Celebrating Student Work: The RCAH Spring Showcase April 23

April 22, 2019

  • The Residential College in the Arts and Humanities will be showcasing student work on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the LookOut! Art Gallery and throughout the second floor of Snyder-Phillips Hall. The LookOut! also will display work through May 6.
  • The work on display will range from research posters, photography, poetry, and illustrations.
  • “We emphasize humanities for the common good at RCAH, so it is only right that our research for the common good is shown to the public,” said RCAH’s Eric Aronoff.

By Kara Dempsey ’19

It’s that time of year again! The RCAH Spring Showcase is here. The work on display will range from research posters, photography, poetry, and illustrations demonstrating the work they have done throughout the semester in RCAH 112’s Public Knowledge course, the Integrated Language Option (ILO), RCAH Cultures and Languages across the Curriculum Program (CLAC), and RCAH’s Sustainability in Costa Rica study abroad program.

Eric Aronoff, associate professor in RCAH, is the instructor for one section of the 112 Public Knowledge course, and describes the showcase as “a party celebrating the research work the students have done, as well as their own creativity.”

Aronoff’s course explores American modernism and culture in the 1920s, and the student work on display will reflect the studies they have done on the topic throughout the semester. Aronoff describes the goal of the showcase as a way to integrate their studies into public life.

Students in the other RCAH 112 courses will present projects that they have designed to produce new knowledge in the arts and humanities.

“We emphasize humanities for the common good at RCAH, so it is only right that our research for the common good is shown to the public,” Aronoff said.

India Plough, assistant professor in RCAH, oversees CLAC and the ILOs, a semester-long program that immerses students in foreign languages. She described the work on display as an “example of the array of languages, final products, and cultural phenomena that ILOs engage with.” The students focus on project-based collaborative work between undergraduate students and graduate student language fellows. This year’s showcase will feature work in ASL, French, Portuguese, and Spanish languages and includes research posters, a website, and a zine.

The ASL ILO project will offer an analysis of online materials for learning ASL language and culture that they compiled and analyzed. The French ILO will share a poster synthesizing their insights on the contrast between traditional and democratically elected leadership in Benin. The Portuguese ILO will share a website with tips on how people can help contribute to the environment. One Spanish ILO will share a zine to raise awareness and offer resources related to mental health issues. The zine includes poetry templates, coloring pages, interviews, advice, and descriptions of places to go and people to talk to for further help. The other Spanish ILO will share presentations about the nuances of three different regions in Costa Rica, drawing attention to the diversity within the country. This ILO draws on creative projects developed by RCAH students who participated in the RCAH Program on Sustainability in Costa Rica.

Students in Cindy Hunter Morgan's course will be contributing student works from her RCAH 380 course Once Upon a Time: The Potency of Fairy Tales and the Magic of Book Arts. Some of these will be reliquaries that students made out of books in the workshop run by the artist Justin Bryant, who was in residence in RCAH January.

Concurrently, the LookOut! Art Gallery will hold the ESSE (the End of the Semester Student Exhibition) showcasing  student work and projects from visual arts classes within RCAH, also also work made by RCAH student artists--and one CAL student--outside of classtime. The works exhibited in the gallery will complement the RCAH 112 presentations in celebrating and highlighting the creative work of RCAH students. Among the works in the exhibit will be work by students in Steve Baibak’s RCAH 292B course Inside the Peckham Art Studio. RCAH Language and Media Center (LMC) also will be contributing student works. The exhibit will run through May 6. 


The Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University is where students live their passions while changing the world. In RCAH, students prepare for meaningful careers by examining critical issues through the lens of culture, the visual and performing arts, community engagement, literature, philosophy, history, writing, and social justice. RCAH is situated in historic Snyder-Phillips Hall, where students learn and live together in a small-college setting, with all the advantages of a major university. For more information, visit rcah.msu.edu, email rcah@msu.edu, or call 517-355-0210.

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