Phone apps, sidewalk guerrilla marketing help teach about gender and violence

January 9, 2014

Sidewalk guerrilla marketing, planning informational campaigns and shooting Vine videos are some of the learning assignments that are part and parcel of Alesha Durfee’s approach to her teaching in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ School of Social Transformation. 

Durfee, associate professor of women and gender studies, does research on intimate partner violence and teaches courses at the intersection of justice studies and women and gender studies. Part of bringing her research expertise into the classroom translates into engaging students in activities that take them out into the campus community to create awareness and break the silence about domestic violence. students construct a chalk timeline on sidewalk outside Wilson Hall Download Full Image

As class projects, her students have organized tabling events outside ASU’s Memorial Union, offering information on how to recognize intimate partner violence and where to go for support. Last fall, Durfee’s students created an on-campus information event as part of the month-long Paint Phoenix Purple domestic violence awareness campaign. Students also organized the Clothesline Project, where t-shirts created by survivors shared messages about domestic and sexual violence, and were on display on the lawn of ASU’s Student Services Building. It’s a project Durfee says her students in next fall’s WST 375: Women and Social Change will organize again as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

In November, students in her course WST 394: Women and Crime created a chalk timeline on a stretch of sidewalk outside Wilson Hall that encapsulated U.S. domestic violence activism and policy through the years. [see the video about this learning experience] 

“Students took a rather dry chapter in one of our texts, full of facts and figures, and divided it up into manageable sections to digest and summarize,” Durfee says. “They used the timeline to teach each other, and at the same time to take what they’re learning and share it beyond the classroom.” 

Challenging students to encapsulate all that they’d learned about intimate partner violence, she also had student teams in this course create and then critique six-second Vine videos as one of their final assignments. 

“A lot of the most popular Vine videos are humorous, so it was hard for students at first to switch to thinking about using this app to treat a serious topic, but they did some neat, informative treatments,” Durfee says.

In spring 2014, Durfee is teaching WST 477: Women and Violence.  

Maureen Roen

Manager, Creative Services, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts


ASU Art Museum receives $2.5M grant to support international artist residency

January 9, 2014

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts has received a $2.5 million challenge grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation in support of the ASU Art Museum. 

For each dollar donated in the next three years to the ASU Art Museum and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the Windgate Charitable Foundation will provide a dollar-for-dollar match, with the matched portion going to support the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program at Combine Studios. Download Full Image

The impact of each gift will in effect be doubled by this grant, and will assist the ASU Art Museum in its mission to be a center for the exchange of new ideas, perspectives and experiences among artists, students and the public, as well as fulfill the mission of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts to educate the designers, artists, architects, performers and creative scholars who are essential to developing solutions to current and future issues facing society.

The ASU Art Museum’s relationship with the Windgate Charitable Foundation has been strong for well over fifteen years prior to this current gift, with the foundation providing financial support for several museum exhibitions, ranging from "Turned Wood Now: Redefining the Lathe-Turned Object IV" (1997) to the recent "Wayne Higby: Infinite Place" (2013) and "Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft" (2013). Also in 2013, support from the Windgate made possible the museum’s symposium "FlashBackForward: Rethinking Craft," which explored critical issues facing the field of contemporary craft locally, nationally and internationally.

Windgate has also supported the museum in providing two paid curatorial internships each year since January 2005. Art and art history graduate and undergraduate students in the ASU Herberger Institute School of Art are eligible for the annual internships. These interns are integrated into departments across the museum, working hands-on alongside the museum’s staff. After their graduation, many have continued on to become staff members at the ASU Art Museum and at other museums across the country.

“Due in great part to the generous support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, the ASU Art Museum has become an international force in contemporary craft and a recognized supporter of artists accomplishing their artistic vision through residencies, exhibitions, commissions and acquisitions,” says Gordon Knox, the ASU Art Museum’s director.

Established Feb. 14, 2011, the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program brings accomplished professional artists from around the world to develop new work in partnership with the intellectual resources of Arizona State University and the diverse communities within Arizona. Through the program, artists develop work in collaboration with scientists, technologists, social agencies and community organizations that investigate the pressing issues of our time.

For more information, or to give to the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, contact Shawn Richards, director of development, at or 480.965.8985; or Rossi Todorova, development coordinator for the ASU Art Museum, at or 480.965.5299

Juno Schaser

Event coordinator, Biodesign Institute