SPUR 2022 Projects: Transform

History | College of Humanities
Gender Studies | School for Cultural & Social Transformation


Matthew Basso, Associate Professor

Prompted by recent federal legislation, the National Park Service (NPS), in collaboration with the National Council for Public History, has launched a major effort to revitalize its presentation of the World War II home front story. The NPS selected me as Principal Investigator for this four year project. There are three major components of this project. 1. )Update the NPS World War II home front theme study written in 2000. 2.) Produce home front histories for all 50 states and 5 territories. 3.) Conduct a reconnaissance of properties on the current NHL property list and produce one or more National Historic Landmark nominations for World War II home front sites from this list or from newly recognized sites.

This research will be of vital importance to the NPS as they continue their effort to provide the over 275 million annual visitors to NPS sites with a history of the U.S. that reflects the diversity of individual experience and the complexity of our national saga. To put it bluntly, this is a truly remarkable opportunity for students to have their research impact what millions of people learn about U.S. history.

SPUR students will work with Dr. Basso and a team of graduate students on the state and territory home front histories. We will teach any SPUR student selected for our project how to conduct primary and secondary source research in digital archives following best practices in the humanities. SPUR students will read and analyze federal and state documents and historical sources that speak to the culture and society of the WWII era. The selected student will also learn about public history and working for the National Park Service.

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Psychology | College of Social & Behavioral Science
Gender Studies | School for Cultural & Social Transformation


Lisa Diamond, Professor

Over the past several years I have become interested in understanding the biopsychosocial mechanisms through which stigma and marginalization "get under the skin" to shape the health and well-being of individuals who are socially marginalized because of their sexuality or gender (queer people, asexual people, nonbinary people, trans people, etc). Previous research on these topics has focused on "minority stressors" that face these individuals (everyday discrimination, victimization, family rejection, etc). Yet I have become convinced that the absence of social safety (i.e., the absence of clear unambiguous indicators that you are included, valued, and affirmed in your social world) is just as detrimental as the presence of explicit discrimination. Social safety is a difficult construct to assess, and I have been engaged in a number of different projects attempting to capture and understand how social safety, in the lives of sexually-diverse and gender-diverse individuals, influences their mental and physical health, and how best we can INCREASE social safety for marginalized individuals.

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Gender Studies | School for Cultural & Social Transformation


Claudia Geist, Associate Professor

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There is a growing literature that documents the poor health outcomes faced by gender and sexual minority patients. Some of these negative health outcomes can be attributed to societal problems like minority stress caused by homophobia, transphobia within society overall. However, there is also growing evidence about the negative effect of health care providers' homophobia and transphobia on the health care experiences and access to care for minoritized groups

The proposed study has two aims: 1) To identify the prevalence of inclusive practices in future health care providers (in their pre-professional activities like internships, shadowing, etc.), i.e. use of correct names and pronouns. 2) to assess fundamental views about gender and sexuality held by future health care providers (i.e. how do participate define gender?). Understanding these two important components will help us identify interventions aimed at reducing harmful practices and to create a more inclusive health care environment.

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