It’s Not About “Us”: Express Newark Prioritizing the Public Good

  • Anne Schaper Englot Rutgers University–Newark/Express Newark
  • Victor Davson Express Newark
  • Chantal Fischzang Rutgers University–Newark
  • Tamara Fleming Shine Portrait Studio
  • Nick Kline Rutgers University–Newark/Shine Portrait Studio
Keywords: community engagement; arts and culture; faculty roles and rewards; anchor institution; social design; third space

Abstract

Publically engaged scholarship demands new ways of working within and outside of the academy.

Systems within the university reward faculty for individual achievements. This approach militates against working on collaborative projects because of the difficulty of explaining and quantifying one’s contribution. The culture of academia further inhibits potential collaborations and undermines even the most altruistic faculty, who are socialized to devalue the experiential, place-based knowledge of a community partner and encouraged to adopt a self-concept as “the” authority.         

But if universities are to honor their commitment to the public good, the public must be prioritized in the academic value system, which ought to encourage new modes of thinking that recognize the legitimacy of the expertise of community partners and place value on collaboration with them.

From the community perspective, there is often a lack of models for successful collaboration, with engagement by universities more often than not taking the form of exercising eminent domain or parachuting in to “fix” a problem and then abandoning the community. Community members carry with them skepticism that the university’s only use is as a source of hand-outs rather than a source of the kind of agency afforded by true collaboration.

Author Biographies

Anne Schaper Englot, Rutgers University–Newark/Express Newark

Co-Director of Express Newark, Professor of Practice of Architecture and Humanities

Victor Davson, Express Newark

Co-Director

Chantal Fischzang, Rutgers University–Newark

Assistant Professor of Design

Tamara Fleming, Shine Portrait Studio

Photographer, Founding Community Partner

Nick Kline, Rutgers University–Newark/Shine Portrait Studio

Associate Professor of Photography, Rutgers University–Newark; Founder & Director, Shine Portrait Studio

References

AIGA Educators, (2017, August 21). AIGA Designer 2025: Why design education should pay attention to trends. Retrieved from https://educators.aiga.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/DESIGNER-2025-SUMMARY.pdf

Bhaba, H. (2006/3). Le tiers-espace: entretiens avec Jonathan Rutherford. Multitudes, 3(3) 95-107. http://doi.org/10.3917/mult.026/0095

Blauvelt, A. (2008, March 3). Towards Relational Design. Design Observer. Retrieved from https://designobserver.com/feature/towards-relational-design/7557/

Boyte, H. (2009). Civic Agency and the Cult of the Expert. Dayton, Ohio: The Kettering Foundation.

Brown, Tim. (2009). Change by Design. New York, New York. Harper Business.

Cantor, N., Englot, P., & Higgins, M. (2013). Making the Work of Anchor Institutions Stick: Building Coalitions and Collective Expertise. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 17(3), 17-46. Retrieved from http://openjournals.libs.uga.edu/index.php/jheoe/article/view/1036

Cavallaro, C. (2016). Recognizing engaged scholarship in faculty reward structures: Challenges and progress. Metropolitan Universities Journal 27 (2) p. 2-5. Retrieved from https://journals.iupui.edu/index.php/muj/article/view/21228 https://doi.org/10.18060/21122

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. New York, New York: The MacMillan Company.

Eatman, T. K., & Ellison, J. (2008). Scholarship in public: Knowledge creation and tenure policy in the engaged university a resource on promotion and tenure in the arts, humanities, and design. Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life Tenure Team Initiative on Public Scholarship. Retrieved from http://imaginingamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ScholarshipinPublicKnowledge.pdf

Eskilson, S. (2007). Graphic Design: A New History. New Haven. Yale UP. p. 417.

Gilbert, R., (November, 2012). Personal communication with Tamara Fleming, November, 2012.

Giloi, E. (2017, October 7). Newark Rhythms project, personal communication with Victor Davson.

Giloi, E. (2018). Newark Rhythms. Newark: Express Newark Press.

Gosling, E. (2017, October 25). What Will A Designer + Their Job Look Like in 2025? AIGA, Eye on Design. Retrieved from https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/what-will-a-design-job-in-2025-look-like/

Gilbert, R., (November 2012). Personal communication with Tamara Fleming, November, 2012.

Giloi, E. (2017, October 7). Newark Rhythms project, personal communication with Victor Davson.

Giloi, E. (2018). Newark Rhythms. Newark: Express Newark Press.

Jargowsky, P. (2015). The Architecture of Segregation: Civil Unrest, the Concentration of Poverty, and Public Policy. Washington, D.C.: The Century Foundation.

Mau, B. (2004). Massive Change. London. Phaidon.

McCoy, K. (1994). Rethinking modernism, revising functionalism. In Bierut, M., Drenttel, W, Heller, S. & Holland, D.K. (Eds.), (pp. 49-50). Looking closer: Critical writings on graphic design. New York: Allworth Press.

Rothstein, R. (2017). The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. New York, New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation.

Routledge, P. (1996). “The Third Space as Critical Engagement,” Antipode, 28:4, p.399-419. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.1996.tb00533.x

Seifer, S.D., Wong, K., Gelmon, S.B., and Lederer, M. (2009). “The Community-Engaged Scholarship forHealth Collaborative: A National Change Initiative Focused on Faculty Roles and Rewards,” Metropolitan Universities Journal, 20(2), 5-21.

Shea, A. Drenttel, W. (2012) Forward. Designing for Social Change. New York, New York. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 6-7.

Sturm, S. (2006). The Architecture of Inclusion: Advancing Workplace Equity in Higher Education. Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, 29(2), 247-344. Retrieved from http://harvardjlg.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/sturm.pdf

U.S. News and World Report. (2017, September 11). Campus Ethnic Diversity–National Universities. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/campus-ethnic-diversity
Published
2018-05-23