Art Student with ArtCELIA provides a limited number of seed grants to faculty to develop or pilot projects relating to collaborative and innovative projects and approaches to education and/or leadership in the arts. Grants up to $2,500 in research support, and are typically for one or two semesters. For more information, please contact Dr. Hank Dahlman, Director.

2015/2016 Seed Grant Guidelines and Application now available.
Application deadline is April 3, 2015.

2015/2016 Seed Grant Applications (PDF)

CELIA Seed Grant Awards for 2015—2016

Benjamin Montague:Visions of War: A Cultural Context

Visions of War: A Cultural Context
The Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries at Wright State University
October 20–November 15

Visions of War: A Cultural Context will feature distinguished photographers whose work explores the causes and consequences of war in contemporary culture. The intent of the exhibition is to expose a broad audience to how various artists have responded to their own experiences in conflict. Their images beg viewers to question their own understanding and feelings and to help instill empathy. The images included in the exhibition function as more than just historical documents, but offer insight into the emotional and psychological consequences of battle. Through additional programing such as lectures and panel discussion with Photojournalists, Art Historians, and Authors, audiences will gain an understanding of the historical context of the work and how the arts are able to express the tragedies of conflict.

Montague.jpgBenjamin Montague is an Associate Professor in Photography at Wright State University. He received his MFA from the University of Delaware and his BA from Marlboro College.   Mr. Montague has exhibited his work widely and is currently represented by Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Works on Paper Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. He has won several grants, including an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in 2007. His work is included in the collections of the Columbus Museum of Art and the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.

CELIA Seed Grant Awards for 2014—2015

Tracy Longley-Cook: EXPOSURE: An exhibit of contemporary photography

Women Without Men by  Shirin Neshat,
Film Screening with a short talk by Assoiate Professor in Motion Pictures Nichole Richter:
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
7:00pm to 9:00pm
M252 Creative Arts Center

The Stein Galleries will host a screening of the film "Women Without Men" by the renowned visual artist Shirin Neshat on Wednesday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. in M252 Creative WWM10.jpgArts Center. Nicole Richter, Associate Professor of Motion Pictures, will lead a brief discussion following the film. Neshat's photographic work is featured in the current exhibition "EXPOSURE" at the Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries until October 12.

WOMEN WITHOUT MEN (99 min.) is Shirin Neshat's independent film adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur's magic realist novel. The story chronicles the intertwining lives of four Women in Iran during the summer of 1953; a thriller that addresses themes such as human rights and women, women voting rights, and the womans rights movement, a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history and Muslim women rights when an American led, British backed coup d'état brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstalled the Shah to power.

EXPOSURE: An exhibit of contemporary photography
The Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries at Wright State University
September 2 – October 12, 2014

Exhibition reception
Sunday, October 5, 2014
3:00-5:30 p.m
The Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries at Wright State

Lecture and special reception with photographer Elena Dorfman:
Thursday, October 9, 2014
5:00-7:00 p.m.    
The Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries at Wright State
Information on lecture Elena-Dorfman-Empire-Falling-V_0.jpg

The Stein Galleries' upcoming exhibit Exposure will be showcasing works made by prominent American photographers from the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This show highlights a diverse selection of world-class contemporary photographic images that present a wide breadth of aesthetic, conceptual and technical approaches to the medium. In addition to showcasing the Stein Galleries’ permanent collection of photographs, supplemental works will be on loan from The Dayton Art Institute and a number of private art collectors in the southern Ohio region. This exceptional grouping of images will facilitate discourse related to social and cultural issues, race and gender, as well as traditions and movements within the last 60 years of the photographic genre. Through a diverse range of subjects, processes and themes, the photographs exhibited in this show will expand this dialogue regarding photography as an evolving medium.

EXPOSURE press release (PDF)

Elena Dorfman Public Lecture press release (PDF)

Tracy Longley-Cook (b. 1973, Coronado, California) has her BFA and MFA in photography from the University of Washington (1997), and Arizona State University (2007), respectively. Tracy also studied at the Maine Photographic Workshops residency program from1994-95. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of photography at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. 

Her interests as a visual artist, educator and curator are strongly influenced by themes relating to place, transformation, memory and perception. Through the use of experimental and traditional techniques, Tracy incorporates a variety of working methods into her photography, prints and books.

Alpana Sharma: The Right to be Offended: Debating Censorship in India's New Democracy

book_web.jpgThe Right to be Offended:
Debating Censorship in India's New Democracy
Dr. Arshia Sattar

Join us September 18, 2014
3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Discovery Room, 163 Student Union

Followed by refreshments and an exhibit of books banned in South Asia until 7:00 p.m.
in the Endeavor Room, 156 Student Union

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Alpana Sharma at or (937)775-3136.

Sponsored by the Department of English, the Honors Program at Wright State University, and CELIA.

