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NWP Students Gleason, Singh, Osman, Kraemer, Cicchi, & Conrad Awarded Stanley Grants for International Research

Feb 28, 2020

This spring NWP students Jonathan Gleason, Sanjna Singh, Jamila Osman, Jessie Kraemer, Andy Tan-Delli Cicchi, and Julia Conrad were awarded Stanley Graduate Awards for International Research. Administered through UI International Programs, these awards are given annually to outstanding University of Iowa students for the pursuit of research and learning activities in international studies not available on the UI campus.

Gleason plans to travel to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. “I'll be looking into water scarcity issues along the US-Mexico border, especially in terms of how those issues affect informal unincorporated homesteads called the Colonias,” he said. “My research will involve collecting oral histories from Colonia residents about life under water scarcity as well as contextual research into politics and mechanics of water sharing on an international boundary.”

How will the grant impact his work? Gleason said, “I feel excited and honored to receive the grant. Especially in the case of nonfiction, research and therefore funding is essential to writing good work. My work often has a research component, but this will be my first time doing so much in-depth on-the-ground research, and I'm eager to see what comes of it.”

Singh plans to spend four weeks in Nepal examining aspects of female spiritual masters in the Tantric tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. She writes in her proposal: “Within the Tantric tradition of Tibetan Buddhism exists a lineage of the ‘sacred feminine,’ passed down by female spiritual masters, known as dakinis. The teachings this lineage encompasses form a crucial part of Buddhist tantra, yet academic research on this subject remains in its infancy. This is in part because these teachings are not presented in a straightforward manner, such as through religious texts. Rather, they are hidden within esoteric ritual, song and dance, which require time and knowledge to interpret.” In this project Singh will “examine the way spiritual instruction has been woven into temple rituals, dance and song, and to learn how these teachings can inform and empower present-day feminist contemplative journeys.”

The Stanley Awards provide each student up to $2,500 in funding.

In 2019, NWP student Ian Shank won a Stanley Award, which provided support for his MFA thesis research in England, Scotland, and Italy.