapid disappearance of a vibrant Native American agrarian culture that lived in urban settlements from the Ohio River Valley to the Mississippi River Valley in the two centuries preceding the European settlement of North America? In a new study, researchers from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis reconstructed and analyzed 2,100 years of temperature and precipitation data -- and point the finger at climate change.

Employing proxies of prehistoric temperature and precipitation preserved in finely layered lake sediments, somewhat analogous to tree-ring records used to reconstruct drought and temperature, the IUPUI scientists have reported on the dramatic environmental changes that occurred as the Native Americans -- known as Mississippians -- flourished and then vanished from the Midwestern United States. The researchers theorize that the catastrophic climate change they observed, which doomed food production, was a primary cause of the disappearance.

"Abrupt climate change can impose conditions like drought. If these conditions are severe and sustained, as we have determined that they became for the Mississippians, it is virtually impossible for societies, especially those based on agriculture, to survive," said paleoclimatologist Broxton Bird, corresponding author of the new study. "From the lake records, we saw that the abundant rainfall and consistent good weather -- which supported Mississippian society as it grew -- changed, making agriculture unsustainable." Bird is an assistant professor of earth sciences in the School of Science at IUPUI.

This failure of their principal food source likely destabilized the sociopolitical system that supported Mississippian society, according to archaeologist Jeremy Wilson, a study co-author. He is an associate professor of anthropology in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

"Archaeologists have recognized that from 1300 onward, Mississippian villages started disappearing one after the other, almost like lightbulbs in a string, but the question has always been 'why?'" Wilson said. "Dr. Bird and his students have shown from the lake-sediment evidence that during the period known as the Little Ice Age, from 1300 to 1800, there was a profound change in climate to colder and drier conditions, which would have negatively impacted the growing of maize in and around Mississippian villages.

"It's important for us to understand how past civilizations coped with climate change as we encounter things like changing precipitation patterns and temperatures that appear to be rising around the world today."

As the Mississippians' culture waned, the IUPUI researchers found, there were lower temperatures and significantly less summer rainfall than during its rise. They attribute these changes to more El Niño-like conditions in the Pacific Ocean and cooling during the Little Ice Age, which altered atmospheric circulation such that moisture delivered to the Midwest was derived from the northwestern U.S. (Pacific and Arctic) instead of the Gulf of Mexico, as was the case during the Mississippians' rise. The longer transport distance of Pacific air masses during the Little Ice Age left less moisture available for rainfall in the Midwest, resulting in drought conditions that undermined agricultural production.

"Climate change had been previously postulated as one of the factors responsible for the disappearance of the Mississippians," Bird said. "What our research did was develop the highest-resolution record yet produced of rainfall in the midcontinental U.S. for the last 2,100 years, including the time frame from the beginning of the Mississippian period -- about 1,000 years ago -- to 500 years ago, when much of the lower Midwest was totally abandoned by these people. Our results strongly support climate change -- drought, specifically -- as a significant cause of the disappearance of Mississippians from the midcontinent through its impact on their ability to farm and produce food surpluses.

"Mississippians did not have irrigation and relied on rainfall to grow their crops. Modern agriculture in the Midwest corn belt likewise relies on rainfall with very little irrigation infrastructure, making us similarly vulnerable to drought," Bird said.

"Midcontinental Native American Population Dynamics and Late Holocene Hydroclimate Extremes" is published in Scientific Reports, an open access, peer-reviewed Nature research journal.

The sediment studied was from Martin Lake in northeast Indiana. Bird and Wilson are continuing their research at additional lakes, especially those adjacent to archaeological sites, throughout the midcontinent.

Authors of the study, in addition to Bird and Wilson, are IUPUI assistant professor of earth sciences William P. Gilhooly III, former IUPUI graduate student Lucas Stamps, and University of Minnesota Duluth paleoclimatologist and paleolimnologist Byron A. Steinman.

The study, which was a collaboration between the schools of science and liberal arts at IUPUI, was supported by funding from an IU Collaborative Research Grant from IUPUI and a Research Support Funds Grant from IU.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The 2016 Spirit & Place Festival explores "home" -- as a place, a space and an idea -- through more than 50 programs, including nine Indiana University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis events.

The festival begins Nov. 4 and continues through Nov. 13.

An initiative of The Polis Center, part of the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the annual Spirit & Place Festival is Indianapolis' largest collaborative festival that uses the arts, religion and humanities as a vehicle for shaping individual and community life through experiences presented in partnership with more than 100 organizations.

Focusing on the meaning of "home," events will range from pet ownership to affordable housing, mass transit, art therapy, homelessness, race relations, public health, religion, home renovations and more.

IU and IUPUI Spirit & Place Festival events are:

My Earth, My Home, My Responsibility, Nov. 9. Lead partner: IUPUI Senior Academy. Through exhibits, conversations and short multimedia presentations, experts in the fields of architecture, aging and the environment will explore how our choices can help preserve our common home -- Earth -- for future generations.

Homes Before Highways, Nov. 9. Lead partner: Department of Anthropology at IUPUI. Share stories and see photos of homes and businesses destroyed on Indianapolis' south and west sides by the interstate construction of the 1960s and '70s.

Leaving Home, Nov. 10. Collaborating partner: IUPUI Medical Humanities program. Exhibit opening and panel discussion on the closure of Indiana's Central State Hospital in 1994 and the current state of mental health care in Central Indiana.

A Place to Call Home, Nov. 10. Collaborating partner: IU Public Policy Institute. How can Indianapolis end homelessness? Tell us what you think in this unique town hall meeting and workshop to create a community plan.

Chronicling Hoosier, Nov. 12. Lead partner: IUPUI University Library. What is a "Hoosier"? Learn what digital historical newspapers reveal while exploring community history.

Refugees Welcome,  Nov. 12. Collaborating partner: The Polis Center. Explore the concept of "home" through refugee perspectives with creative placemaking through art, faith and data.

Wandering to Where We All Live, Nov. 12. Collaborating partner: IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute. Art, science and curiosity combine in this exploratory walk with local artists, scientists and community members, which will explore a different way of seeing our waterways.

Genius Loci: Herman B Wells and the Spirit of Place, Nov. 13. Lead partner: professor Richard Gunderman. Deepen and enrich your connection to the Hoosier state by learning about the authentically Indiana ideas of legendary IU President Herman B Wells.

The Public Conversation/Barlow Lecture in the Humanities, Nov. 13. Part of the School of Liberal Arts' Barlow Lecture in the Humanities, also sponsored by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. A sculptor, a sociologist, a community activist and a political scientist will reflect on poverty, homelessness, public policy and the human spirit.

Learn more about these and other Spirit & Place Festival events at spiritandplace.org.