Dr. Arshia Sattar earned her Ph.D. in South Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago, working closely with Dr. Wendy Doniger, whose study of Hinduism, sattar.jpgThe Hindus: An Alternative History, was banned in India in February 2014. Her translations of the Valmiki Ramayana (1996) and Tales from the Kathasaritsagara (1993) are published by Penguin Books as is her collection of essays on the Ramayana, Lost Loves: Exploring Rama's Anguish (2011), which was short-listed for the Crossword Non-Fiction Award in 2012. She has also written three books for children, most recently, Adventures with Hanuman (Red Turtle, 2013). Her latest book, The Mouse Merchant: Tales of Money in Ancient India (Alan Payne, Penguin 2013), is a compilation of stories from Sanskrit texts about attitudes to money. Dr. Sattar teaches classical Indian literatures at various institutions across the country and, with D. W. Gibson, is the Founder and Director of Sangam House, an international writers' residency program located outside Bangalore. Dr. Sattar was a Fulbright Scholar in Residence at Hampshire College in 2010 and a Rockefeller Fellow in Translation at the Bellagio Center in Italy in 2009. She has also held two Charles Wallace fellowships as a translator in 1998 and 2013.

Alpana Sharma is Professor of English and Women’s Studies and Graduate Director of English at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She received her Ph.D. in Eng Alpana Sharmalish from the University of Pittsburgh in 1990 and taught at the University of Delaware and University of Nebraska-Lincoln before moving to Dayton in 2000. She has published on South Asian women writers, post-colonial literature, and Hindi cinema in academic journals ranging from Modern Fiction Studies to Literature/Film Quarterly. She has edited a collection of essays on new immigrant literatures in the United States and a special issue of the journal, South Asian Review, on the topic of South Asian modernism. At Wright State University, Alpana Sharma teaches courses in non-western and post-colonial literature, including literature from South Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. She has also taught South Asian film, literature of the post-colonial diaspora, and post-colonial theory on the undergraduate and graduate level.

CELIA Seed Grant Awards for 2013—2014

Steven Bognar and James Klein: Reinvention StoriesYear Two

Reinvention PortraintsReinvention Portraits

Presented in Partnership with the Dayton Visual Arts Center and WYSO 91.3
June 30 2013 - September 29 2013

The Dayton Art Institute has partnered with the Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC) and WYSO 91.3 to present the exhibition Reinvention Portraits: Photographs by Julia Reichert & Steven Bognar and the Reinvention Collaborative, on view June 30 – September 29.

Last summer, an award-winning team of Dayton filmmakers and WYSO 91.3 public radio staffers, led by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, walked more than a dozen Dayton neighborhoods. Spending time primarily in Belmont, Residence Park, South Park and Twin Towers, they met people on their porches, in their driveways, walking their dogs, and in parks with their families. They captured hundreds of hours of video and thousands of images of great, funny, surprising and inspiring stories of adversity, resilience and reinvention.

The portraits featured in the upcoming exhibition, taken by the eight-member Reinvention Collaborative of Steven Bognar, Liz Cambron, Emily Evans, Megan Hague, Shawndra Jones, Emily McCord, Julia Reichert and Kyle Wilkinson, along with colorist Chase Whiteside, are a selection curated by Eva Buttacavoli, executive director at DVAC. Reinvention Portraits is part of a collaboration between DVAC and The Dayton Art Institute, intended to bring a fresh look at the art happening in our community.

The exhibition also includes a looped video that merges three perspectives of travelling up and down the city streets. Created by fastening GoPro cameras to the left side, right side and top of the artists’ car, the video rolls viewers through the neighborhoods, unraveling and then raveling the city up again.

Reinvention Portraits is on view in Gallery 209, just off the museum’s Great Hall. The exhibition is open during regular museum hours and admission is included in the museum’s suggested general admission.

Related: A gallery talk and reception with the artists will be held in the museum's Great Hall on Wednesday, July 31, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. The reception and talk are free and open to the public.

Image: Kyle Wilkinson, Barbara Gavida and Family, 2012, Digital Print

From the Dayton Art Institute website

Shengrong Cai: Voices from Multiple Perspectives

Voices from Multiple Perspectives: International Students’ Academic English Proficiency Development when Transitioning from English Language Programs to Academic Shengrong Cai

With the increasing number of international students enrolled at Wright State as well as other universities in the U.S., it is necessary to track their development of academic English skills. The proposed project will take a multiple perspective case study approach to examine the development of academic English proficiency of a few selected international students during their first year of academic programs in the university. Data will be collected from observations of the students’ participation in academic courses, analyses of their speech and writing samples, and interviews with the students. Supplementary data will be drawn from interviews with academic faculty members who have regularly worked with these students. The results will help us to better understand the major challenges that first-year international students face and shed light on the possible collaborations between ESL faculty and academic faculty that can help better serve new international students.

Carol Loranger, Sarah Twill and Carl Brun: Reading for Peace

Carol Loranger, Sarah Twill, and Carl Brun

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize (DLPP) was established in 2006 in order to recognize Dayton’s historic role in the Dayton Peace Accords.  The founders of the DLPP believe that through literature individuals come to understand and appreciate differences among “individuals, families, communities, nations, ethnic groups, culture and religion.”  The College and University Consortium of the DLPP seeks to promote activities on campuses that engage students, faculty, and community members in such reading and discussion.  This  project will bring two DLPP authors to campus the weekend of November 1-4.  Events on campus will include some combination of Writing for Peace workshops, classroom visits, a Writing and Reading for Social Justice panel, hosted book discussion groups, and a public lecture on Families and Peace. At this time, Andrew Krivak, 2012 fiction winner for The Sojourn, is confirmed to visit on Friday, November 1. For more information on the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Awards, go to their website at